Songwriter and guitarist Katie Jo (formerly Katie Jo & The Mijos) plays classic country music fit for the modern era—and often fit for folks who say they don’t like country music at all. A native of Kansas, and currently based in California, Katie Jo brings a Midwestern sensibility to songs that dance in defeat of life’s plainest realities: circumstances might be bad, and probably getting worse, so better to take it in stride and get on with it, then. This isn’t soft-spoken folk melodies nor hard-scrabble outlaw country: it’s lyrical vulnerability mixed with a vivacious live energy. It’s having a chip on your shoulder while still looking for one to cry on.
Katie Jo’s out to prove that modern country music should be played with just enough bite to last—and you don’t have to wear big hat or beard to do it.
Starting in 2017, she cut her teeth playing punk dive bars and honky tonk holdouts around Southern California and carved out strong support with non-country music fans by organizing shows in untraditional venues like boxing gyms and barbershops. Word about her high-energy live shows and command of a powered-up six piece backing band started to get out, leading her to share bills with outlaw legends like Billy Joe Shaver as well as modern artists such as Sam Outlaw, Jaime Wyatt, Deer Tick, Lucero, and more.
2018’s Prairie Flower EP melded Katie Jo’s windswept Kansas roots with her background in bluegrass music, covering ground with both boot-stomping rompers and mournful folk ballads. Standout single “All My Money’s on the Highway” is a nod to the Del McCoury Band’s song “Asheville Turnaround,” reworking the bluegrass number into a cynical story of what it’s like to try to date in Los Angeles. Swaying two-step title track “Prairie Flower” chronicles a desire to leave one’s rural roots for greener pastures, and was derived from the 1930s song by The Two Leslies, “I’m a Little Prairie Flower.
Katie Jo’s debut full-length record is currently in production at Big Ego Studios in Long Beach, CA, under the helm of producer Chris Schlarb. The album was recorded in tradition of country records past, with a live backing band in one room, in just three days. The record is a rollercoaster ride of the rejection of love in all its edges and forms: forlorn love songs collide with forefront tempos, outlaw snarls with folk melodies, and early rock with country rolls. Tying it all together are good-time melodies fit for a honky tonk hoedown with standout lyrics that’ll keep breaking your heart after the lights are down and everyone’s gone home. It will be released in early 2020.
Notable Gigs & ACCOLADES
Echo Park Rising Festival (2018)
Banjo Babes Calendar Artist (2018)
Rebelle Road Parlour Pickin’ Sessions (2018)
Long Beach Folk Revival Festival (2017 & 2015)
Remember the Music Festival (2019)
The Grand Ole Echo (2019)
Sofar Sounds Showcase (2019)
Long Beach Craft Beer Festival (2019 & 2018)
“PAWN SHOP QUEEN” LP (UNRELEASED)
Scheduled for release in Spring 2020. Album preview below (not for distribution or download)
All songs written by Katie Jo Oberthaler (ASCAP) Copyright 2019, except Bad Religion (Written by Katie Oberthaler and LJ Dougherty) and Are You Coming Home Tonight (Written by Katie Oberthaler and Chris Schlarb.)
Recorded at Big Ego Studios in Long Beach, CA // Produced by Chris Schlarb // Mixed by Chris Schlarb // Engineered by Devin O’Brien // Mastered by JJ Golden at Golden Mastering in Ventura, CA.
Katie Oberthaler - Songwriting, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals // Phillip Glenn - Fiddle, Mandolin, Accordion, Organ, Piano // Davin Givhan - Electric Guitar // Chris Schlarb - Electric Guitar // George Madrid - Pedal Steel // Anthony Shadduck - Double Bass, Electric Bass // Daniel Chavez - Electric Bass, Backing Vocals // Nathan Hubbard -Vibraphone // John Miranda - Drums // Tabor Allen - Drums // Heather Sommerhauser - Backing Vocals // Ashly Holland Fry - Backing Vocals
Prairie Flower EP
Released March 9, 2018
All songs written by Katie Jo Oberthaler (ASCAP) Copyright 2018.
Tracks 1 and 2 recorded and mixed by Louis Conway of Till Death Studios in Hollywood, California // Tracks 3 and 4 recorded and mixed by Kirk Jordan of Big Peach Records // Mastered by Brian Frederick of Hybrid Studios in Costa Mesa, CA.
Feat.: Katie Jo Oberthaler - Acoustic Guitar, Songwriting // Billy Napial - Electric Guitar // Andy Rau - Banjo // Daniel Chavez - Electric Bass // Nick Medina - Drums // Kirk Jordan - Backing Vocals
High-REs Press Photos
GENERAL & PRESS inquiries, booking, licensinG
CONTACT KATIE JO OBERTHALER | 562-357-8551 | email@example.com