The first time I heard Kara Nally, was at SKOB. She was guest hosting the open mic, with Sandi Grecco, singing a little, introducing the various participants and making the rounds to make everyone feel welcome.
Every time I go to see her, like on Thursdays at the laid back open mic at Lelu Café, she is exactly the same; delighted to see everyone, attentive to the audience and on top of everything. Its as if she were hosting a party at her house, which isn’t too far from the truth. When Kara has a gig, it becomes her house. Of the local full-time musicians, she is one of the best self-promoters in town. A quick Google search will tell you where she’s playing, nearly every night of the week, because she is constantly posting and promoting. She plays the top venues and always fields the best musicians in town for her band. To see her show is to watch a tremendous entertainer having the time of her life.
I interviewed Kara, on the patio at one of her open mic nights; while some guests were onstage…she had me pose for a picture with her first.
WPT – Is that a good one? Ok, where are you from?
Kara – Norwell, Massachusetts
WPT – How long have you been singing?
Kara – Since I was in first grade. I auditioned to sing “Hero”, by Mariah Carey, but sang in my first band at the age of 14, and continued to sing with various bands until I moved down here and took a little break.
WPT – How long have you lived in Sarasota?
Kara – Since April 12th, 2005
WPT – What was your first gig in Sarasota?
Kara – It was at Sarasota Vineyards, singing to tracks.
WPT – How did you break into the band scene here?
Kara – I got into a band off of Craigslist. I also went to Rich & Pete’s Broadway jam and they suggested I go to the Flying Dog jam, then I went to Al Fuller’s jam and wound up meeting some really talented people.
WPT – Do you have a day job?
Kara – No, but up until 8 months ago, I was working 10-6pm Monday through Saturday at Ana Molinari, while I was gigging 5 nights a week and I was exhausted.
WPT – How many gigs do you play every week?
Kara – 6 gigs.
(There’s a pause in the interview, when bass player Johnnie Barker comes out to the patio to say hi, show Kara his new ipad, and talk about studying for his pilot’s license. The conversation on my interview recording is fun in that it really conveys the family-like nature of the music community in this town. I couldn’t help but listen to the whole interaction, so I’m mentioning it.)
WPT – Which local bands do you go to see?
Kara – On the rare occasions I get to go see anybody, I go see “Kettle of Fish” for sure, “Lauren Mitchell” and “Nick LeValley”.
WPT – I need to go see him.
Kara – You do. On Friday, he’s playing happy hour at Ocean Blues and “Kettle of Fish” is playing that night, while Stonefish is playing happy hour at the “5’0” and we’re playing that night, so Dana and I, both from Norwell, Mass, will be playing the same night, next door to each other on Hillview.
WPT – Yes, and as you know, I interviewed Dana last month, how cool is that?
Kara – We both worked at the same little coffee shop in Norwell, called “Drums Emporium”.
WPT – I say again, how cool is that?
What can the audience expect to see at your show?
Kara – It’s a cross between funk, rock, blues and pop.
(one of her girlfriends has joined us and they begin to play with the words)
“FunkyRockBluesPop…say that 10 times fast”.
WPT – What’s your favorite thing about being a professional musician?
Kara – The fact that I get to tell people that. (laughs) Being able to do something that I am truly passionate about is the coolest feeling.
WPT – What are you career goals?
Kara – Right now, I am working on recording an album of originals. Long-term, I want to go as far as I can go.
WPT – Do you play originals at your shows?
Kara – yes
WPT – What’s your message to your audience?
Kara – Love your life, and don’t let anybody hold you back.
Kara Nally can be found on Facebook, twitter, YouTube, reverbnation.com, gotonight.com, songkick.com artistdata.com and at least a dozen other listings and social media websites.
Lelu Coffee Lounge is located in the Village at 5251 Ocean Blvd Siesta Key
Mike Sales is a local singer/songwriter for more info visit mikesalessings.com