01.11.18The Vinyl District: Kathryn Rose Wood & Mikayla Braun Join Forces for One-Night Only

The first ever performance of two of the leading singer/songwriters on the new New Orleans scene will be a bittersweet night for the two musicians, Kathryn Rose Wood and Mikayla Braun. Steve Panacek, the guitarist who plays in both of the women’s bands is leaving town to test the waters in New York. The night at Gasa Gasa will be celebration of their long association with the axe-slinger and sound engineer.

Dubbed, the Braun-Wood Band, this one-time-only effort will exponentially raise the quotient as they unite their considerable musical powers. Though the two have performed on the same bill and collaborated in the past, this special show will showcase their original music in duet form with a full backing band.

Braun and Wood began occasionally performing alongside one another in the spring of 2016. Soulful song selections, sublime harmonies, and natural camaraderie resonated with audience members. It made sense to continue their musical alliance on a larger scale.

Besides playing in each of their individual bands, Steve Panacek appears on the songwriters’ latest albums, Braun’s Synapse and Wood’s In The Ashes. Both women acknowledge his role and tuneful vision as invaluable contributions to their original sound.

Locally-based, nationally-renowned blues/soul ensemble, the Maggie Belle Band rounds out the bill with their namesake’s trademark raspy, impassioned vocal prowess and an energetic, horn-accented live show.

Showtime is 8 PM. Tickets are $10 and are available here or at the door.

01.10.18Keith Spera's Sound Check: Top Picks for This Week in New Orleans Music

Keith Spera

The week's options for live music in New Orleans include a heavy metal guitar hero, a British band celebrating a 50-year-old album and tributes to Allen Toussaint pegged to what would have been his 80th birthday.

Braun-Wood Band
8 p.m. Thursday, Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St.), $10

New Orleans-based singer-songwriters Kathryn Rose Wood and Mikayla Braun lead their own bands and release their own albums. Their most recent efforts are, respectively, “In the Ashes" and “Synapse"; Braun is also the singer for funk/rock band The Crooked Vines. But Wood and Braun have occasionally collaborated and have for several years shared a guitarist, Steve Panacek. Panacek, who is also a live sound engineer, is moving to New York in February. To give him a proper send-off and commemorate his contributions to their bands, Wood and Braun will join forces at Gasa Gasa for a one-off joint performance as the Braun-Wood Band. The duo will harmonize on each other’s original compositions, backed by a full band that includes Panacek on guitar. The Maggie Bell Band opens the show with a set of blues/soul.

12.14.17Offbeat Magazine: Mikayla Braun & Kathryn Rose Wood unite as the Braun-Wood Band on Jan. 11th.

On Thursday, January 11 local musicians Mikayla Braun and Kathryn Rose Wood will celebrate the departure of their shared guitarist, Steve Panacek, in a one-night only performance as the Braun-Wood Band.

The musical pair will showcase original tracks in duet form with a full band backing them. Braun and Wood have debuted their newest solo albums Synapse and In the Ashes, respectively, earlier this year.

While both musicians have been revered for their solo capabilities, Braun and Wood each have a plethora of projects behind them. Braun is the bandleader of her own soul and pop-based quartet. She is also a vocalist for The Crooked Vines, a funk-rock band that has been well received by New Orleans audiences. Wood, meanwhile, has made recent rounds as founder of the Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert series and performer in the fall 2017 ribbon-cutting ceremony for Prospect New Orleans’ Composition 21 by installation and performance artist Naama Tsabar.

The artists first began performing together in Spring 2016. While a full-fledged partnership did not initially appear to be their intention, their natural camaraderie seemed to resonate with audience members, prompting the women to continue their alliance on a larger scale. The joining thread is Steve Panacek. A proficient guitarist, Panacek has been playing in each artist’s band for several years and appears on the songwriters’ latest solo albums. Although he is leaving his New Orleans home in February for exciting professional opportunities his absence will definitely be missed by Braun and Wood, and the duo is looking forward to performing with their band mate one final time.

The concert is held at Gasa Gasa and is open to ages 18 and older. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at www.gasagasa.com

11.18.17Prospect New Orleans Unveils Naama Tsabar's "Composition 21" with Kathryn Rose Wood and more.

Naama Tsabar's Composition 21, specially conceived for Prospect New Orleans' Prospect.4, is the fifth iteration in Tsabar’s Composition Series. A predominantly Female field of twenty-one local musicians are arranged into 4 bands performing separate musical pieces commissioned for the performance. Due to their similar musical structure, when played simultaneously, a dense, yet not entirely, cacophonous musical field will be composed. For the audience, sound becomes physical as their movement through the field will disassemble and reassemble the songs in a musical mix that is guided by their positioning and location.

The one-time only live-art installation premiers at Prospect New Orleans' P.4 Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Nov. 18th.

Musicians taking part in «Composition 21» are
Dana Abbott
KC St. Afford
Jenn Attaway,
Jaz Butler
Joy Clark
Eloise Davis
Lynn Drury
Helen Gillet
Wanda Joseph
Meschiya Lake
Gina Marie Leslie
Kelcy Mae
Tiffany Morris
Boyanna Trayanova
Julie Odell
Tasche de la Rocha
Kathryn Rose Wood
Sarah Quintana
Mayumi Shara
Kei Slaughter,
Sarah Strauss

11.15.17National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) features "Free" Music Video

In honor of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has featured Kathryn's video for "Free," the newest single from "In The Ashes" and featuring Kristen Taffaro, in conjunction with her essay on surviving suicide loss. Kathryn considers it an honor to be involved in the campaign of supporting those grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide, and proud that folks may find respite in the story and song. Read the essay and watch "Free" at the link provided.

