Philly local favorite Kate Gaffney recently celebrated the release of her debut EP, 'Highways', in a free, sold out, concert at Grape Street-Philadelphia. It has been a big year for Gaffney who returned to her native Chalfont, PA just last Christmas after a three-year stint that saw her criss-cross the country several times before finding solace in the music scene of Sacramento, CA. It was in Sacramento that Kate honed her skill as a songwriter alongside contemporaries such as Jackie Greene, who has made a name for himself with his Bob Dylan/bluesman songs and from touring with the likes of Buddy Guy. Watching Greene grow into a national touring act before her eyes inspired Gaffney to quit her job as a social worker and take to the roads that connect the vastness of the country. While on the road, Kate found herself in Austin, TX where she met even more of 'the good people' in music and where a chance encounter with Austin's music mogul, Clifford Antone, gave her the validation to know she was 'doing what she was meant to do.' Upon returning to the Philadelphia area, Gaffney re-introduced herself through the open mic and pub-gig circuit. She quickly became a standout favorite at rooms like The Point (where she opened for Sophie B. Hawkins and Braddigan of Dispatch) and Manayunk's Dawson Street Pub. During the summer of 2004, Kate did the 'Beatles in Hamburg Training Course' playing as many as 4 four-hour shows on the Jersey Shore each week. As a result she emerged in September a seasoned player with an armload of new songs, and went directly to the studio to make her first recordings. Though the songs for 'Highways' were written over the course of several years, the recording of the EP took place in the fall of 2004. Produced by Adam Winokur, 'Highways' represents Kate's first collaboration with a band in the studio, and the full realization of the sound she developed as a live performer. Aside from Kate's vocal and acoustic guitar tracks, the music was constructed largely by Winokur who plays bass and drums on all the songs except 'Mosaic' (with guests Gary Lee on bass and Brian Flannagan on drums) as well as many of the guitar tracks; Duende's Maria Woodford contributes mandolin accompaniment on 'What About Bob?' Former Preacher Curls guitarist Jesse Lundy, who regularly accompanies Gaffney live, added lapsteel and electric guitars to the EP. The album is being released independently through Gaffney's own TiredWired Productions. 'Highways', the title track, was the first song completed; it became a free giveaway at Gaffney's live events and the first of her songs picked up by WXPN. The song caught the attention of the programming staff at the station led to the inclusion of 'The River' on their 'Philly Local' CD to be released in February, an honor which coincides with the release of her own EP. The song also caught the attention of Philly's own folk guru, Gene Shay, who invited Kate to join him and perform on his Sunday radio program. Though hard at work writing songs for her next release, Kate Gaffney continues to host her 'Thursday Night Music Stop' event twice a month at the World Café Live; the Music Stop brings together the best of local and regional talent on the Upstairs stage at the WCL.