b. Kimberlee Howg, 7 September 1968, Edina, Minnesota, USA. As a child, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Kami Lyle ranged far and wide in the ravines and woods of Minnesota - experiences that would later inform her songwriting. After her parents divorced when she was four, Lyle followed her mother’s example and took up the trumpet. By the time she attended Hopkins High School, she had joined the local Tex-Mex group Mezcal. She gained her stage name by accident - working in a bookstore, she lost her name-tag and replaced it with that of a departed Iranian employee named Kami. She combined this with her father’s first name, Lyle. She graduated from the Berklee College Of Music in 1992. Her debut album, Blue Cinderella, a series of character-sketch narratives and semi-autobiographical passages, impressed many with its clarity and authenticity; for example, the endearing ‘Grocery Song’ was written about her experiences as a supermarket bagger following her initial move to Nashville. With arrangements fashioned by Sting / XTC producer Hugh Padgham, the contents prompted several critics to recall Victoria Williams’ work, although Lyle’s voice and phrasing were more conventional than that comparison might suggest.
- Edina, MN
- Sep 7, 1968