11.11.17"Unite the Junk" by Side 'C' Films features Kathryn Rose Wood

New Orleans' Side 'C' Films premieres "Unite the Junk," a short film featuring Kathryn Rose Wood's thematic vocals, at the Bywater Film Festival on November 11, 2017. To watch the short film and hear Kathryn's voice, click the link below.

11.10.17Kathryn Rose Wood Interviewed and Performs on "The 504 TV" New Orleans

Kathryn Rose Wood and bandmates Sam Albright, Steven Panacek, and Joel Zobrist performed two songs, "Spun" and "Lullaby (to Preston)" live on local news channel WWL/WUPL's daily "The 504" New Orleans culture, media, and news show. Hosted by Sheba Turk, Kathryn also sat down to chat with Sheba about her new album, "In The Ashes," and the meaning behind the songs. Check out the live performance of "Spun" at the link below.

11.02.17Kathryn Rose Wood featured in The Sexism Project

The Sexism Project is an ongoing oral interview and photographic portrait series beginning with female subjects in the New Orleans music community with the hopes of growing to include different subjects in different communities throughout the world.

The first installment of The Sexism Project featuring portraits of and interviews with 60 women, including Kathryn Rose Wood, in the New Orleans music community was unveiled November 2nd, 2017 presented in an exhibition at the one and only Preservation Hall in the heart of the French Quarter.

The Sexism Project Exhibition continues to be presented over three days beginning with a late night gallery opening on November 2 and ending with a closing night dance party on November 5. Read Kathryn's full interview and portrait, as well as the many other talented musicians including Alexis Marceaux, Maggie Koerner, Amina Scott, Tasche de la Rocha, Mikayla Braun, and more, at the link below.

10.24.17The Alternate Root Magazine Debuts "Free" Music Video


The words of New Orleans, Louisiana-based musician, Kathryn Rose Wood, tell the tale that the images, directed by Erik Skramstad, give the video for “Free". At its heart, the story is about loss, though the process is never quite that simple to navigate. Kathryn Rose Wood uses her latest single to describe the complexities, and the levels of emotion, experienced in the grief process."

10.19.17Americana UK Reviews: "In The Ashes" by Kathryn Rose Wood

"This is a debut album. It is a challenging album and a difficult album, but it is also an absolutely beautiful album. Kathryn Rose Wood, a singer/songwriter based in New Orleans, is also a clinical music therapist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and therefore well aware of how powerful music can be in healing and improving well-being. It is poignant then, that the album is comprised of six songs that she wrote while grieving the suicide of her younger brother Preston and which chronicle the stages of grief.

First track "Lullaby (To Preston)" was featured by American Songwriter Magazine as their “Daily Discovery" and also heavily publicized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness who also featured the single "Big Steel Wings" as their website’s homepage theme song in May of this year. This is an album that aims to highlight mental health issues, provide support to those who may be considering suicide or trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one to suicide. A hugely creditable imitative then, and the music is outstanding too.

The two singles, "Lullaby (To Preston)" and "Big Steel Wings" are contrasting in styles, the former as touching a tribute as you could hear, the latter faster-paced and inspirational. With lyrics as personal as it possible to conceive, these songs are never going to be an easy listen as Wood has poured her soul and torment into them.

It’s vital for review purposes to state that the music, secondary as it is to the bigger agenda, is sublime with a range of influences from Country and Folk through to hints of Soul. Album closer "This Ain’t Fine" is as good a testament to the quality of musician that Wood has worked with on the album from Sturgill Simpson and Solange’s touring bands. Add in the capable hands of New Orleans producer Ben Lorio and you have a high quality piece of work.

However, what is ultimately important is the catharsis that Wood has gone through and is the driving force behind In The Ashes. I would recommend this album very strongly as the songs are worthy of anyone’s time. However, if it does in some way help those experiencing depression, or loved ones who care for them, then In The Ashes has done its job. An excellent album and an essential album.

Challenging, difficult yet beautiful album fashioned from personal catharsis.
Rating: 9/10

10.17.17"In The Ashes" Internationally, Digitally Releases TODAY!

With much gratitude and love, I am proud to announce that "In The Ashes," the painstakingly planned album in the aftermath of loss of my 19-year-old brother, Preston, to suicide is officially out today. You can find it on ALL MAJOR MUSIC OUTLETS: iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, CDBaby, Rhapsody Music, Google Play, and so many more. You can find the iTunes album link at bottom of this post. Please share with those you care for: this music, with all its vulnerability and rawness, releases in hopes that it will encourage connection, respite, and motivation to reach out to those in turmoil, experiencing loss of any kind, self-doubting, hurt, or lost. It will only reach those in need with your support, so thank you so heartily in advance for that. <3

10.09.17"In The Ashes" Releases Locally in New Orleans

Kathryn Rose Wood and Mikayla Braun celebrated the local New Orleans releases of their albums, "In The Ashes" and "Synapse," respectively, with a sold-out album release party at Gasa Gasa on Sunday, October 8th. Featuring live full-album performances of each artist's new record, special collaborations and duets, and a myriad of guests from seminal New Orleans touring acts such as Sweet Crude, Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, Stoop Kids, and Nyce!, the party was a joyous affair lauded by many following the show. With a nearly-sold out show to boot, each artist donated 50% of all CD sales to the New Orleans affiliated of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in hopes to keep the positive musical message going.

Kathryn Rose Wood's "In The Ashes" is now available in New Orleans for physical/digital purchase as Louisiana Music Factory (421 Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, 70116 or click the related URL to purchase) and at Peaches Records New Orleans (4318 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA). "In The Ashes" will release nationwide via all major digital music outlets, including iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Rhapsody, CD Baby, and more, on October 17th, 2017.

Kathryn will celebrate the national release of "In The Ashes" with a special in-store trio performance at Peaches Records on Saturday, November 4th at 4pm. All ages welcome, and beer is provided.

