Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley – Double Bill Ten Pound Fiddle Show

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Michigan, Music

An evening of bliss: A double bill featuring outstanding singer-songwriters Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing.

Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing

Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley – Double Bill Ten Pound Fiddle show in Lansing

Our friend Kate Peterson is an exceptional person in so many ways, with music being one of them. While music is certainly an integral part of who she is, Kate hasn’t done that many live performances since the infinite hiatus of Nervous But Excited. So when I saw she had a show coming up in East Lansing, I asked Brenda if she’d like to go. With a very enthusiastic response of “YES!” I nabbed a couple of tickets. The show (produced by Ten Pound Fiddle Concerts and Dances and held at the University United Methodist Church) was billed as a doubleheader featuring Kate along with another singer-songwriter, Katie Stanley.

Ten Pound What?

Ten Pound Fiddle. I thought that was a fun name and had no clue about this organization prior to the show. It turns out that this group of amazing volunteers has been putting on folk shows and dances for nearly 50 years! I won’t rehash the history of how Ten Pound Fiddle came up with their name, as they have a great story on their site. Many thanks to the volunteers for putting on this wonderful show.

Math is not my strong suit and the Joy of Eating Sandwiches in a Parking Lot

Before I share some thoughts on the music from the Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley show, I’ve got to tell you about my failed plans for dinner. Brenda asked what time we needed to leave for the show earlier in the day. My initial thought was 4 pm. The show is at 7:30. We’ll eat dinner on the way; we live a little over an hour away, so 4 pm. Then I thought, that seems too early. Doing the math in my head, I changed my mind and said, “Oh wait, we don’t need to leave until 5:30.” So we went about our day’s work on various projects.

Just after 5, Brenda asks, “So what time should we head out?” I pulled up our trusty buddy Google for directions and got a revised travel time based on traffic. Here, I realized that we wanted to leave at 4! We sprinted out of the house as I mentally berated myself for my shitty math skills and poor planning. 

We had hoped to stop at Old Nation Brewing in Williamston for dinner and then head to East Lansing for the show. Driving in rush hour traffic, I watched the clock tick away. We arrived at Old Nation, and there was a wait time of over an hour. Again, I was pissed at myself for jacking this up. We decided to head toward the show and maybe find something fast on the way.

By the time we got to the United Methodist Church, we had about 30 minutes to get dinner, so the nearby Korean restaurant was out. However, the local Fresh Thyme Market was in. We grabbed a couple of turkey sandwiches, a tall boy of Zombie Dust beer, and a bottle of wine. Sitting in our car in the parking lot outside Fresh Thyme, we enjoyed sandwiches and beverages. We laughed. While not the dinner we had hoped for, it turned out to be damn good and, most of all, speedy. We made it into the show with about 10 minutes to spare.

Katie Stanley

This was my first time hearing Katie Stanley. I hope it isn’t the last. Katie was joined on stage by her writing partner and fellow guitarist Vaughn Mortimer. Together, they gave a performance that was captivating and delightful. Using a variety of tunings, their music resonates with the rich earthiness of classic country and Americana. There is also a deep well of soul that bubbles below the surface. The guitars weave a tapestry, with Vaughn sprinkling in colors via some fine runs across the fretboard that added brightness behind Katie’s lush vocals. A kick drum on a few tunes provided a primal heartbeat to the music.

Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing
Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing

While Katie’s entire set was super, I was physically moved by the song “From Another Life.” The hairs rose on my arms as the emotion of this song flowed into me. The modulating notes within the vocal chorus and the song structure made me think of the great Nick Drake. With a touch of sweet sadness, this song brought me so much joy. I wasted no time getting on Apple Music to buy Katie’s latest album, Drag in the Infinite, where you can find this wonderful song and many more.

Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing
Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing

Kate Peterson

After listening to Katie Stanley, I couldn’t help but think about what a fantastic treat this evening was shaping up to be, as I knew that my heart would be full when I heard the music of Kate Peterson. She started with her love song to “Lansing, ” setting the tone for the entire evening. That clear tone, sounding both warm and close, was joy.

Part of what makes Kate’s shows special is her conversation with the audience between songs. There is an endearing, self-effacing quality that makes you feel like you are genuinely part of the conversation—as if she is in your living room sharing her music with you.

Tonight, she shared a bit about her profound experience seeing the recent total eclipse. It caused her to reflect on how awesome the universe is and how we are just a small piece of this enormous space. With those thoughts in mind, she played “Roots,” with its message of precious time. 

Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing
Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing

Kate was joined onstage by her wife Leah for the song “Lucky.” It was clear watching them that they do indeed feel like the luckiest people on earth to have found each other. The patented shoulder shrugs in unison during the chorus gave us all another reason to smile and feel good.

After a rocking version of “Crying,” followed by tremendous applause, Kate came off the stage, where she met up with Leah. Outside the bright stage lights, becoming part of the audience, they sang the song “Heavy.” Here, the powerful chorus of “Leave what’s heavy behind” resonated within us all.

Kate had mentioned at some point in the show that she wanted to bring joy to others. I felt an immense amount of joy from this performance and this day. A failed dinner due to poor math turned into a moment with Brenda that will always make me smile. Seeing and hearing Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley provided a joyful conclusion to our day, which made it that much more memorable.

Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing
Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing


There are a few more photos of Katie Stanley and Kate Peterson in our gallery. Feel free to download them and share them.

Kate Peterson and Katie Stanley in East Lansing

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