for I WANNA BE KATE
By Mark Guarino, Daily Herald, October 2, 1998
Last summer, Chicago music nut Thomas Dunning had a vision: "I was listening to the song 'Not This Time' and thought, 'I really wish one of my friends would record this.' So much of Kate's work is lost on this continent."
"Kate" is Kate Bush, the British songstress whose dreamy and almost operatic art-rock cultivated an impassioned cult of fans since the early 80's, influencing the careers of Tori Amos, Paula Cole and other more-known but lesser talented piano goddesses. Because Dunning is a DIY-type guy (he has a knack for cold calling local clubs and recommending they book his favorite bands), he decided to self-produce a tribute album to simply "turn the world onto Kate Bush." A social worker by trade, Dunning also hosts Hoot Night, a music cabaret every two months at Schubas that operates under themes like "R.E.M. vs. U2" or "Dylan vs. Bacharach." Most of the Hoot Night performers are on the album (titled I WANNA BE KATE: The Songs of Kate Bush) including Nora O'Connor of The Blacks, Susan Voelz of Poi Dog Pondering, the power pop band The Moviegoers, the suave Aluminum Group, songwriter Syd Straw and the lush dance band My Scarlet Life. They, and several other local outfits will play Kate at a CD release party Thursday at Double Door. "We don't talk about Kate Bush because she's not in the newspaper every week," he said. "But I've been so inspired by her music. It's so dramatic, so majestic and so powerful." Kate herself was mailed a CD although Dunning hasn't received a reply just yet. "I'm sure I'll get a note in the mail or who knows - I'd love a plane ticket to come over and have dinner."
- by Mark Guarino