Cate Clifford began her folk life as a child enamored with traditional Irish music. That love carried her to Ireland for a semester abroad in 2009, then to Rhode Island in 2016, where she embraced the social singing tradition and its community with both arms. She quickly became a fixture at her local pub sings and a gleeful attendee of annual festivals across New England, including Old Songs Festival, New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA), Mystic Sea Music Festival, Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival (PMFF), and Northern Roots. Cate also attends immersive music camps such as Traditional Music and Dance Camp (TradMaD) week at Pinewoods Camp and Youth Traditional Song Weekend (YTS). Today, her repertoire teems with a wide range of traditional and trad-adjacent songs across styles and regions, from Appalachian to English, children’s rhymes to songs of the sea, ballads to protest songs.
Since she landed in Rhode Island, Cate has sung as a solo performer and with collaborators in homes and venues throughout New England and New York. She has had the privilege of being a featured guest performer at the Old Songs Festival, the Folk Music Society of New York’s Virtual Spring Weekend (2021), and festival showcases. She is featured on Lynz Morahn’s EP Kick It Off, as well as April Grant’s EP You Must Believe Me. She co-leads a popular song circle of secular, atheist and agnostic hymns with Lynz. In August 2020, Cate received the 2020-21 Southern New England Apprenticeship Program (SNEAP) Grant from Connecticut Historical Society to study traditional ballads of the English-speaking world under the guidance of ballad singer Debra Cowan. In 2022, she was chosen to apprentice Alex Cumming in the songs and stories of Olive Dame Campbell, through the John C. Campbell Folk School’s Traditional Craft Mentorship Program.
When she’s not singing, Cate collects songs about King Arthur and Robin Hood, love songs beyond the romantic or libidinous, and little songs (with Ben Gagliardi). She is proud to say that no set list is immune to a dash of Sondheim or a sprinkle of Shakespeare.
* – Featured Guest Performer
John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown NC
Devil Songs: Year 5
Saturday Night Pub Sing Host
Old Songs Festival, Altamont NY
A Fun Night with Sally Rogers, Howie Bursen,
The Vox Hunters & Cate Clifford
Virtual House Concert, CT
2021 (All Virtual)
Songs of the Supernatural
Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW)
Friday Night Pub Sing Host // *Vox Hunters & Friends
Virtual Old Songs Festival
Vox Hunters & Friends Virtual Brunch Concert
Folk Song Society of Greater Boston (FSSGB)
*Ballads, Ballads, Ballads!
(hosted by Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen)
Folk Music Society of New York (FMSNY)
2nd Annual Poetry Concert with April Grant
Live from Catelandia:
Cate Clifford Virtual House Concert Series IV & V
Live from Catelandia: Cate Clifford Virtual Concert Series
Cate Clifford & The Vox Hunters at Flipp Salon
*Old Songs Festival Ballads Workshop
*Mystic Sea Music Festival Sunday Concert
Pawtucket Arts Fest Downtown Rising Festival
(with Quahog Quire)
Devil Songs at The Music Mansion
*Fox Point Folk Festival