© KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Kat Edmonson

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Kat Edmonson by Farley Bookout of Empire Press

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photo by Leslie Nichols

With her powerful voice, Kat Edmonson’s songs are “memorable and contagious” (NPR Music). Tonight, this rising star brings her smart, stylish pop with a vintage feel to the Austin City Limits stage for her debut on the show.

The Texas native grew up in Houston with a mother who introduced her to the Great American Songbook. Determined to be a singer, she auditioned for American Idol during its second season, but left Hollywood for Austin. She became a regular at the Elephant Room, Austin’s premier jazz club, building a following and making musical connections that energized her career.

Her 2009 record Take To the Sky pays homage to the songwriters that inspired her creativity. Edmonson says the record was “me trying to question what a standard actually is, and what popular music is -taking tunes and using them as canvases for self-expression.” On it she reinterprets such storied works as Gershwin’s “Summertime” alongside more recent pop gems, such as the Cardigans’ “Lovefool” and the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”

Her sophomore release, 2012′s Way Down Low, has been called “intuitive about melody and handy with a phrase (The New York Times) and “one of the greatest vocal albums I’ve ever heard” (The Boston Globe). The release also features Edmonson’s work as a songwriter. The Austin Chronicle wrote that Way Down Low “succeeds on her own unique inflections, bolstered by the singer’s emergence as an equally talented songwriter.”

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