Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Katy Moffatt 

Saturday, January 5, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Katy Moffatt
  • Katy Moffatt
Every now and again, atypical singer-songwriters break through the dense walls of mainstream success. Willie Nelson did it. Lyle Lovett came close. But Katy Moffatt hasn't even put a scratch on the bulwark. It appears that this country-folk-blues-pop-rock artist is destined to remain within the confines of unconventional country, right next to the likes of Nanci Griffith and Lucinda Williams.

It's not that Moffatt hasn't worked hard for recognition. She sang backup for Tanya Tucker and Lynn Anderson. She's appeared in a few movies, like Black Jack in '69 and Honeymoon in Vegas in '92. Several Moffatt tunes, including her debut single, "I Can Almost See Houston From Here," have hit the charts. The bottom of the charts, but the charts nonetheless. Moffatt's folksy, John Denver-ish style, however, won't slide neatly into any of the tight categories created by the music industry. Consequently, many potential listeners will likely never hear a Moffatt song on their radios (or stereos, for that matter).

Which is too bad. She has a storytelling ability that rivals such artists as Tom T. Hall. Her vocal range, though similar to many country-folk music divas, thankfully lacks the breathy, "I'm-trying-to-be-sexy-here" techniques used by most. If anything, her songs lean toward the western tunes created by those living in the Roy Rogers era -- long before the "country" was placed in front of "western." Case in point: Her latest CD, Cowboy Girl, sports the superb, rough-riding single "When I Was a Cowboy." This song is a true yippee-ki-yo-ki-ya tune that conjures images of ranch hands sitting around a campfire on a spacious Montana spread, tipping a few and singing the songs of yesteryear.

Thus, even if Moffatt continues to fail at crashing through the barrier of commercial acceptance, at least she manages to avoid becoming another brick in the wall of watered-down country.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Denise Edgington

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Clayton English @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Fri., Jan. 21
  • Windborne's the Music of Queen @ State Theatre

    • Fri., Jan. 21
  • Cleveland Pops: All That Jazz @ Severance Music Center

    • Sat., Jan. 22

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation