How it all started… A career in Country Music didn’t even seem like a possibility for aspiring artist, Kate Hasting. Growing up in the small town of New Carlisle, Ohio, Kate had always been active in any type of performing the community had to offer—but the bright lights of Nashville seemed just a little too far out of reach. “Most people around here stay around here. Why wouldn’t they? This area has everything you need. I love the small town feeling of knowing my way around and knowing everyone,” Kate reflects, “I guess the thought of leaving New Carlisle or my family to further my love for writing and singing seemed a little far-fetched”.
That all changed when Kate first came into contact with friend and writing partner, Matt Washburn, also a Clark Co. Ohio native. “Matt heard that I sang, and I heard that he wrote, so we just decided to compare notes one night,” recalls Kate. It didn’t take long for the two to come up with a few original songs together. “I was still learning to play guitar, but wrote lyrics and melodies. Matt, who’s a great guitarist, was able to take the ideas I had and put a chord progression to them. It was really cool and we knew we were on to something…”
Raised on her family farm and showing horses for ten years, it is easy to see where Kate’s inspiration and passion for Country Music comes from. “While everyone growing up was listening to Hanson and The Spice Girls, my parents took shelter in the more conservative music of Garth Brooks and George Strait. We have multiple home videos of my brother and I putting on concerts pretending to be Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood,” Kate laughs. Kate’s love of that music is evident in the songs she writes. “I like traditional Country Music as well as the music being made today—I’m as much influenced by Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn as I am Taylor Swift and Hillary Scott.”
Matt’s sister who lives in Nashville, urged the two to bring their act to the town. Kate and Matt started frequenting Nashville and they were able to record their first original EP. “I really have Matt to thank for pushing me in the direction I’m headed now.” Kate says, “He has seen something in me from day one that I wasn’t always able to see.” Kate and Matt continue to work together while pursuing separate career goals. Kate started playing live shows around Ohio while traveling to Nashville to work with experienced song writers.
“I heard a quote once about asking yourself what you would be willing to do that no one else would be willing to do to have what you wanted or to be who you wanted to be. That quote really got to me. This business is unpredictable and it’s way outside of most people’s comfort zone—even mine—but it’s what I love. I truly believe the best things in life are worth taking a chance for…and that’s what I am doing with music.”
Fast forward to the formation of THE KATE HASTING BAND… For the next two years Kate would beat the path between Ohio and Nashville writing, recording, making contacts and laying the groundwork for what would become The Kate Hasting Band. When Kate was introduced to lead guitarist Jonathan Womacks, she knew it was a perfect fit… “Jonathan never misses a lick—he can make a guitar sing. I like how hard he pushes me to be a better artist. Jonathan will not settle for less than perfection!” says Kate.
“I knew I needed a top-notch acoustic guitar player to really set this thing in motion.” She met singer/songwriter Josh Beale at a writer’s round in Nashville, Tennessee and remembers thinking, “This guy looks like a rock star. He was one of the most rhythmically driven acoustic players I had ever seen. Josh being a phenomenal song writer and vocalist was icing on the cake.” Josh has since joined the team and is a fundamental part of the song writing process.
Kate made Nashville her home in June, 2011 and she and Josh make trips to Ohio for rehearsals and shows. It may seem that having band members living in two states would get complicated but the team claims it gives them the very best of both worlds. “We get to build this thing from two perspectives,” says Kate. “When the wheels turn slowly in Nashville, it is great to come back to Ohio, play a show and remember why you are doing what you are doing.” Kate and Josh play shows and writer’s rounds, and work through writing sessions in Nashville while Jonathan keeps things rocking in Ohio. On learning the ropes, Kate laughs, “I think it’s a little silly that some people move to Nashville wanting to play in the “majors” without first playing the “minors”. I think you have to play for five people before you can ever consider playing for 5,000! At my first show in Nashville I didn’t have a wireless microphone…I walked too far and unplugged myself in the middle of a song. Delivering your music properly is as important as writing it well.” “It has all been kind of crazy, I went from having a few friends come to hear me at a coffee shop on ‘open mic’ night, to our band singing for 2000 people opening the Kellie Pickler show,” Kate laughs. “Things have definitely changed!”
The Kate Hasting Band recently released their new EP, “Country Music” recorded with Grammy-winning Nashville producer, Chad Carlson along with guitarist and co-producer, Rob McNelley. “We wanted to create a record that you want to listen to from start to finish,” remarks Hasting. “I write and sing about the things I experienced growing up on a farm and living in a small community, while adding enough edge to get people out of their seats and dancing at a show!”
2013 is going to be a BIG year for Kate Hasting, Josh Beale, and Jonathan Womacks–
THE KATE HASTING BAND!