She was born in New Jersey, but the mentality and music of Kate Bennett is shaped and molded by the features of her adopted California home, the ocean and mountains surrounding Santa Barbara. Soon after arriving in the city during the 1970s, Bennett began performing locally on the singer/songwriter circuit. Marriage, divorce, single-parenthood, and both college and graduate school, however, interrupted her musical career, although not her yen for composing songs. Eventually her friend Jim Messina -- renowned for his producing and performing credits with Buffalo Springfield and other artists, as well as his '70s partnership with Kenny Loggins -- invited her to join the Songwriters' Performance Workshop that he created in 1996. With guidance from Messina, Bennett spent the next few years tweaking her backlog of song ideas and material and fine-tuning her performing skills. Messina also asked Bennett and other workshop songwriters to take part in the bi-monthly Songwriters in the Round concerts that he began producing in Santa Barbara, where they had the opportunity to play alongside such notable songwriters as Jeff Barry, Paul Cotton, David Paich and Loggins. In early 1999, Messina counseled Bennett that she should consider recording her material, and soon thereafter she met Jack Lee, head of Jack Trax Studio (which he had just relocated from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara), at one of the Songwriters in the Round performances. Lee lent his engineering, producing, and multi-instrumentalist skills to Bennett. This resulted in her debut album, Over the Moon, a reflection of the beautiful California surroundings in which self-described "nature girl" Bennett lives, but also a meditation on the complexity of relationships and the rewards and struggles of parenting.
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