10.06.17Gambit Weekly's Music News: Album releases from Mikayla Braun, Kathryn Rose Wood and Feufollet

Out now: album releases from Mikayla Braun, Kathryn Rose Wood and Feufollet


• New Orleans songwriters Mikayla Braun and Kathryn Rose Wood headline a double-billed release show for their respective albums at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8 at Gasa Gasa. Tickets are $10. (If the show is canceled due to weather, it'll move to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17.)

Braun — vocalist with The Crooked Vines — releases her solo EP Synapse, an exploration of "previously unspoken thoughts, observations, and emotional experiences that arose during her first years living in New Orleans." The pianist and vocalist is backed by her quartet on the plaintive piano blues of EP single "I'm Still Here." Synapse is out Oct. 10.

Wood's latest is In the Ashes, her debut solo album, written following her brother's suicide and exploring themes around mental health crises and illnesses. The latest from the former Social Set and Gravy Flavored Kisses artist is a folk- and country-tinged suite of songs buoyed by hopeful lyrics and harmonies. In The Ashes will be released nationally Oct. 17.

10.06.17WGNO ABC 26 News features Kathryn Rose Wood on "News With a Twist"

From WGNO ABC 26 News:

"Two local artists are celebrating the separate releases of their albums -- together!

Kathryn Rose Wood and Mikayla Braun both have new albums coming out. And they are throwing a double album release party Sunday (Oct. 8) at 8 p.m. at Gasa Gasa. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Look for Kathryn Rose Wood on Facebook for more information on her new album, In the Ashes.

And check out Mikayla Braun's website for more information on her new album, Synapse."

Click the link below to watch the full performance of "Big Steel Wings" by Kathryn Rose Wood and her band.

10.05.17The Vinyl District Event Spotlight: Kathryn Rose Wood & Mikayla Braun's Double Album Release!

Mikayla Braun and Kathryn Rose Wood celebrate new albums
at Gasa Gasa, 10/8


Two of New Orleans most prominent young singer/songwriters are joining forces on Sunday at Gasa Gasa to showcase their latest recordings. Mikayla Braun and Kathryn Rose Wood will both perform their new releases in their entirety. They also promise musical surprises and special guests to “round out the party."

Mikayla Braun may be best known around town as the lead vocalist of the Crooked Vines. Her EP, “Synapse," features music she wrote and recorded since moving to New Orleans five years ago. Kathryn Rose Wood is celebrating the release of her debut solo album, In The Ashes. She formerly performed with her band Social Set and was co-lead vocalist for Gravy Flavored Kisses.

In addition to performing with the Crooked Vines, Braun, who plays ukulele and piano, also fronts her own quartet. Her new EP mines the experiences the young singer has had since relocating and becoming part of the fertile live music scene in New Orleans. The EP arrives in stores nationally on October 10.

Kathryn Rose Wood’s songwriting has received considerable acclaim over the course of her career. She was featured by American Songwriter magazine as their website’s Daily Discovery in 2016 and she hosts and curates a weekly songwriter series, “Lilith in Loa" at LOA Bar in New Orleans. In The Ashes arrives in shops nationally on October 17.

Show time at Gasa Gasa is 8 PM. Tickets are available here.

10.04.17It's New Orleans "Happy Hour" Podcast feature Kathryn Rose Wood & Mikayla Braun

"Singer-songwriters Kathryn Rose Wood and Mikayla Braun are friends who serendipitously and totally by coincidence finished recording their respective new albums at the same time. They're having a joint record release party and doing joint appearances all over town, though it's doubtful either of them are talking about their skin cancer and possible relationship to coffee makers and Hitler too many other places."

Listen to the full podcast, including performance at 46:06 with the link below. Enjoy!

10.03.17Kathryn Rose Wood Performs "Bed of Roses" on WWL-TV Channel 4 News

Kathryn is joined by fellow soul-pop artist Mikayla Braun as they discuss their joint album release party on Sunday, October 8th, at Gasa Gasa (New Orleans, LA 70115) and perform Kathryn's original song "Bed of Roses" live on-air!

10.01.17Offbeat Magazine: Mikayla Braun And Kathryn Rose Wood Host Double Album Release Party

Mikayla Braun And Kathryn Rose Wood Host Double Album Release Party

by Offbeat Staff

On Sunday, October 8, local musicians Mikayla Braun and Kathryn Rose Wood will host a double album-release party in celebration of the release of each artist’s new albums. Braun’s EP, Synapse and Wood’s album, In The Ashes, locally release at the concert, which will feature both artists performing their albums in full, along with other special musical surprises and guests.

Synapse is the first solo project Mikayla Braun, lead vocalist of The Crooked Vines, has written and recorded since moving to New Orleans five years ago. The EP is inspired by the complexity of the human thought process, during which electrical impulses travel through billions of neurons and span countless synapses before one even realizes that a thought has been created. Endless unspoken thoughts within the mind may range from harmless to completely consuming for any individual, and it is not uncommon for many people to keep them secret. Mikayla releases Synapse as a way of sharing her previously unspoken thoughts, observations, and emotional experiences that arose during her first years living in New Orleans. The EP, featuring Mikayla’s quartet, showcases Mikayla’s lyrics and vocal interpretations as its centerpiece. Synapse releases nationally October 10, 2017.

Kathryn Rose Wood, formerly of Social Set and Gravy Flavored Kisses, releases her debut solo album, In The Ashes, as part of a successful crowdfunding campaign completed in 2016. A collection of songs written in the aftermath of her brother’s suicide, Kathryn employed notable local musicians and supporters to create an album on the difficulty of navigating mental health issues – and the importance of doing so. Using music as an expressive vehicle, the songs touch on several topics of mental health, including experiencing suicidal thoughts, struggles with depression, anxiety, trauma, and more. A clinical music therapist and community advocate, Kathryn aims to provoke a candid conversation about mental illness through the album. Combining genres of pop, RnB, Americana, and folk, the album’s lead singles “Lullaby (to Preston)" and “Big Steel Wings" have received accolades from American Songwriter Magazine and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, among others. In The Ashes releases nationally October 17, 2017.

