Preview: Katie Pruitt Mantras Tour w/ Jack Van Cleaf

Katie Pruitt often sings about being an outsider in her own community. I’m sure she’ll find plenty of kindred spirits in Salt Lake City, a place where many of us come to exhale. On Tuesday, April 16, 2024 we can all take a collective breath and welcome Pruit and Jack Van Cleaf to the Urban Lounge for a night of soothing folk-rock vibes. 

Pruitt teased us with her early-release single “White Lies, White Jesus, and You,” a rockin’ mantra about shedding a toxic, hateful religion, while still embracing her own spirituality. Her much anticipated sophomore full-length album, appropriately titled Mantras, dropped on April 5, just in time for lucky Salt Lake audiences to hear it live. 

Pruitt, a Georgia-bred singer/songwriter emerged on the Nashville music scene in 2019 with her Grammy-nominated debut record Expectations. The critically-acclaimed album featured the Fleetwood Mac-esque title track and the ethereal torch song “Out Of The Blue.” In the intervening years she packed a punch with covers of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Ohio,” Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush,” and Lucinda Williams’ “Something About What Happens When We Talk.” All three songs afforded Pruitt an opportunity to showcase her off-the-charts vocal range.

On Mantras, Pruitt takes her introspective songwriting to new heights as she explores complex relationships with family, religion, and her own mind. It’s a full circle journey from self-sabotage to self-compassion. She dismantled the negative self-talk by writing phrases of encouragement and repeating matras in the mirror. The song “Worst Case Scenario” is about not giving in to your fears. Pruitt notes that if you’re going to entertain the worst case scenario you might as well consider the best case while you’re at it.

Pruitt blends her Nashville alt-country-folk sound with rock and pop undertones. The single “All My Friends” is a catchy number based on a Christian Wiman poem about witnessing friends change their beliefs while searching for themselves. She sings: “A new mantra every other week / All my friends are finding new beliefs.” 

I first saw Pruitt when she opened for The Milk Carton Kids at The Commonwealth Room in 2022. I look forward to seeing her headline, with a full band.

Opening is transcendental folk singer/songwriter Jack Van Cleaf. Dualtone Records will release his 2022 debut album Fruit From The Tree on vinyl for the first time, complete with two additional tracks. His 2022 slow-burning single “Rattlesnake” garnered over 10 million streams on Spotify. The music platform lists Van Cleaf as a 2024 “Artists to Watch.”  We will be doing just that at the Urban Lounge.  

Who: Katie Pruitt w/ Jack Van Cleaf
What: Mantras Tour
Where: Urban Lounge
When: Tuesday, April 16, 2024

John Nelson
John Nelson
John Nelson covers the local music scene for Salt Lake magazine. He is a 20-year veteran of Uncle Sam’s Flying Circus with a lifelong addiction to American roots music, live music venues, craft beer and baseball.

Similar Articles