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  • Ed Schmieder

Kate Van Dorn: A Swirl of Goth in the Pines

Kate Van Dorn holds a place of honor on Long Island Stage this March; she and her band are the only alumni of Season One performing in our second series. She’s bringing her churning, moody, and sly sound to Riverhead’s art deco jewel box theater: a film noir setting for songs that suggest there’s danger lurking in the wings.

She originally took the stage as a country solo artist performing carefully curated covers and fine originals. Occasionally, you’ll still find her picking up a fiddle to bring a ghostly echo of her former self to a newer song: a little bit of country in a swirl of goth.

In our first interview Kate said, “I discovered older country music… like Hank Sr, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and John Prine. I was always drawn to darker lyricists and sad music, but I really resonated with the depth of these writers…when I started playing with a full band in college that was my opportunity to move away from sitting on a stool with my guitar and play heavier music. I’ve always been a closet goth.”

Now after years and many touring miles with her band spent honing her music, it’s tight and filled with tension and release.

Her next single, “The Pines,” is being mixed and mastered at New York’s famous Engine Room studio. An accompanying video filmed at both Cathedral Pines Park and a hotel in Queens is forthcoming as well.

Kate and guitarist, Koudi (pronounced “Cody”), have recently opened their own recording studio Understudy in Hampton Bays. It’s where the band records and rehearses. Kate said it’s a creative space where other artists can book time as well. Those who are interested can email

Their record label is

If you want to see and hear more, visit listen on Spotify to ”Grain of Salt,” “In the Dark,” and “Storm Chaser.” Nearly 49,000 listens tell you there’s something’s up, and we haven’t even entered the pines yet.

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