began performing by singing harmony with her mother, and she attended numerous acoustic music concerts and festivals as a teen. Inspired by other
Chicago songwriters of the time such as John Prine, Steve Goodman, and Tom Dundee, she began writing and performing her own songs at coffeehouses.
When Kallick accompanied old time fiddler Michael Drayton, she switched from being a fingerpicking to flatpicking guitarist. She discovered bluegrass
music while attending the San Francisco Art Institute (BFA, 1977), where the local music scene was welcoming to women and songwriters.
In 1975, Kathy Kallick, Laurie Lewis, Barbara Mendelsohn, Dorothy Baxter, and Sue Shelasky performed three songs at an open mic. This marked the beginning
of the Good Ol�۪ Persons, one of the first all-women bluegrass bands. They released an album in 1977 (by which time Sue was replaced by brother
Paul Shelasky) and enjoyed a twenty-year run, releasing five albums and touring throughout the U.S., including two appearances at Bill Monroe's
Beanblossom Festival, as well as performances in Canada and Europe.
By 1980, the Good Ol' Persons lineup consisted of Kathy Kallick (guitar), John Reischman (mandolin), Sally Van Meter (dobro), fiddler Paul Shelasky
(later Kevin Wimmer), and bassist Bethany Raine (later Beth Weil, then Todd Phillips). They were one of the first bluegrass bands to incorporate
Latin, swing, folk, Cajun, and other musical genres into their music, as well as featuring the songwriting, lead playing, and vocal harmonies of
After the Good Ol' Persons disbanded, Kallick released three albums under her own name for Sugar Hill Records. In 1996, she formed the Kathy Kallick
Band. Personnel for their first ten years and two albums included Tom Bekeny on mandolin, Amy Stenberg on bass, Avram Siegel on banjo, and, for
the second, fiddler Brian Wicklund. The current iteration consists of Kallick, Bekeny, Annie Staninec on fiddle, Greg Booth on dobro and banjo,
and Cary Black (previously Dan Booth) on bass; they have released three albums: Between the Hollow and the Highrise (2010), Time (2012), and Foxhounds
(2015), and the band continues to tour widely across North America and Europe.
Other musical collaborations
Kallick has continued to collaborate with Laurie Lewis since their Good Ol�۪ Persons days, releasing two albums, the latest of which is a tribute to
their bluegrass mentors, Laurie & Kathy Sing the Songs Of Vern & Ray (2014). Kallick and Lewis also toured Japan with an all-star all-women
band that also included Sally Van Meter, Lynn Morris, and Markie Sanders. She has also toured and recorded with first generation bluegrass masters
Frank Wakefield and Mac Martin, produced albums for High Country and Richard Brandenburg, and written and recorded award-winning music for children
and families. Kallick appeared on four high-profile collections of bluegrass songs by women, as well as numerous compilation albums, some of
which are included in the discography below.
She has worked with many of the country�۪s other acclaimed acoustic musicians, including, in addition to those already mentioned, Peter Rowan, Jerry
Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Claire Lynch, Tim O'Brien, Ron Stewart, Jody Stecher, Kate Brislin, Darol Anger, Carol Elizabeth Jones, James Leva, Sandy
Rothman, Bill Evans, Molly Tuttle, and Clive Gregson.
Kallick is an experienced instructor, and has offered classes in singing, songwriting, guitar, and band coaching as part of many music camps including
the California Bluegrass Association Music Camp, Rockygrass Academy (Colorado), Augusta Heritage Center (West Virginia), Sore Fingers (England),
Puget Sound Guitar Workshop (Washington), Nimblefingers (British Columbia, Canada), Bluegrass at the Beach (Oregon), Walker Creek Music Camp (California),
and the California Coast Music Camp.
Kallick has won a Grammy and two IBMA Awards for True Life Blues: The Songs Of Bill Monroe. She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Northern California Bluegrass Society and a Lifetime Membership Award from the California Bluegrass Association.