If our high school had put superlatives in the yearbook, Katie Sawicki would have been voted Most Likely to Succeed in Music. I would have voted for her because I like to be right. Sawicki is a folk singer with a guitar, just as she was years ago during our high-school years in Connecticut. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Sawicki has launched a national tour and came through Boise on June 27 to promote her second self-produced album, For the Quiet.
Self-produced modern folk album? Sounds a little like Ani DiFranco, no? No. I'm sure she appreciates the trails DiFranco blazed, but Sawicki doesn't care for the comparisons to the Righteous Babe--justifiably, because Sawicki isn't as pissed off. She's sweeter, like Jewel, but less cheesy and a lot cuter and her sound is all her own.
Sawicki is not necessarily as much girl-rock as the others. Her voice is like that of a rugged angel. She writes songs about loneliness, about being short-changed and about hipsters, and she performed them in Boise with immaculate cascading melodies.
It was just Sawicki and her guitar on stage, and that has the potential to be a troublesomely boring setup for a concert-goer. But Sawicki blasted away our fears by engaging in banter with the audience (an advantage to the folk scene, generally) and displaying sickly complex guitar rhythms.
The unfortunate truth is we don't often get to see women guitarists like Sawicki: She slides all over the guitar producing a rich sound; she's entranced in her art, unconcerned with the image of being fiercely focused on her instrument. It was a treat to see such a strong performer.
Also a treat, local songstress Kris Doty split sets with Sawicki to enchant the audience. Doty, as Boiseans know, is creative and irreverent, and it was crazy how cool the two of them matched and captivated.