It takes a brave artist to blaze their own trail. From her birth-city of Belgrade to the Marz Studios in Texas where she recorded her dazzling new album, Katarina Pejak has walked countless roads and stuck a thousand pins in the map. Now, with Roads That Cross, this award-winning performer unveils a fresh set of songs that follow her muse wherever it leads her. Inspired by blues, jazz, country and rock ‘n’ roll – and shaped by all the cities she’s called home – this is music that crosses borders and brings people together. As producer Mike Zito says: “Katarina is one of a kind…”
Making her debut on the iconic Ruf Records – and taking part in the label’s famous Blues Caravan tour in 2019 – Roads That Cross is the stone-cold classic that Katarina has promised since the start. Since raiding her dad’s record collection for vintage blues as a teenager, taking her first steps on the Serbian blues circuit and winning a scholarship to the famed Berklee College of Music, this visionary artist has already been acclaimed for early releases like Perfume & Luck (2010), First Hand Stories (2012) and Old New Borrowed And Blues (2016).
It’s all been leading to Roads That Cross: the new album that takes you on
a magic carpet ride of emotion and mood. There’s She’s Coming After You, with its Latin groove, echo-chamber guitars and a lyric about a femme fatale who “looks like the Devil’s daughter/Walks like a baroness”. There’s the choppy reggae-flavoured Down With Me, and the expert jazz of The Harder You Kick, carried by organ and Katarina’s astonishing vocal. The upbeat Cool Drifter combines escapism with a soul edge, while Moonlight Rider will satisfy the blues hardcore, its gritty riffs and dusty groove addressing a lover that she knows will leave. “I didn’t realise until after making the album,” she reflects, “but most of these songs are about good-byes.”
For everyone else, Roads That Cross is the start of a beautiful relationship. Following her meteoric early career, Katarina Pejak stands at a crossroads, ready to step into the fast lane. “She’ll make you think,” concludes Zito. “She’ll make you cry. By the end of this record, she’ll have you in the palm of her hand. For Katarina, this is only the beginning…”