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The Loop Pedal Singer and the Upside Down Guitarist: Kate Watts and Tessa Devine

By Hannah Haggarty - 3 October 2014 1

I like Little Brooklyn.  It’s a quaint little venue but it’s always had quite a big crowd. It keeps gigs intimate, but there’s still that popularity factor that entices the less musically inclined to venture in for a drink, or dinner, thus involving them with the local music scene – intentionally or not.

Kate Watts is a stunning blues and roots guitarist and lead singer of the recently disbanded group ‘The Blue Ruins’. She has a stunning side-style mop of dreads and an infectious smile – but that voice. If you hadn’t witnessed it with your own eyes, you’d swear it came from a big-breasted, large lipped Alabama native or someone similarly southern-esque. The sound that comes from this itty-bitty, dread locked beauty is phenomenal.  Her confidence on stage, presenting this awe-inspiring platter of sexy blues is completely captivating. I was also thrown, as a (mediocre) guitarist myself, to see that she was playing her guitar upside down.  Definitely something I’ll have to play with (I’ll get back to you).

If you ever stumble upon her playing somewhere live, I strongly suggest you hop to it and immerse yourself in her sound. Alternatively, if you are interested you can purchase The Blue Ruins recent album ‘Bleed’ by contacting Kate on her facebook page.

I hadn’t seen Tessa perform before so I was pretty interested, especially when quite a few local musicians and their friends had such great things to say about her.  I was especially interested when the loop pedal was plugged in and she set up two mics.

She was funny, witty, playful with the crowd and at one stage when the cord fell out of her guitar and the sound stopped, she continued to sing her amazing song ‘Canvas’ to the resounding beat of the audience clapping along. It was quite a friendly moment between us, the listeners, and her, the wonderfully calm-for-the-situation songstress.

Every song was accompanied by a very deliberate tapping beat, some slapping of strings and the mystifying sound of the loop pedal repeating her wonderful voice, in all its many sounds, back to the audience.  An experience that I would love to be a part of many times over. If you love a bit of indie acoustic talent, get along here and purchase Tessa’s EP ‘Paper People’ and come to her next show at OJO’s in Tuggeranong on October 24th.

What’s Your opinion?


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One Response to
The Loop Pedal Singer and the Upside Down Guitarist: Kate Watts and Tessa Devine
gospeedygo 11:29 pm 03 Oct 14

> I was also thrown, as a (mediocre) guitarist myself, to see that she was playing her guitar upside down. Definitely something I’ll have to play with (I’ll get back to you)

She probably started learning with access to only right handed guitars and the technique must have stuck which is probably the hardest way to learn coz’ upstrokes aren’t the most natural movements.

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