K. C. Clifford
Oklahoman K.C. Clifford will present an evening of award-winning original songs and storytelling in the tradition of Woody Guthrie; a conversation with her heart and the life around her.
K.C. Clifford is a three-time Woody Guthrie Award-winning folk singer-songwriter from Oklahoma City known for her powerful voice, stage presence, and courageous lyrical style. Orchid, her fourth independently produced album, was released in March, 2010. Music has always been a guiding force in K.C.'s life, and her talent and love of performing on stage revealed itself at an early age. She was two when she first sang in public and composed her first song at age seven. Early musical influences included artists such as Paul Simon, Carole King, The Beach Boys, and the popular bluegrass band Mountain Smoke, founded by her father in the late 1960s.
A life-long battle with weight loss and depression began with her first diet when she was eight, following a family crisis. K.C. was bulimic, and lived with the disease for 12 years before being diagnosed and hospitalized during her junior year at Indiana University, where she was training for a career in opera.
After a lengthy recovery, she refocused her life, transferred to Belmont University in Nashville - a school she says she found serendipitously - and completed a degree in vocal performance. She found her voice in folk music during this time, and wrote and released her first full-length album: Times Like These (2000) to critical acclaim.
As K.C.'s career continued to bloom with the release of her second album, Teeth-marks on my Tongue (2004), health threatening food issues resurfaced, this time in the form of overeating. By 2007 she had become morbidly obese, tipping the scales at 278 lbs. With the help of friends and family, she began a fight for her life.
Her story was the focus of a special segment on the NBC reality television show The Biggest Loser in March 2009. During the previous year she had lost more than 100 pounds on her own, and wrote a powerful song about hunger for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma called Raise Your Voice. The experience has led to a series of performances at food banks across the country.
Overcoming personal demons has fueled a prolific 10-year career marked by a long list of awards and achievements, and a devoted fan base, which she treats more like an extended family. K.C.'s family of fans financed Orchid by donating to her internet-based "Be My Record Label" campaign.
Those who have experienced one of K.C.'s live shows know this is where she shines brightest. Laying bare every bit of strength and insecurity, she sings the songs of her life with grace and ease - and a disarming smile - bringing audiences to laughter and tears often enough that she has considered making handkerchiefs a permanent fixture at concerts.
"It is hard not to imagine every female singer currently promoted by Nashville begging to record them, but these are the kind of songs that are best brought forward by the person who wrote them. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢"šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦this songwriter's lyrical approach is direct and personal, and her melodies are instantly memorable, never falling into pattern or formula. It certainly doesn't hurt that she has an extraordinary voice, but the songs themselves steal the show." - George Lang, The Oklahoman.