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Sugar House Journal

Music about Utah featured in local artist Kate MacLeod’s new recording

Oct 05, 2021 09h47 ● By Anagha Rao

Kate MacLeod is a local musician who has been living in Sugar House since 1969. (Photo courtesy Kate Macleod)

By Anagha Rao | [email protected] 

For many musicians, this past year has been challenging, with tours and recordings being canceled. Kate MacLeod is a local musician who has been living in Sugar House since 1969. When COVID-19 left her with a less-than-busy calendar, she decided to pursue a project she worked on for the last six years.  

“I realized that I have so many pieces of music about Utah, and I decided to kind of put them all together and do a little home project,” she said.

Uranium Maiden is a recording that compiles a series of tracks and pieces of music about Utah. MacLeod performs as the lead vocalist on all tracks and the following instruments: violin/fiddle, acoustic guitar, electric hollow body guitar, harmonica and mountain dulcimer. In addition to MacLeod, this recording features other guest musicians from Utah, including Nino Reyos, a Native American flute and drum player. 

Some songs MacLeod writes are based on historical characters or local folk stories. For example, the opening track contains lyrics from the journal entries and letters of a man named Everett Ruess, who disappeared when traveling in the southwest desert in the 1930s.

MacLeod got the inspiration for a recording about Utah because she wants Utah to be known for more than their national parks and skiing. “I’d like Utah to be proud of our culture, and because it will be released nationally, people will see this as music from Utah. People don’t think of Utah as being a music city, but there is so much great talent here that needs to be showcased,” said MacLeod. 

As for the name itself, MacLeod chose Uranium Maiden because one of her songs mentions uranium. “It kind of has a strength to it, that name. Utah to me is an amazingly vital, strong, interesting place, and I really want to get that across in the music and the whole project,” MacLeod said.  

MacLeod will host the official recording release concert on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallivan Center. It will be live-streamed online for anyone who can’t make the concert. This event is free and will be hosted by Excellence in the Community Concerts. 

“I will probably be playing around Utah a lot for the next year to celebrate the recording’s release,” MacLeod said. 

MacLeod will be performing her new recordings at Fisher Brewery, 320 W. 800 South, on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 4-6 p.m. and 8-10 p.m. This will be in honor of her new beer known as Uranium Maiden being sold there. The beer sales will benefit Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity. 

After the release concert, people can download her music digitally. It will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, and other traditional streaming services. In addition, her CD will be sold in Ken Sanders Rare Books and on their website. This physical CD is also available for purchase on her website