The double album-release party concert is held at Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St., NOLA 70115), with doors open at 7p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at http://www.gasagasa.com.

09.27.17Offbeat Magazine Album Review: "In The Ashes" by Kathryn Rose Wood

Kathryn Rose Wood, “In The Ashes" (Independent)

How do you cope with the monumental grief of losing a loved one? Some unfortunately escape into destructive habits, isolation, depression, or worse. Others, the lucky ones, find a way to create from the loss. This is the case with Kathryn Rose Wood’s elegiac debut album In The Ashes. Following the suicide of her nineteen-year-old brother, Kathryn wrote these songs as a way to reach out to those struggling with suicidal thoughts.

This album could easily have become bogged down with the weight of its subject matter, but it doesn’t. It begins with flickering chromatic guitar chords, Kathryn’s ornamented vocals, and plaintive steel guitar on “Lullabye (to Preston)." From there the album seems to float upward, harmonically wandering, restless but hopeful. “Big Steel Wings" is the CDs standout single, with a catchy chorus and a Neil Young–esque rhythmic break that keeps things interesting. Ben Lorio of Music Shed Studios produced the album, which is evident in its rich texture. Its personnel are well-seasoned professionals who’ve played with acts such as Sturgill Simpson, Sweet Crude, Coyotes and Solange.

All together it is a well-packaged collection of songs that is captivating to listen to and will hopefully bring solace to those in despair.

09.21.17Gambit Weekly Interviews Kathryn Rose Wood for Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert

"Music for Mental Health concert brings storytelling and songs to destigmatize mental illness


As part of National Suicide Prevention Month, several New Orleans songwriters have banded together for an intimate performance with a focus on mental health to end stigma surrounding mental illness — with musicians as a medium for discussion. The inaugural Music for Mental Health: An Evening of Song and Discussion on Sept. 22 sidesteps the silos in which people typically discuss mental health and centers it among five artists trading stories and songs in a stripped-down, candid storytelling performance.

"One of the best ways of doing that is music. It’s not confrontational — you don’t meet anyone who doesn’t like music," says singer-songwriter and concert organizer Kathryn Rose Wood, who lost her brother following his suicide two years ago. "That medium where people feel a bit more comfortable or expressive."

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-24.

Roughly 43.8 million in the U.S. (one in five adults) experience mental illness, while 9.8 million people experience a serious mental illness that significantly interferes with or limits their ability to participate in one or more major life activities.

The concert is "something we can do to bring to light the discussion of mental health issues, with a little transparency to people who aren’t hearing this as much and might need to," says Wood, rather than reaching only people working in mental health, or who are receiving services or are in treatment, or have lost a loved one due to suicide.

Performers include Wood, singer-songwriter Mia Borders, Mike Doussan, Kei Slaughter, and rapper Alfred Banks, whose 2017 album The Beautiful illustrates Banks’ reconciliation with his brother’s suicide and his own mental health.

A portion of concert proceeds benefits the New Orleans chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, among the city’s largest mental health advocacy and support services organizations for nearly four decades.

The Brett Thomas Doussan Foundation also will participate and share information about its Music For the Mind campaign, which shares mental health stories from New Orleans musicians.

Music for Mental Health is all ages and runs 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at the U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave.). Tickets are $15."

09.20.17Kathryn Rose Wood and Alfred Banks Live On-Air at WHIV 102.3 FM

Kathryn Rose Wood and New Orleans rapper Alfred Banks stopped by DJ John Paul Carmody\'s Orleans Parish Line show on WHIV 102.3 FM Radio to talk about the inaugural Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert, perform live on-air, and riff on needs in the New Orleans mental health community. Check out the video from the interview at the link provided.

09.19.17Kathryn Rose Wood On-Air with WWOZ 90.7FM

Kathryn and Meghan Goldbeck, of NAMI New Orleans, stopped by WWOZ 90.7 FM to chat with Dj Cole Williams on the New Orleans Music Show about the Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert/Discussion occurring Friday, Sept. 22nd. Check out the in-studio video featuring the discussion and closed by a live performance by Kathryn of "Lullaby (to Preston)" at the link provided.

09.18.17Music for Mental Health Concert featured on WWLTV-Channel 4 News

Kathryn, Kei Slaughter, and Mike Doussan went on WWLTV/WUPL Morning News to discuss the inaugural Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert scheduled Friday, September 22nd at the Mint Museum. Click the link at the bottom of this post to watch the interview and performances, and get your tickets for the show - with all proceeds benefitting NAMI New Orleans - at http://www.musicatthemint.org/events/musicformentalhealth

08.30.17Offbeat Magazine: Five Questions with Kathryn Rose Wood

"Soundcheck: Five Questions With Kathryn Rose Wood, Singer-Songwriter And Music Therapist


O: How does music apply to psychological healing?

KRW: Music is a non-confrontational medium to address difficult issues. Conventional talk therapy can be pretty intimidating, [but] you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hates music. Scientific studies show that music is processed by different sectors of the brain than verbal speech. It even impacts your motor skills—like when you’re working out and your favorite song comes on, you’re more empowered to keep going. A number of studies in the music therapy realm show guided relaxation to music to have profound effects on those with serious anxiety and post-traumatic triggers.kathrynrosewood-riccardoemilien

O: Do mental health issues affect musicians more than others?

