"Katie Dahl keeps getting better and better. Leaky Boats and Paper Birds is a beautifully crafted album, with poetic lyrics made even more evocative by gorgeous melodies and lovely guitar picking. Katie's low, rich voice is the real deal -- you can feel her love for the land, lakes and people of the Upper Midwest in every song. The production and backing musicians are also top-notch."
- Stephanie Elkins, Wisconsin Public Radio Host
"Katie Dahl . . . combine[s] old-fashioned populism, an abiding love of the land and wickedly smart love songs, all delivered in a rich and expressive alto."
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year, 2010
Wisconsin Singer-Songwriter Series Songwriting Contest (2nd Place), 2012
Wisconsin singer-songwriter Katie Dahl has performed her original songs everywhere from the dusty cliff country of Mali, West Africa, to the winding canals of southern France, to the cedar forests of the American northwoods. The depth and power of Dahl's alto voice, the literate candor of her original songs, and the easy humor of her live performances have earned her the chance to share stages with some of America's most respected songwriters, including Julie Gold and Dar Williams. In 2010, she was named Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year. 2012 has seen not only the release of Dahl's second studio album, Leaky Boats and Paper Birds, but also the world premiere production of her original musical Victory Farm.
Katie Dahl was a college freshman when she slipped on a patch of sidewalk ice and broke her wrist. Suddenly unable to play the oboe in her college orchestra, Dahl used her newfound free time to learn guitar, teaching herself chord shapes as she strummed the strings with her stiff right hand. Nine years later, that icy day has proven to be a blessing in disguise, as Dahl earns a reputation as an accomplished musician whom acclaimed author Parker Palmer has called “a singer-songwriter you need to get to know.”
Though Dahl currently makes her home in rural Door County, Wisconsin, she travels extensively, playing intimate house concerts as well as established venues like Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. Richly steeped in the folk songwriter tradition, Dahl writes songs that reside in the liminal zones where personal and public life intersect. She is equally comfortable writing about the intricacies of a complicated relationship (in a way that is neither indulgent nor myopic) and taking on the threat of chain restaurants to her own small community (in a way that is neither polarizing nor didactic). Never sacrificing emotional truth for political ends, Dahl navigates the muddy waters between the personal and the public with the skill of a writer twice her age.
California singer-songwriter Claudia Russell calls Katie "a honey-throated alto thrush and an eagle-eyed songwriter," while Austin singer-songwriter Karen Mal says, "Katie Dahl is a writer of such depth and laser-sharp perception, you almost expect her to have a thousand shows and a million miles behind her. But then she shows up with a stage demeanor that is so innocent and utterly without guile, you wonder at her maturity."