and Karena Prater began performing together in 1998 out of a shared
passion for harmony singing and old-time country and bluegrass music.
Since then, these two versatile singers, instrumentalists, and songwriters
have developed a wide-ranging repertoire of original, traditional,
and even Russian songs, all featuring their distinctive harmony
vocals accompanied by guitar, upright bass, and mandolin. Audiences enjoy
their unique blend of songs, their quirky charm, and the interplay
of their voices, and they have developed a devoted following in
the Pacific Northwest.
they have headlined at the Tumbleweed
Music Festival, and have appeared at the Northwest
Folklife Festival, the Juan
de Fuca Festival of the Arts, the Yakima Folklife Festival,
and numerous other venues (see website for further details).
They released their first live CD, "Full Moon in February,"
in 2000, and later released their first studio CD in May 2005, which
has been listed as one of the “Top Albums of 2005” on
“Our Saturday Tradition” and “Sunday Folks”
at KBCS. They have
also been featured on the Three Rivers Folklife Society's compilation
comes from a family of classical musicians, and attended Oberlin
Conservatory on a full scholarship to study voice. However,
his simultaneous discovery of country, bluegrass, and old-time mountain
music led him to the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia, where
he studied traditional singing and performance with John McCutcheon,
Ginny Hawker and Ray Fisher. He eventually went on to spend two
years in Nashville writing and performing, and currently has two
recordings of original songs available. He has performed at venues
and festivals around the country, notably the Bluebird Cafe (Nashville),
the Northwest Folklife Festival (Seattle), Gerde's Folk City (NYC),
and Threadgill's Supper Club (Austin).
native, Karena has always loved to sing, and also comes from a family
of classical musicians. She studied classical piano
from childhood, and added other instruments and genres to her repertoire
in her teenage years, developing a particular love for the close
harmonies of country and bluegrass music. In 1990, she made
her first trip to Russia as an exchange student, where she fell
in love with the Russian language and folk music, and simultaneously
began developing her own songwriting skills. She later went
on to spend an additional two years living and working in Siberia
in 1995-96, where she continued to build her repertoire of Russian
songs which would later find their way into Cat Loves Crow set lists.
Upon her return, she began establishing herself as a performing
songwriter, appearing at numerous NW venues, including the NW Folklife
Festival. Her song, "Kampgrounds of America" was
featured on the Bainbridge Island compilation CD, "By Boat
or By Bridge." Most recently, her song, "Arlea's Lament" (AKA "Why Would A Baby Go Hiking?"), won first place in the 2008 Tumbleweed
Music Festival's songwriting competition.
and Karena are now also the proud parents of a beautiful daughter!
Prater was born in December 2005.
photos on this page by Heron Forrester