KRW: I think it affects all people equally. But if you look at history, musicians and creative type have used art and expression to navigate and cope with their particular issues.

O: Why create this inaugural event, Music for Mental Health?

KRW: In March 2015 my brother Preston committed suicide. I quit music and soon was on a downward spiral. When I finally admitted to myself that music is how I communicate, that’s when I found motivation to keep trying. Our goal in creating this event was that we create a fresh way to reach a community that may not otherwise be inclined to discuss their mental health needs, or admit to themselves that they may need help.

O: How did the benefit concert’s featured musicians come together?

KRW: Alfred Banks was my call, due to his very obvious connections to mental-health issues and music [Banks’ latest album is told from the perspective of a schizophrenic]. Kei Slaughter is also a clinical music therapist and a very talented flute player, keyboard player and guitarist. She’s a big champion of discussing mental health, particularly in the African-American community and the LGBTQ community. Mia Borders has been very candid about how music has helped her overcome anxieties and develop strength and confidence. She’s several years sober now and shows how using music is more cathartic than any bottle of booze could ever be. Mike Doussan and his wife Maggie have been my partners in this project all along. Mike was the one who suggested I reach out to Mia Borders to sign on in the first place. Not to mention, he’s a phenomenal Roots-Rock musician who has used the pain of grief from losing his brother to suicide to create some very vulnerable, sincere music.

O: What is the biggest obstacle to ensuring that New Orleans musicians have adequate access to mental health services?

KRW: Finances and insurance coverage. If you’re a creative type, you hustle—not many of us do the 9–5 jobs that come with built-in health insurance. The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic does a great job in offering resources, but even they can be overwhelmed at times. And there’s the stigma of not having money, and needing help with mental health.

—Frank Etheridge

The Music for Mental Health benefit concert takes place 8 p.m.–10 p.m. Friday, September 22 at the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave.). Tickets $15 (available at musicatthemint.org or at the door)."

08.02.17"Big Steel Wings" Goes LIVE on All Major Digital Music Outlets!

As of July 28, 2017, "Big Steel Wings," the lead single from Kathryn Rose Wood's solo debut album, "In The Ashes," is LIVE on all major digital music media platforms.

You can now stream and download the Americana/roots-rock song written in the midst of acknowledging a major mental health shift via Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, iTunes, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, iHeartMusic, Amazon Music and many more. To view the lyric video for the song, released March 2017, click the Related Site URL link at the bottom of this post.

Happy listening! Please don't hesitate to share with those you care for.

07.05.17Inaugural Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert Debuts September 22

On Friday, September 22nd, 2017, five local musicians will team up to host Music for Mental Health: An Evening of Song and Discussion. The inaugural benefit concert features Alfred Banks, Mia Borders, Mike Doussan, Keisha Slaughter and Kathryn Rose Wood, with proceeds benefitting the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) New Orleans chapter. The concert takes place at the Mint Museum (400 Esplanade Ave., NOLA 70116) from 8-10pm, with doors at 7:30pm. An all-ages event, tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at http://www.musicatthemint.org or at the door.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month; all month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote resources and raise awareness around the issues of suicide prevention and mental health de-stigmatization. In commemoration of National Suicide Prevention Month, the partnering musicians present an intimate concert centered on the role of utilizing music as an expressive outlet, coping tool and connector for navigating mental health challenges. For Banks, Doussan, and Wood, this also includes having experienced losing a family member to suicide and using music to channel the grief related to these painful losses. In a stripped-down, conversational setting, Banks, Borders, Doussan, Slaughter, and Wood will join each other on stage sharing songs and conversation about these experiences all in an effort to bring more transparency to the discussion and de-stigmatization of mental illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) New Orleans Chapter is the city’s leading mental health organization, working year-round to offer hope, help and healing to people with mental illness – and to those who share their lives. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24. In 2016 alone, 42,733 Americans died by suicide; 90% of individuals who died by suicide experienced mental illness. NAMI works to alleviate the burden dealing with mental health challenges bears by offering education, support services and advocacy efforts to help individuals and families coping with the effects of mental illness. They also offer psychosocial rehabilitation services for people with mental illness, such as housing, job training and placement, and social skills development. The musicians are proud to donate proceeds from Music for Mental Health: An Evening of Song and Discussion to continue NAMI New Orleans’ impactful efforts.

For more information about the inaugural Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert, consult http://www.musicatthemint.org and for more information about NAMI New Orleans, contact https://namineworleans.org

06.02.17ARC GNO's Uptown Community Center Celebrates Opening with Kathryn Rose Wood

The Arc of Greater New Orleans hosted their Uptown Community Center's Grand Opening May 24, 2017. The center was transformed from a children’s learning center to a community center for adult participants in Arc programs. City officials, community leaders, Arc neighbors and friends were invited to tour the center and learn more about the different programs and activities Arc is involved in.

Kathryn Rose Wood, a long-time volunteer at the center providing pro-bono group music therapy sessions to the participants, entertained the guests with a special interactive musical set. Also featuring Elliot Slater, a local guitarist known for performing rock and funk music with Stooges Brass Band, Nyce!, and Ted Hefko, they welcomed several of the ARC GNO day-habilitation participants on-stage for some exciting solo and duet performances. InterAct NOLA, Arc’s theatre troupe, also performed songs from their musical anti-bullying campaign, “Spread the Word to End the Word," alluding to the “R" word, retarded.

In addition, artist Troy Guilbeaux of Guilbeaux Gallery led a live art mural during the opening. He, along with several Arc participants, finished a large New Orleans cityscape mural Guilbeaux created for the center.

