Straightforward, danceable, honky-tonk tunes that are fun, sassy, flirtatious, honest, a whole lotta country and a little bit blues. That’s what you can expect to hear from country newcomer Kate Sansing, the fiery blonde, blue eyed bottle rocket from Denver, who made her way to Nashville with a mountain of talent, a dream, and most importantly, a plan.
Kate’s earliest beginnings as a singer began at the tender age of three, when a small, plastic step stool in the family home became her “stage”. Kate was eager to grab her “stage” and sing in front of anyone who would listen. As a toddler, her repertoire consisted of Neil Diamond’s “Forever In Blue Jeans”, “Happy Birthday”, the theme song to “Sesame Street”, and several other children’s tunes. During her first exposure to music in the early 80s, Neil Diamond and Billy Joel were particularly popular, and were family favorites. Kate’s mother was also a huge fan of musical theater and took her to many off-Broadway shows. Her father, a native of East Texas, was the one who turned her onto country music.
“During our annual summer road trips from Colorado to Texas to visit family, Dad would always pop the eight-track tapes in of many of the country stars of the day, including Glen Campbell, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, John Denver, and Kenny Rogers. “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and “The Gambler” bring back some of my most vivid early childhood memories.”
Kate is no stranger to live performance. She began dance lessons at age four, and four years later was accepted into the semi-professional tap dance company, “The Colorado Time Steps”, where she performed and competed all over the state and beyond to the national competition level. Well into her teens, after school and on weekends, with out-of-town trips in the summer, she was absorbed in the world of Rockette-style kick line productions and other fancy tap dance routines, filled with fishnets, heavy stage makeup and quick costume changes.
As a freshman in high school, Kate landed the lead role of Sandy in the school production of Grease, and until college, she continued to land major roles in school, community, and touring theater productions. As she entered college at the University of Texas at Austin, Kate felt the burning desire to fuel her passion for performing, and she chose a double major in Music (Vocal Performance) and Business (Marketing). It was during her time in the bustling live music city of Austin that Kate realized that country music was her genre of choice. With countless opportunities to network with bands and musicians in the Austin area, Kate began learning the ins and outs of working in and managing a band. She also became employed at a local recording studio where she was given unlimited use to sing and record her own voice when the studio was not in use. Eventually, Kate decided to seek out a private voice instructor who had expertise in pop and contemporary styling rather than pursue a formal degree in music (which emphasized classical composers and opera).
After graduating with a business degree from U.T. in three years, Kate’s sights were set on Nashville, but before she moved, she decided to take a month off to return home to spend time with her family. A month turned into a year and a half, as her father became seriously ill. She stayed at home during the day with her father, who required round-the-clock care, and Kate’s mother took over nursing duties at the end of the workday. Never losing sight of her true passion for making music, Kate formed a band, with which she paid the artistic dues she’d naively thought she could waive out of by going directly to Nashville. As the band toured the Western Region on the weekends, she developed her larger than life stage persona, with lots of costume changes, and a preference for danceable, honky-tonk tunes.
“I would’ve been so green coming out to Nashville not having a clue what it was like to have a band and get gigs and negotiate booking fees and things like that if I hadn’t had that experience,” she says. “I never lost the drive to come out to Nashville; I just had to wait ‘til it was the right time for my family.”
When Kate did eventually move to Nashville, she brought with her a mature marketing plan. Rather than hope for someone to give her a big break, she would take responsibility for her own career. Since the goal was no longer to become an overnight sensation but to tour and methodically develop an audience, an independently produced album made sense.
Kate spent her first five years in Nashville networking, learning the music business, making friends, finding songs, and putting herself in a position to independently finance a full-length album where quality would not be compromised. Her self-titled, debut album is now available from record stores and online merchants and features many of the most recognized session musicians in the business. It also includes songs penned by some of country music’s most prolific songwriters, who have written chart-topping hits for artists such as Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Byrd, Lee Ann Womack and Clay Walker.
Having opened for many national acts including Diamond Rio, Aaron Tippin, Toby Keith and Gary Allan, Kate has been hired to perform for state and national politicians’ events, many major corporations, and has sung before as many as 10,000 people.
“My favorite songs are the one that are fun and make people smile or laugh. If the song is sad or serious, I like it to be straightforward, real and honest. I can’t wait to get back out performing on the road to share my new music. For me, performing live is the greatest high there is.”