Kate Magdalena - 'I Know A Heartache When I See One'

Updated: May 2

Review by Matt Wong & Staff

Kate Magdalena is an emerging independent singer-songwriter out of the San Francisco Bay Area. She calls her genre ‘Timely Americana’ as she is inspired to write for the particular times in which we live. Kate was selected by BWH Music Group (Boston) as one of 2020 Women to Watch: Best Female Independent Artists. On November of 2019, Magdalena released her second album of original music, with Grammy nominated producer Billy Smiley (Johnny Cash, WhiteHeart, Clay Aiken) titled “A Larger Dance.” “A Larger Dance” features some of Nashville's finest musicians with Fred Eltringham (The Wallflowers and Sheryl Crow), Byron House (Robert Plant and the Band of Joy), Blair Masters (Garth Brooks) and Brennan Smiley (The Technicolors). The title track “A Larger Dance” was chosen by BWH Music Group's as one of the 'Best Songs of 2019. Kate’s first album “Acquainted With the Night” was released in 2018 and contains the song “United (to Save the World)” (featured in the album “Peace Street” by BWH Music Group.


A cover of Jennifer Warnes’ song, “I Know a Heartache When I See One,” Kate Magdalena’s rendition begins with the intro lick played by acoustic guitar, and electric guitar, with a steel guitar playing a tasty counter-line, and organ lightly comping in support. Magdalena’s sweet vocal enters on the first verse, and immediately sweeps listeners away.


The bass and drums also join in, but their entrance is subtle as the groove is already so tight. The chorus brings in the background vocals, which provide a nice lift to the song, and allows the melody to shine. Throughout the song, listeners will get to experience Josh Matheny’s beautiful slide licks, but he gets to really show off with a mesmerizing solo following the second chorus.

Magdalena’s interpretation of the lyrics in “I Know A Heartache When I See One” is that of finding one’s confidence and source of self-respect when in a relationship with someone else. This theme is reflected in lyrics such as “I won’t be home anymore. You can find me walking in the sun” and “Oh you hide it so well. It isn’t easy to tell. But I know a heartache when I see one.”


“I Know A Heartache When I See One” by Kate Magdalena is a fresh take on the Warnes' song, but it is performed in a way that respects the character of the original, and the way the songwriter intended it to sound.


Magdalena brings a sense of subtle soulfulness to the song giving her rendition an intimate feel. She does a fantastic job delivering the melody with her soothing vocals, and the new arrangement is engaging, serving both the listener and the song well.


Find on Apple Music.


For more information on Kate Magdalena, please visit her Website.

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