Led by songwriter and guitarist Katie Jo Oberthaler, Katie Jo & The Mijos play classic country music fit for the modern era—and often fit for folks who say they don’t like country music at all. A native of Kansas, and currently based in California, Katie Jo brings a Midwestern sensibility to songs that dance in defeat of life’s plainest realities: circumstances might be bad, and probably getting worse, so better to take it in stride and get on with it, then. This isn’t soft-spoken folk melodies nor hard-scrabble outlaw snarls: it’s lyrical vulnerability mixed with a vivacious live energy. It’s having a chip on your shoulder while still looking for one to cry on.
Katie Jo’s out to prove that modern country music should be played with just enough bite to last—and you don’t have to wear big hat or beard to do it.
Starting in 2017, she cut her teeth playing punk dive bars and honky tonk holdouts around Southern California and carved out strong support with non-country music fans by organizing shows in untraditional venues like boxing gyms and barbershops. Word about her high-energy live shows and command of a powered-up six piece backing band started to get out, leading her to share the stage with notable artists such as Billy Joe Shaver, Lucero, and more.
2018’s Prairie Flower EP melded Katie Jo’s windswept Kansas roots with her background in bluegrass music, covering ground with both boot-stomping rompers and mournful country ballads. Lead single “All My Money’s on the Highway” was inspired by the song “Asheville Turnaround” by The Del McCoury Band, a rework of the bluegrass number into a cynical story of what it’s like to try to date in Los Angeles. Swaying two-step title track “Prairie Flower” chronicles a desire to leave one’s rural roots for more exciting experiences and was derived from the 1930s song by The Two Leslies, “I’m a Little Prairie Flower.” Acoustic ballad “Pawn Shop Queen” laments the castaways of past relationships, backed by a mournful accordion and melodic fingerpicking. “Crooked Lies” takes rumors head-on in a country stomper accented with organs and chorus-lifting harmonies.
Katie Jo’s debut full-length country album is currently in production at Big Ego Studios in Long Beach, CA, under the helm of producer Chris Schlarb. The album was recorded in tradition of country records past, with a live backing band in one room, in just three days. It will be released in late 2019.
Also a proficient banjo picker ("2018 Banjo Babe Calendar" artist), Oberthaler can be also often be heard playing with local artists like the Ameripolitan-nominated band The Ponderosa Aces and offstage at bluegrass jam circles in the Los Angeles area.
Notable Gigs & ACCOLADES
Rebelle Road Parlour Pickin’ Sessions (2018)
Long Beach Craft Beer Festival (2018)
Long Beach Folk Revival Festival (2017 & 2015)
Laguna Beach Fete de la Musique (2017)
Grand Ole Echo (2019)
Sofar Sounds Showcase (2019)
Echo Park Rising Festival (2018)
Banjo Babes Calendar Artist (2018)
“PAWN SHOP QUEEN” LP (UNRELEASED)
Scheduled for release in Fall 2019. Album preview below (not for distribution or download)
All songs written by Katie Jo Oberthaler (ASCAP) Copyright 2019, except Bad Religion (Written by Katie Oberthaler and LJ Dougherty) and Are You Coming Home Tonight (Written by Katie Oberthaler and Chris Schlarb.)
Recorded at Big Ego Studios in Long Beach, CA // Produced by Chris Schlarb // Mixed by Chris Schlarb // Engineered by Devin O’Brien
Katie Oberthaler - Songwriting, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals // Phillip Glenn - Fiddle, Mandolin, Accordion, Organ, Piano // Davin Givhan - Electric Guitar // Chris Schlarb - Electric Guitar // George Madrid - Pedal Steel // Anthony Shadduck - Double Bass, Electric Bass // Daniel Chavez - Electric Bass, Backing Vocals // Nathan Hubbard -Vibraphone // John Villaneauva - Drums // Tabor Allen - Drums // Heather Sommerhauser - Backing Vocals // Ashly Holland Fry - Backing Vocals
Prairie Flower EP
Released March 9, 2018
All songs written by Katie Jo Oberthaler (ASCAP) Copyright 2018.
Tracks 1 and 2 recorded and mixed by Louis Conway of Till Death Studios in Hollywood, California // Tracks 3 and 4 recorded and mixed by Kirk Jordan of Big Peach Records // Mastered by Brian Frederick of Hybrid Studios in Costa Mesa, CA.
Feat.: Katie Jo Oberthaler - Acoustic Guitar, Songwriting // Billy Napial - Electric Guitar // Andy Rau - Banjo // Daniel Chavez - Electric Bass // Nick Medina - Drums // Kirk Jordan - Backing Vocals
GENERAL & PRESS inquiries, booking, licensinG
CONTACT KATIE JO OBERTHALER | 562-357-8551 | firstname.lastname@example.org