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Kasey Rausch, On A New Album And 'Learning To Carve' Her Own Path

Paul Andrews

Folk Alliance International kicks off its annual conference —and a new Music Fair — Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo. The five-day event is expected to draw nearly 3,000 musicians from around the world. 

Local folk performers will also be in the spotlight, such as Kasey Rausch. The singer-songwriter's latest full-length album, her third, is called Guitar in Hand. It's her first CD since 2007. 

"I couldn't not make music. I had to make music. It's part of my being, so I decided to give it another go," Rausch told Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix when asked about her hiatus from recording. "I'm learning to carve my path, instead of letting the path carve me." 

The songs on the album, ranging from folk to old-time country, share some stories about her home state of Missouri, like a trip to a moonshine distillery. In “The Gospel of Winfield,” she pays homage to the Walnut Valley Festival, an annual bluegrass festival in Winfield, Kan. 

"It's a pilgrimage for us every year, for us Kansas City folk," says Rausch. "We go out there and hook up with the rest of the Winfield family and pick and grin and sit around the campfire 'til the wee hours of the morning." 

Kasey Rausch performs during official and private showcases starting Wednesday as part of the Folk Alliance International Conference, which runs Feb. 18 - 22. 

In 1984, Chuck Haddix aka Chuck Haddock joined the staff of KCUR as a jazz producer. The next year, he began producing the Fish Fry.
Laura Spencer writes about arts and culture for KCUR. Follow her on Twitter @lauraspencer.