To read more about the event and learn more of the ARC GNO, one of Kathryn Rose Wood's favorite places in the world (!), go to http://www.arcgno.org/news/

05.09.17National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Features "Big Steel Wings" Online

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has chosen to feature "Big Steel Wings," the lead single from my forthcoming mental-health-focused album ('In the Ashes,' due Fall 2017), and it's accompanying essay on their homepage at www.nami.org. I am honored that this incredible mental health organization, committed to de-stigmatizing mental illness and advocacy through active engagement and research, has deemed my music as worthy of sharing in this capacity; moments like this confirm so much why I continue to write and share music, despite the emotional discomfort often coming with it. Check out the essay at the link below, and share with those you care for. We've got a long, long way to go, but we can all start with candid, open conversations about our experiences with mental illness.


04.06.17Lilith in LOA Bar Songwriter Series Concludes Tonight!

It has been a joy and honor to develop, curate, and host the Lilith in LOA Bar Songwriter Series for nearly one year. Every week, we've highlighted some of the absolute top-notch, mostly female songwriting talent of New Orleans and beyond. Between the collaborations, interviews, and camaraderie, I can't think of a better way to lay some roots in this lovely songwriting community.

Please come join me tonight as we commemorate the final month of the series! We welcome Esther Rose back to the stage, and finish the rest of the month with guest sets from Mikayla Braun, Natalie Mae Palms and Kayla Jasmine (Tank & The Bangas). We have some lovely collaborations planned for you, and some special guests, as well. A huge thanks to all who have been a part of the series from start-to finish.

Natalie Mae Palms, Maggie Belle, Daria Dzurik (Daria & The Hip Drops), Erika Flowers, Keisha Slaughter

Molly Portier (Blonde Roses), Mikayla Braun, Lily Virginia (NYC), Caitlin Preston-Fulton (Simple Sound Retreat)

Alexis Marceaux (Sweet Crude, Alexis & The Samurai), Jordan Gonzalez, Tarriona "Tank" Ball (Tank & The Bangas), Alex Bosworth

Sybil Shanell (A Lovely Triangle, Cecilia's Asylum Chorus), Amy Trail (Amy Trail Band), Hannah Kreiger-Benson (Hannah KB Band, Asylum Chorus), Aaron Lopez-Barrantes, Kristina Morales

Cherie LeJeune (formerly of Wooden Wings), Joy Clark, Lacey Troutman, Christin Bradford

Arsene DeLay, Margie Perez, Tasche De La Rocha

Danielle Ryce (NYCE), Darcy Malone (D.M. & The Tangle), Cole Williams, Ruby Rendrag (Ruby & the Rogues), Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph (Tank & The Bangas)

Mykia Jovan, Lynn Drury, Dana Abbott, Kristen Taffaro

Kristin Diable, Bobbie Rae, Esther Rose

Mia Borders, Chelsea Hines (Toonces), Sarah Quintana, Keisha Slaughter, Noelle Tannen

Esther Rose, Kayla Jasmine (Tank & The Bangas), Natalie Mae Palms, Mikayla Braun

03.25.17Kathryn Rose Wood releases "Big Steel Wings" from 'In the Ashes' album today.

It is with much gratitude and intent that I release "Big Steel Wings" today, one day before the second anniversary of Preston's death – March 26, 2015. "Big Steel Wings" is the lead single from “In the Ashes," my forthcoming, crowdfunded album featuring music written amidst a formidable, lengthy grief-turned-trauma-turned-suicidal-depression process. Co-written with the incredible Tyler Cottrell, “Big Steel Wings" delves into recognizing whatever sense of safety and control you had over your own body, your emotions, your mind is failing quickly. And maybe, most importantly, savoring the experience as perhaps the last time you might ever feel a semblance of hope, again.

This song, as well as “Lullaby (to Preston)" and several others, are being shared in this album so that others may find connection, support, encouragement, and motivation to persist through the music. It is my hope that “Big Steel Wings" helps to start a conversation for those who may be feeling similarly, or know someone who is. Please share with someone you love. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please SPEAK. It is okay to feel negatively, to feel darkness, and to express that - but also, know that there is someone who will help you to keep fighting. Dial 2-1-1 COPE Line for immediate assistance, if you feel you cannot reach out to a loved one. You are worth it.

Download "Big Steel Wings" at https://soundcloud.com/kathrynrosewood/big-steel-wings/s-O4sWv or https://kathrynrosewood.bandcamp.com/track/big-steel-wings

02.01.17Kathryn Rose Wood appears in New Orleans Magazine with NOLA Cherry Bombs

When not performing, writing songs, or doing music therapy, Kathryn Rose Wood lets off some steam by dancing with New Orleans-based Mardi Gras dance troupe NOLA Cherry Bombs. The NOLA Cherry Bombs were selected to be featured in the February 2017 issue of New Orleans Magazine for the cover article, "Dancin in the Street: Pun-Filled Groups Bring Entertainment to Parade Route." Click the link provided to see Kathryn in the NOLA Cherry Bombs feature!

11.01.16Kathryn Rose Wood Successfully Crowdfunds "In the Ashes"

Thanks to many generous friends, fans, and supporters, Kathryn Rose Wood has successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign via IndieGogo to fund her forthcoming solo album "In the Ashes." A collection of music written in the wake of her younger brother's suicide, the album takes on the unique perspective of navigating grief from a suicide while falling to issues of depression and trauma in the aftermath of loss. A wide array of musicians and topics are tackled in this poignant album, and the success of the campaign ensures it will receive all the care and attention the music deserves.

The campaign does feature Flexible Funding, so while the official goal date has been met, further contributions will be honored if you feel inclined to contribute. To read more, go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/in-the-ashes-an-album-on-grief-loss-renewal and anticipate an album release date for Fall 2017.

