Ever since Kathy Frank soared to new musical heights as a finalist in the 2006 David Foster Star Search Competition, her singing career has just taken off. The Smithers transplant – she’s lived in Prince George now for several months and plans to stay – has hit the stage since then singing solo and with her own band.
She was at Folkfest in Fort George Park Sunday performing and showing her little tot, Tamia, 3, the sights and sounds of the annual music festival. Frank, 26, has a powerhouse of a voice and sounds a lot like Janis Joplin but does it in her own way when it comes to covers. She’s gifted with strong vocals that David Foster Star Search judges in Prince George for the semifinals, gushed was “a great set of lungs.”
Well on her way, Frank plans on releasing her first album in a few months.
“I’m putting it together now and by the end of summer, it should be ready to go,” she said. The song title of one of the tracks will be eerily familiar.
“There’s one song on there I wrote long ago. I had a friend who disappeared along Highway 16. Her name was Ramona (Mona) Wilson [last seen November 2001.] So I wrote a song for her when I was about 20, just after she went missing called Highway of Tears. We knew that stretch of highway by that name long before it that name hit the newspapers,” said Frank.
“I wanted to remember her.”
The vivacious singer – her stage presence won her rave reviews – came in third last year in the Star Search finals but David Foster paid her the highest compliment. Not surprising, she was second runner-up.
“He told me mine was the best performance he’d ever seen (no, he doesn’t say that to all singers.) So that was really wonderful. I sang Gimme One Reason, the same song I did in Prince George and I just sung my heart out,” said Frank.
She began her music career as many singers do, performing at a young age in church choirs.
“I found my diaphragm when I was 16 and learned how to use it,” joked Frank. In an interview after her Main Stage performance Sunday, the singer said her band is fluid.
“I just grab any musicians – whoever I can find that are willing – and drag them onto the stage with me,” she said laughing. “I’ve worked with a number of different guitar or piano players and also do a lot of solo gigs. So far, it’s always worked out.”
Since moving to Prince George, Frank has enjoyed meeting and playing with new musicians.
“I love it here. It has just a much bigger music environment here.”
The Kathy Frank Band will be on stage at the Prince George Exhibition on August 9 at 6 p.m. August 10 at 4:30 p.m., August 11 at 5:30 p.m., August 12 at 1 p.m.