In Recognition of National Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women's Day, Folk Artist Kate MacLeod Releases New Single


In recognition of National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Day which falls annually on May 5.





"I’m releasing this song on April 23, 2024, to recognize National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Day which falls annually on May 5. This day is recognized in both Canada and the United States. The song is not a happy one, instead, it speaks to the horror of lives being cut short often before they have had the time to blossom. It was born from empathy, grief, sorrow, and justified indignation. Not only is the murder rate on reservations ten times higher than the national average for women, but murder is the third leading cause of death for Native women, with the victims ranging in age from infants to the elderly. I ask that once you listen to this song, please consider making a monetary donation to this, or a similar organization: 

My interests in the issues of missing and murdered women stem from a variety of sources; my own experiences as a woman navigating an historically misogynistic culture, my inclinations towards activism, living in the American West where many reservations exist, and from having survived my own experiences with abuse against women. Although my family line is not from the First Nations of the Western Hemisphere, I have roots in tribal cultures form other lands. I hope that this song is accepted as a gesture of empathy.

Joining me on vocals is Carla Halverson Eskelsen, a strong and beautiful voice from out of the American West. Carla’s voice is a centerpiece in the Utah acoustic music community. She is a songwriter who performs with guitar, autoharp, and various stringed instruments. Carla is also a poet. We have sung together over many years for various projects and events. Bob Smith, who joined on percussion, has performed with me and recorded on productions of mine for many years. The acoustic bassist, Robert Dow, is a bow maker for stringed instruments who has been performing with me since we met at the Violin Making School of America where we have both been students and employees."-- Kate MacLeod


ABOUT THE VIDEO: Video footage - Kate MacLeod, Jeanette Bonnell
Photos - Jeanette Bonnell//Additional public domain and licensed images are included.

"This video accompanies the recorded track of “The Woman You Will Never Know”. I created this video myself, without frills, purposely navigating away from a highly commercial production. I was aiming for a direct and uncomplicated presentation of the deep subject matter in the song, expressing my personal connection to the issues, like a handwritten letter. I end the video with the question, “How can we help?”

The stationary performances of mine were taken in my home recording studio in Salt Lake City where I often record, videotape, and produce projects. Some of the outdoor video footage and landscape photos were taken in and around Torrey, Utah, which lies in the central area of the state, by my assistant and personal friend Jeanette Bonnell. Jeanette and I often travel together and have deep conversations about women’s issues while on the road. On the music track and in the video I’m playing my favorite guitar, my 1961 Gibson J45. I’ve also included in the music, and on the video, my least expensive but hypnotically beautiful sounding violin, an old American fiddle made in Ohio."-- Kate MacLeod



Neo-Traditionalist musician, Kate MacLeod, personifies the definition of Americana. As stated by SingOut! Magazine, she "channels the spirit of the great Carter Family classics.” Kate brings music to you through her original songs, fiddle instrumentals, and creative renditions of traditional and popular music. She plays fiddle, guitar, and Appalachian mountain dulcimer, and performs primarily with a 3-6 piece band of accompanying musicians. Since her first recording (produced by Charles Sawtelle of Hot Rize) her songs have been recorded by other musicians from California to the Czech Republic. Performing artists such as Grammy-winning Bluegrass musician Laurie Lewis, and Mollie O'Brien, sing her songs regularly, and Tim O'Brien produced her Blooming recording with an all-star band including Tim, Darrell Scott, Byron House, and the late Kenny Malone. Kate has toured in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and the UK. She was chosen for the Best of the West Award, 2019, by the Far-West division of the Folk Alliance International. In addition to her Americana music, her original instrumental pieces are well suited for film soundtracks and have been used in a variety of documentaries. Her current projects include recording new renditions of songs by the American folk musician, Kentucky-born Jean Ritchie. Kate resides in both Salt Lake City, UT, and Harpers Ferry, WV.

Kate's songwriting style and live performances display an unbreakable link between traditional music and cutting-edge contemporary songwriting. Whether in a song or on her violin, she captures our history, landscapes, and our lives in the varied music that she creates. She has been compared to many influential artists of her genre including Joni Mitchell, Nanci Griffith, Richard Thompson, and Emmylou Harris. Since her first recording release, her songs have been covered by Folk, Celtic, Bluegrass and roots music genres including artists such as Mollie O'Brien, Laurie Lewis, Andrew Calhoun, One Shilling Short, Loose Ties, Rose Laughlin, and many others. Something Left You Living, a song from her Blooming recording, was featured on NPR's song showcase "What's in a Song." Kate's songs have been featured on nationally syndicated radio shows including Tom May's “River City Folk,” and were sung by others on “A Prairie Home Companion.

Kate's musicianship has been featured in a number of documentaries aired on PBS stations including My Canyonlands: Kent Frost, We Sagebrush Folks, and Zion Canyon Song Cycle..

Kate was recipient of the 2018 Minnie Jane Artist-in-Resident Scholarship from Pendle Hill Quaker Study and Retreat Center, completing a three-month residency during which she composed a collection of peace-motivating and inspirational music titled A Harmonious Sound.

She has twice been Artist-in-Resident for The Entrada Institute, an environmental and arts organization based in Southern Utah. Her residence with the organization led to a large repertoire of music based on the Western desert and history.

Kate supports other artists by helping with production. Kate donated her production services and time to the 2011 U. Utah Phillips commemorative CD, Long Gone. It features Phillips’ songs, recorded by musicians in the Utah region who had been influenced by, and even had been taught music by U. Utah Phillips. The project was organized by his son Duncan Phillips who is the mastermind behind Phillips’ archives; The Long Memory Project.

Kate donated three years of volunteer service to the Innocence Project, where she united musicians for playing and performing music. Some of the musicians that she aided had spent as many as 28 years in prison, due to wrongful convictions.

Kate regularly donates her time and music to activist organizations working for peace and social justice concerns, this has included Adopt-a-Future, Pandos (Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue and Organizing Support), the Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and The Entrada Institute. She regularly plays for the Heart and Soul organization of Utah, an organization that brings musicians into hospitals, convalescent centers, and schools. She performs and has collaborated on recordings with musicians such as songwriter and traditional folk singer Kat Eggleston, the Cowboy, Bluegrass and Celtic music specialist Skip Gorman, composer Phillip Bimstein, and with pianist Robin Spielberg in her American Tapestry trio.

In addition to her performing, she teaches songwriting and fiddle workshops in schools, concert outreach programs, summer camps and at music festivals. She is a sought after vocalist, fiddler and guitar player, working regularly with other artists.