Coyote Willow
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Coyote Willow

Bend, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Bend, Oregon, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo Americana Roots




"Review: 5 of the Best Local Releases of 2016"

• “Raising the Barn,” Coyote Willow (November, self-released): Katherine Hilst and Tim Coffey’s first album under the name Coyote Willow is both a statement of intent and a bold push into uncharted territory. The intricate acoustic guitar/cello interplay and challenging arrangements Hilst and Coffey are known for dominate about one-half of the record; the other half is dedicated to electric experiments that enhance, rather than dilute, the couple’s introspective writing.

Key tracks: “Grey Lady,” “The Road” - Bend Bulletin

"Review: Coyote Willow Evolve Sound on 'Raising the Barn'"

For six years now Tim Coffey and Katherine Hilst have explored just how far they can take a simple cello-acoustic guitar-vocals lineup. The results — a technically bracing mix of Celtic and folk influences they’ve alternately dubbed “progressive acoustic Americana” and “beautiful music with grit” — have always challenged ears in unexpected ways.

“Raising the Barn,” their first full-length album under the name Coyote Willow, once again deals in the unexpected, namely by delving head-first into what would seem anathema to this duo: rock ’n’ roll. Not that rock music hasn’t influenced their songwriting before, but here it’s right out in the open, from Coffey’s electric guitar noodling to the full rhythm section found on half the album’s 10 original tracks.

To be sure, the elements that have won over local music fans and made the duo one of the area’s busiest acoustic live performers — Coffey’s intricate guitar melodies, Hilst’s mournful cello, a mix of quirky and introspective songwriting — still form the backbone of the recording. The album starts out deep in the duo’s wheelhouse with the instrumental title track, which adds violin from Bethany Willis, and the sublime “Grey Lady,” perhaps the best example of the duo’s knack for shifting arrangements, featuring mandolin from Bill Powers.

The sonic shift begins with “Just One Kiss,” a chugging folk-rocker featuring some bluesy playing from Coffey. Drummer Jeff Ingraham navigates this song and four others, providing just enough muscle to enhance and not overpower Hilst and Coffey’s instrumental interplay. Highlights of the “full band” set of songs include the instrumental “FT,” a minor-key chord dirge featuring Franchot Tone on bass and some moving cello-violin interplay from Hilst and Willis, and “The Road,” a cinematic Western dirge with a gritty vocal performance from Coffey.

The album winds down the way it starts, with the acoustic “Leeside” and “Kaeli’s Ride” bringing the instrumentation back to just the duo. A bonus cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” while a bit superfluous, closes the record in the right mood.

It’s the originals that reward repeated listens, however. Without changing the fundamental DNA of what makes Coyote Willow, Hilst and Coffey have taken their sound to the next level — and left multiple musical doors open to explore at their whim in the future.

Coyote Willow CD release party: 4 p.m. Nov. 12; free; McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 NW Bond St., Bend; or 541-382-5174. - Bend Bulletin

"Coyote Willow Releases New EP"

Coyote Willow has "a penchant for making the personal universal in their songs"
- Brian McElhiney, Jan. 29, 2016 - Bend Bulletin

"SEASON OF ROCK: New acts, old favorites slated for Treehouse Café"

"Coyote Willow, an artful duo made up of Tim Coffey and Kat Hilst, is an eclectic combination of rock, blues, folk and contemplative instrumentals based primarily around Coffey’s soulful baritone voice and acoustic guitar and Hilst’s powerful cello work. Musically and lyrically, their tunes range from rockabilly to the lyrically-moving folk style, as well as a smattering of instrumentals and even gypsy jazz.”
- Luciana Marano, March 2, 2015 - Bainbridge Island Review

"From Eric & Paula Starr of Northwood Public House & Brewery"

"These guys are Americana at its best and we love their brand of innovation and cool."
- Eric & Paula Starr, owners Northwood Public House & Brewery, Dec. 6, 2014 - Facebook event post


Sometimes it seems like making, and listening to music in the 21st century means navigating in a sea of studio trickery. But the sound of great musicians expertly playing their real instruments will always endure. The debut album from this local duo is aptly named; the acoustics, and attention to detail that surrounded its creation at Lonely Grange Recorders, in Sisters are important, the deep gorgeous timbre of Kat Hilst’s cello, and the celtic flavored chamber-folk-pop they make when they’re together. - Ben Salmon, Bend Bulletin, 2012

"CD Review - Hilst & Coffey, The Lonely Grange Sessions"

“The result is an album, “The Lonely Grange Sessions,” that draws out the natural warmth of Hilst & Coffey’s earthy folk, blues and Celtic music. Packed with his percussive acoustic guitar and the rich textures of her cello, the record courses with the chemistry that has made the duo one of the busiest bands in Bend over the past few years.” July 6, 2012 - Ben Salmon, Bend Bulletin, Bend Oregon

"Settling Down"

From the Bulletin for “Strings Unbound”: After months of writing — both songs with vocals and instrumentals — Coffey began recording his new music with Joe Schulte at String Theory Music and Franchot Tone, a Bend-based producer. The result, “Strings Unbound,” is a collection of elegant, effortless folk songs about everyday life. Coffey’s tunes are sometimes a bit jazzy and sometimes classically influenced, but always warm and inviting, like a well-worn, favorite chair.

The album features performances from lots of Coffey’s friends in the local music scene, most notably cellist Kat Hilst, who has since become his full-time partner in a live setting. The duo goes by the name Hilst & Coffey, and you can usually find them playing for the fine folks at local hangouts… Coffey was also approached by the Breedlove Guitar Co. to become a part of its stable of artists, an honor he calls “absolutely amazing.” February 18, 2011 - Ben Salmon, Bend Bulletin, Go Magazine


Raising the Barn by Coyote Willow (c) 2016
Falling to Home by Coyote Willow (the EP for Raising the Barn) (c) 2016



Coyote Willow blends progressive Folk and Americana, with hints of Celtic influence, for an extraordinary mix of vocal harmony, haunting instrumentals, and foot-stomping rhythms. Their exciting combination of cello, guitar, and rich vocals combine to take you on a musical journey that will have you laughing, crying, dancing and celebrating the rhythms of life.  This artistic partnership of genre-crossing styles, flows from Tim Coffey’s soulful baritone voice and Kat Hilst’s powerful cello, with styles ranging from folk, blues, rock to intriguingly complex instrumentals. Their new CD, “Raising the Barn” was named one of the top 5 releases in Central Oregon for 2016 by The Bend Bulletin. 

The band has shared the stage with Robert Earl Keen, and Shawn Mullins at their respective shows at the Tower Theatre in Bend, OR and with Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek) at The Belfry in Sisters, OR in 2016. Coyote Willow regularly plays the main stages at festivals and events throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival, Breedlove Festivals, and Bend Roots Festival.

Accomplished musicians and songwriters, the duo’s innovative artistic partnership creates a magical performance experience of genre-crossing styles. Kat and Tim joined forces during the recording of their first CD, ”Strings Unbound” in 2010 and recorded “The Lonely Grange Sessions” in 2012. In 2015 the band rebranded to Coyote Willow.

Band Members