09.20.16Kathryn Rose Wood teams up with the Brett Thomas Doussan Foundation

The Brett Thomas Doussan Foundation, a New Orleans based non-profit dedicated to raising mental health awareness by means of advocacy, education, and music featured Kathryn Rose Wood as one of their "Music for the Mind" Campaign's spokespeople. Kathryn was selected largely in part to her vocal musical discussion about losing a loved one to suicide, and living with mental health issues, as well as for her work as a clinical music therapist. Check out the link provided to read the full interview and learn about about the "Music for the Mind" campaign.

08.21.16Kathryn Rose Wood on WWL Morning News Discussing Lilith in LOA

Kathryn Rose Wood was featured on New Orleans' Channel 4 WWL Morning News for her role as host of the Lilith in LOA Bar Songwriter Series. She also performed an original song from her forthcoming album and several duets with frequent collaborator Mikayla Braun while on the segment. Click the link to see more!

07.01.16Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network features "Lullaby (to Preston)"

Out of the Shadows, a bi-monthly digital and print publication released by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, has featured Kathryn Rose Wood's song "Lullaby (to Preston)," and accompanying essay -
previously published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in their July/August 2016 written release.

From the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network: "Out of the Shadows evolved from a suggestion taken at a TSPN Advisory Council meeting regarding an outlet for supporting suicide survivors and promoting local support group meetings. Each edition of this bimonthly newsletter include articles and poetry associated with the grief and recovery process, and also artwork from various sources. It will also include a remembrance section for people who have died by suicide, contact information for local support groups, and information about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline." Kathryn Rose Wood is honored to be featured in this publication, and for a further chance to reach out to those who have lost loved ones to suicide, or are considering suicide themselves. Click the Related URL at the bottom of this post to read the article.

06.02.16Lilith in LOA Bar Series, Hosted by Kathryn Rose Wood, Featured by Offbeat Magazine

"The LOA Bar at New Orleans’ International House Hotel has announced a new (and free) weekly showcase of local female singer-songwriters.

The series–dubbed “Lilith in LOA"–will kick off tonight with a set from Natalie Mae. Upcoming performers include Maggie Belle, Daria Dzurik, Keisha Slaughter and Erika Flowers.

Lilith in LOA will be hosted by New Orleans-based songwriter and musician Kathryn Rose Wood. It will take place each Thursday from 8pm to 10pm.

“I have dreamed of an event like this in New Orleans for as long as I have been making music here," Rose wrote in a Facebook post. “And it is an honor and privilege to not only take part, but HOST, this incredible forum for the songwriting talent of this magical city!"

According to the series’ artwork, Lilith in LOA is “inspired by era-defining songwriters and their legendary bohemian enclaves."

Here’s a look at Lilith and LOA’s upcoming schedule:

June 2 – Natalie Mae
June 9 – Maggie Belle of Maggie Belle Band
June 16 – Daria Dzurik of Daria & The Hip Drops
June 23 – Keisha Slaughter
June 30 – Erika Flowers"

- Sam D'Arcangelo, Offbeat Magazine

03.01.16"Lullaby (To Preston)" featured on To Write Love On Her Arms' Official Blog

Kathryn Rose Wood's song "Lullaby (to Preston)" was featured by national suicide prevention and mental health awareness organization To Write Love On Her Arms' user-supported blog. Check out the feature and post at the link below!

02.11.16Kathryn Rose Wood as American Songwriter Magazine's Daily Discovery

Kathryn Rose Wood's song "Lullaby (to Preston)" was featured on American Songwriter Magazine's website as their Daily Discover on February 11, 2016. Click the link to check it out!

01.06.16Kathryn Rose Wood's Essay on Loss Featured by National Alliance on Mental Illness

Kathryn Rose Wood's essay on grief over the loss of a loved one to suicide, "For When You Want a Lullaby: An Essay on Loss," was featured by the National Alliance on Mental Illness' website as part of their campaign, "Share Your Story." The campaign intends to portray stories from those facing mental health issues and challenges to normalize the stigma surrounding mental health. Kathryn's song, "Lullaby (to Preston)" was also featured. Click the link to read more!

01.05.16Kathryn Rose Wood Releases "Lullaby (To Preston)" Mental Health Project via Elephant Journal

Kathryn Rose Wood is proud to release "Lullaby (to Preston)" today, with the help of internationally-known mindfulness blog Elephant Journal. Written after her 19-year-old brother, Preston, committed suicide, the song is not only a letter to Preston, a form of all the things she still longs to communicate to him, but to the many others who are struggling to speak their fears, challenges, frustrations, and anxieties. "Lullaby (to Preston)" is available to stream and download on all major music outlets, including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon Music, Google Play, YouTube, Soundcloud, and more. Elephant Journal's feature for the song, and the essay Kathryn Rose Wood contributed in support of the song, can be found at the "Related URL" link at the bottom of this post. Watch the video at and please share with those you love, those who may need to be reminded they are loved.

05.19.14Gravy Flavored Kisses Standout at Bayou Boogaloo Festival

"Sunday brought many special events to the (Bayou) Boogaloo, including the Rubber Duck Derby and a bicycle second line, which weaved its way around Mid-City, arriving back at the Boogaloo just as Funk Monkey began their set on the Mothership Foundation Dumaine Stage....

Part funk, part psychadelia, Gravy Flavored Kisses blared their unique blend of rock beginning at 3:30 p.m. on the Abita Lafitte Stage. Their Boogaloo set was strong, but of a particular note was their cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade."

Their first few songs gave off a strong Jefferson Airplane vibe, with Kathryn Rose Wood in the Grace Slick role, if Slick was able to bust out with some mad rhymes mid-set. Not just any band can do justice to a Rage song, but Gravy Flavored Kisses took care of business and made it stand out. Catch their upcoming shows in Orange Beach, Ala. from June 6-7."

