Kathy Tugman is a singer dedicated to the song and not just her singing.  Whether it’s the grittier Bluebilly Music heartfulness of  “Love Song Nineteen,” or the fresh takes on jazz standards and sturdy pop tunes of “Robin on the Frost,” or a lullaby or Christmas album, Kathy gives you the song first, with all the emotion, thought and story telling it may evoke.   She is also an accomplished composer, as capable when writing a jazz ballad as she is while crafting a you-done-me-wrong country tune.  Her singing has become more varied and subtle as her writing has grown in variety and melodic power.  And it all has been honed and tested by performing many sets of music for knowledgeable listeners like you – the people to whom the songs themselves are dedicated.

Americana/Folk  or  Jazz...

...what's your pleasure?

Bluebilly Music International Headquarters



Kathy’s latest album is in the key of bluebilly.  (You can look elsewhere on the page for a succinct definition of bluebilly music.)  14 new songs, sung in her strongest voice yet, a voice for mountain meadows and country rivers, are also her best yet.  And what a band, THE ROCKY RIVER RANGERS;


JAMES KEE on mandolin and acoustic guitar and backing and duet vocals.  James recently played the Grand Ole Opry with Stuart Duncan, but he still talks to us mortals.  Leads the Hamilton County Ramblers.


JOHN BOULWARE on fiddle and backing vocals.  John is a three-time Tennessee bluegrass fiddle champion.  He also in the Ramblers.


JO WHITAKER on drums.  Jo, a longtime member of Kathy’s rhythm sections, also plays in jazz, pop and prog rock bands.


EDDIE GWALTNEY on bass and acoustic guitar and backing vocals.  Eddie is the other half of those rhythm sections and plays anything we ask him to.


TARBELL PATTEN on electric guitar.  Tarbell also leads Dark Horse Five and he and Kathy play together in Zammarin at St. Timothy’s church.


JOSH HIXSON on double-bass.  John plays with James and John in the Hamilton County Ramblers.


With these boys and Kathy’s voice and songs, we couldn’t miss.  We didn’t.  We hope you don’t miss “Love Song Nineteen.”   Music, good music, offers a lovely, temporary redemption.  As one of the songs puts it:


  Steppin’ and dancin’ away the deep night,

  the singer sang and dogs did bark.

  By your shoulder, a crack lets out the light,

  but the big-shoe dancin’ holds back the dark.


  So step and stomp until the first light -

  cast long shadows wall deep and stark.

  Your dancin’ and playin’ is quite a sight.

  Save room for the light, hold back the dark.


“Love Song Nineteen” has lots of light and just enough dark.  Get a piece of this joy.





A new production division of Rocky River Music (itself a wholly-owned, two-person sole sub-proprietorship of a murky, unnamed entity), Bluebilly Music is dedicated to bringing relief to a battered people through the medium of, well, bluebilly music, and so its first offering is our heroine’s new release, “Love Song Nineteen.”  Work is already underway on a sequel, the working title of which is “Love Song Nineteen-And-Three-Fifteenths.”


“Why bluebilly?” you are, of course, asking.  Like the swirling rush of litter in a summer blizzard, there are many answers to that, little swan, but here are a few of them:


  1. Just like there is no crying in baseball, there are no drums in bluegrass, and, even though the Rocky River Rangers have three premier bluegrass musicians, the band also has drums.  So, to avoid being besieged by outraged CPAs and chiropractors wearing overalls on their days off, we didn’t push it.
  2. We have drums (I think I mentioned that, but if not, I say it here) and we got an electric guitar and an electric bass.  In addition to having these instruments, the Rangers have some very talented people playing them too.  The resulting sound, mixed with the bluegrass pickers, bowers and plunkers already talked about, is not rockabilly and it ain’t hillbilly.  There was only one place to go.
  3. So, we stopped at the vegetable stand on Tennessee 8 and asked the old coot sitting there, “Well, Monroe, what’ll we call it?”   He squinted for fifteen minutes and then said, “Bluebilly.”  Well, we think he said that, because a J.B. Hunt rig roared by us just then, flapping the tent shelter and blowing off the sign saying, “Local Maters and Pole Beans.”  “Did you say bluebilly?” we asked.  Monroe just went back to squinting and fell asleep that way, but it was good enough for us, so we hopped back in the Beamer and took off.


That clears it all up, young seeker, does it not?  Well, if not, try listening to “Love Song Nineteen.”  Then you’ll get it, even if you will not be able to explain it in words – pictographs, maybe, but not words.   This is the paved-with-potholed-insight road to enlightenment, brave chick, and so hop on it now.


When Vladimir Putin heard a pirated download of “Love Song Nineteen,” he turned to the low-browed, wide-shouldered, perpetually scowling thug next to him and said, “Pussycat, make damn sure these people never play here.  The regime would crumble like five-day-old cornbread.”  Banned in Russia, bluebilly music will set you free.

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