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Katie Reider (1978-2008)

14th Jul 08 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments

Katie Reider was a great lyrical and vocal talent in Cincinnati. I got into her back in 1998 or so… shortly after Wonder came out. While living in Cincinnati, I got a chance to see Katie many, many times… opening for other bands, playing her own shows at York Street Cafe, JoBeth bookstore, et cetera. I felt as if I knew her as a person (though I really didn’t). I guess that stems from the fact that she was a very open person, on stage and talking with her audience before or after a show. Her band was also great – the playing from Dave Eberhardt, Josh Seurkamp, and her brother Robbie (who played with her earlier on) melded her singer-songwriter songs into a very cohesive group effort.

In 2006, Katie Reider developed a tumor in her upper left jaw that progressed into her sinus, skull base and left eye orbit. Over the course of one year, the rare facial tumor took away her sight in one eye, her voice and most importantly, her ability to perform. We last saw her last summer at the Taste of Cincinnati festival. She appeared in good spirits, normal looking, but was much skinnier from some of the tests early on in her treatment.

She had moved to New York to be closer to specialist who could treat her. I didn’t know the severity of her condition until earlier this year, they posted pictures of her deterioration to the 500Kin365 MySpace page. It saddened me greatly then, but it seemed as if progress was being made (specifically this post on July 1st, 2008). As of a post Monday morning on her family’s health blog, Katie Reider’s fight with the tumor came to an end at 7am on Monday, July 14th.

This is something that saddens me deeply (I’ve had to pause and cry several times while typing this). Some artists I have seen or followed musically who have passed on impacted me deeply (Elliott Smith’s passing hit me like a ton of bricks). Katie Reider is not an exception to this deep impact on me. She was a jewel in the rough in the onslaught of many mediocre singer-songwriters. She was a genuine person trying to bring her joy to others around her. She was a wounded body, stricken by something that medicine doesn’t know how to take care of yet.

I don’t know if there’s an afterlife. I don’t think words do any justice along those lines. If anything, I’m just glad that she’s finally at rest. I just hope that she knew that she was and is a joy in many peoples’ lives. I thank her for her impact on my life. She made good music that made me happy to have open ears and a youthful vigor to see live music in my hometown. I wish for her family and friends the peace that she’s finally done with the pain.

If you feel moved, you can help support her young family with a donation here:

I have nothing else to add but my gratitude.


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