- Lead D. Nelson, Axs.com

04.01.13Social Set's Debut Album Reviewed in Offbeat Magazine

"Celebrate is an apt name for this self-released record from the New Orleans five piece Social Set. The five songs here include 3 upbeat tracks and 2 slower numbers. All are marked by simple, straight ahead backbeats great for dancing on the faster tunes and contemplation on the mellower numbers. Kathryn Rose Wood’s guitars play clean melodies and sparse riffs that don’t get in the way of the rest of the instruments. There are an array of Emmanuel Catanzariti’s keyboards here with a Rhodes electric piano doing most of work with touches of other electronics dotting the songs. Several tunes also feature a saxophone riffing off the vocals or adding solos that sound like late 1970s radio pop hits in the best of ways. The sound of the band mixes a neo-jazz chord sensibility and solo sense with early 1980s East Coast new wave and mid 1990s European music of the same vein. There is an element of the Sundays and Cardigans here too. What really takes this recording to another level is Wood’s vocals. She sings in a high register, giving the songs a lightness and prettiness in keeping with the overall attitude of the record. But such lightness does not keep her from digging in at times and really singing. She also swings hard, spacing out her notes and words over the arrangements like a jazz singer and adding an additional dance element to the songs. For a debut, this is a fine recording, and it makes listeners want to hear what Social Set can do over a full length set."

- David Kunian, Offbeat Magazine, April 2013

02.19.13Social Set's Debut Album Featured on GoInvade.com

"Upbeat, creative and funky. This is Social Set, New Orleans based band that blends RnB with rock. The jazz inspired instrumentation and girlish vocals are an eclectic mix that keeps you grooving. Their debut EP release, “Celebrate," is certainly worth a listen."
- Justin Shiels, GoInvade.com

01.31.13Social Set Album Release Party Featured as Weekend Pick by NOLA Defender

A dimly lit bar sets the mood for newly formed R&B quintet Social Set's first video, its slightly blurred patrons all smiles and joy. “Ridiculous" is the “Just Got Paid" for a new generation, following an unlucky protagonist who is determined not to let any small mishaps get in the way of a good time.

The song name checks New Orleans' rowdier bars (Snake and Jake's and Miss Mae's) as effortlessly as its seamless breakdown builds on that boozy energy, swirling sax trills through crashing drums and amped up keys.

If that opening track to Social Set's debut EP is significant of anything, it's their highly refined sound, which Social Set marks as a particular point of pride given their young status.

“[Social Set] is a recently formed project but it doesn't sound like it to me, given our background," says frontwoman Kathryn Rose Wood. Wood first met the musicians who would help form Social Set at Loyola. That shared link aids greatly to the band's musical chemistry

“Loyola, like the city that it's in, functions like a community. There's always that competitive aspect but everyone understands that no one's going to get anywhere unless they help each other," explains keyboardist Emmanuel Catanzariti, “Ironically, with the exception of Kathryn [Rose Wood], I'd played with all the other members in this band, so it was really easy to get into a groove."

The five-piece initially began to take shape after Wood was asked to play a benefit show after gaining recognition at The Plus One Show at Carrollton Station, which takes one musician with one song and keeps adding from there.

“It gets to a point where you're playing five songs with five different people," says Wood, who was asked by a friend to play some of her acoustic songs at the semi-open mic event.

After assembling her initial line-up for that benefit performance, “it became more than just some tunes I'd been writing," Wood continues.

Celebrate drops as more of a release to test the waters, showcasing Social Set's strongest songs out of many more within their roster of more than twenty. Such a prolific catalog came from doing weekly gigs on Frenchmen; gigs that stretched for three hour intervals or longer.

“We'd be churning out as many songs as possible and we'd also play a handful of covers," says Woods, “'I Need More Love' by Robert Randolph, we love. We also do some newer stuff like Blackstreet's 'No Diggity'. It's kinda silly but a lot of fun."

The band's first single to come out of their five song EP is the evocative “Voodoo". The track starts off with Wood's untamed vocals casting an ethereal spell on all who listen. The fervor dies down, becoming more polished and honed as the song progresses, adding dashes of saxophone and keys to the musical mix. “Voodoo" clearly samples from the broad range of subjects around the Crescent City, yet stands as a more universal incantation of love.

“Lyrically, some of it is that typical romance but some of it is trying to reach beyond that to a bigger message," Wood explains, “I have a background in music therapy. Music is very therapeutic and I think that one of the goals is if you're going to make music, why not try to really connect with the listener?"

Wood and drummer Brian Fleischer both work as music therapists, with Fleischer teaching drums at the New Orleans Academy of Music. Wood also teaches guitar and piano at the Jewish Community Center. All five members are Loyola alumni and many have their hands in other musical projects as well. Their unique experiences and backgrounds contribute heavily to the Social Set sound.

“It's very eclectic in some ways. Like, I have a background in jazz piano but I don't really play jazz anymore. I feel like that aspectis always going to be present because I played it so much though," Catanzariti says, “And really, just funk and blues. It's difficult to put my finger on what you could compare us to and I guess that's a positive thing. There are dynamics to every song comparatively to other songs."

Those diverse tracks will be on full display at Social Set's EP release party Thursday, January 31 at Maison's Penthouse.

“We're more of a live band," Catanzariti explains, “With the EP we're trying to capture the energy that comes with that live sound, wherepeople aren't necessarily sitting in their seats when they're listening to music. We want to try to get people to get up and move. Music makes you feel good but that doesn't necessarily make us a feel good band. We try to make a distinction between the two. We're trying to transcend the boundary of convenience while still trying to maintain that fun-loving aspect."

Expect quite a few surprises from Social Set's celebratory performance, including another cover in the works. “We also have another tune," Wood says excitedly, “The bands playing with us are gonna jam with us. It's gonna be a big party."

- April Siese, NOLA Defender