KATIE PRUITT’S EMOTIONALLY CHARGED COVERS OF NEIL YOUNG’S OHIO AND AFTER THE GOLD RUSH ARE RELEASED TODAY
PRUITT’S TINY DESK (HOME) CONCERT FOR NPR MUSIC OUT NOW
“It’s terrifying to think that a 50-year-old song about police violence could still be relevant today. Yet somehow here we are.” – Pruitt
Toronto, ON – October 29, 2020 – Today, singer, songwriter, and musician, Katie Pruitt, follows up her recently-released original protest song, Look the Other Way, with interpretations of two of Neil Young’s most beloved and enduring songs, both of which were first recorded and released in 1970: Ohio and After The Gold Rush.
Pruitt explains, “Back in June, I was watching a music documentary about Kent State & Neil Young writing Ohio in direct response to the massacre. ‘What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground, how could run when you know?’ His lyrics were ringing with relevance as I immediately thought of the innocent lives taken by law enforcement in the year 2020 alone. It’s terrifying to think that a 50-year-old song about police violence could still be relevant today. Yet somehow, here we are. I wanted to record a modern-day version of Ohio to remind myself and others how history will repeat itself if we don’t speak up & hold our law enforcement accountable.” Listen to Ohio and After the Gold Rush here.
A more personal event inspired her to record After the Gold Rush. “When I learned last September that I would be opening for Neil Young, I also learned a dear family friend had entered stage four pancreatic cancer,” she recalls. “His favourite song was After the Gold Rush.”
Young opened his set that evening with After the Gold Rush, and though Pruitt took it as a good omen, she later learned that her friend died that same night.
She reflects, “Though I’m unsure if I believe in a conventional God, After the Gold Rush is a very spiritual song. To me, it’s about transcendence into another plane, somewhere far away from the pain and suffering of this world.”
Frustrated by the woefully inadequate response to the numerous crises facing our country, Pruitt was moved to write and record an original protest song, Look the Other Way, which was released late last month. As she stated at the time, the song “deals with the ongoing issue of complacency and how we all play a role in it. I wanted to confront that complacency head on, both culturally and within myself. We have two choices when we witness evil being done: we can look the other way, or we can ask ourselves what we can do to stop it."
This week, NPR Music shared Pruitt’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. Watch it here. In Ann Powers’ introduction to Pruitt’s set for TDC, she observes, “Katie Pruitt’s voice is like a kite soaring through the sky of her songs,” and notes, “Pruitt's gift: making her particular experiences universally relatable. Like her ace guitar work and that muscular yet weightless voice, these songs inspire with their easy largesse.”
Pruitt's debut album, Expectations, has received widespread critical praise. Rolling Stone proclaimed it a "majestic LP that blends country and folk with indie rock," while American Songwriter declared, "know that this near flawless introduction is the auspicious start of a career that shows incredible promise."
NPR Music's All Songs Considered named Pruitt one of the best new artists of 2020 (so far), and she is nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association.
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