Victory Music  (Feb. 1, 2012)  “I love ‘Standing in the White Angel Breadline,’ for these are the common blues themes that families can relate to. Bill’s vocal vibrato is somewhat unusual, in the Buffy Saint Marie style, but that vibrato adds all the more pain….The backgrounds are simple with few instruments, but enough to make the poetry stand above the fray….’Children of War’ is direct and inviting concern. It’s effective….’I Killed Adolph Hitler’ is like a beat poem, played to eerie electric guitar and harmonica on reverb. Having been a beat poet myself with my lines delivered to the sound of bongos, this one is my favorite….This is an interesting collection of poetic lyrics, sometimes moody, possibly dark and sometimes tongue in cheek. Look for the BTRC at some candlelit hole-in-the-wall or at our various Northwest Festivals, and meet the interesting couple behind this collection.”  J.W. McClure  Read the full review online at: 



Joliet Herald News (Friday, June 24, 2011)  “Lockport native draws music from blue-collar roots”  read the full article:


From the Bands to Watch issue: “some of the better releases we saw come out this year locally.”  BLUE RIBBON TEA COMPANY The Devil is Beating His Wife
Bill and Kathy Kostelec bring together a dynamic collection of 14 tracks. This is their fifth album and the first to feature Kathy, a Kentucky native, in the vocal lead with some of her original songs. While her voice is soft, Kathy manages to pull off significant emotion over the top of plucked guitars. The sound is traditional American folk, but doesn’t fall into the happy honky-tonk vein most ascribe to the genre. The Kostelecs keep things diverse with a variety of tracks ranging from delicate and chilling to blues and more upbeat numbers. The sincerity the two pour into each track is evident and makes this an unconventional, yet refreshing listen. (May 2011) Tiffany Harms, The Pacific Northwest Inlander 


The Blue Ribbon Tea Company (Bill and Kathy Kostelec) have released several cd’s over the past few years and have recently released their new work “The Devil Is Beating His Wife.”  I have already aired material from this cd on Soundspace here at KPBX, Spokane Public Radio.  Now as in the past, I continue to be impressed with the integrity of the music they write and perform.  In a world of many “pyrite”  performers, writers, and bands; the Blue Ribbon Tea Company is a gold standard.  Their lyrics have true, relevant meaning and reflect the life that Bill and Kathy Kostelec live.  They do not follow trends; however, they do follow their hearts and create music that continues to be unique and socially relevant.  They may be in a minority for doing so; nevertheless, that makes the folk music world (and probably the world at large) a better place because of what they do.  I will continue to air their music on my show.  (May 2011)  Norvel Trosst  Soundspace:  Producer/Host, KPBX Spokane Public Radio



“The Blue Ribbon Tea Company is a welcomed flashback to the original American folk music movement. They paint visual portraits ranging from the beauty of nature to human despair … hope, love, loss, anger and joy. Their music is honest and thought provoking … The Blue Ribbon Tea Company is … the real deal.”   (about The Devil is Beating His Wife, May 2011) Bob Rice, Producer/Host Crossroads on KYRS Thin Air Radio



“You’d be hard pressed to find many couples more devoted to creating music than Bill and Kathy Kostelec.  In the folk music of their Blue Ribbon Tea Company, they tell stories that are impossible to dislike.”  (June, 24, 2010) The Pacific Northwest Inlander: Sound Advice – Inlander Recommended Show



Bill Kostelec is “a gentleman that writes with integrity.”  The Pride of Vinegar Flats is “a great song….in the style of Woody Guthrie….a wonderful piece of work….awesome, awesome stuff.”  Dan Maher,  Northwest Public Radio



“Y’all were perfect! Great night, great crowd, great music. I couldn’t have asked for better” “truthfully, I don’t think we got a better response from a first time artist on the patio.” (summer 2010) Isamu “Som” Jordan, Entertainment writer and Booking agent. (quote used with permission..Thanks Som!)



“The press and the public have (rightfully) made a big deal of the Woody-Guthrie-esque “Rathdrum Prairie Refueling Depot Disaster,” but Bill Kostelec’s just as sharp on “Social Insecurity” and “The Big Tax Cut Deficit Flu.”  His reedy, beating vibrato may be at its best on the disc’s opening track, “Going Nowhere.”  (Storyteller 1)  (May 19, 2005) Joel Smith, The Pacific Northwest Inlander: Buzzworthy – Local Music Issue



“It’s a sad, sad situation in our modern society that political folk no longer gets the attention that it used to-the protest songs seems to have faded in favor of misogynistic anthems and saccharine pap.  But the BLUE RIBBON TEA COMPANY is at the very least dedicated to the preservation of the form. Bill Kostelec’s voice is a creaky thing (in a good way, mind you), evocative and occasionally tinged with pain.  While a softly sawing fiddle backs him, he spins tales of local color, crooning about Vinegar Flats and railroad engines.  Historic preservation at its finest.”  Jeff Echert, The Pacific Northwest Inlander: Sound Advice – Inlander Recommended Show



“Fantastic piece, fantastic piece” (Who Will Break the Chain)  Stephen Pitters, KYRS Thin Air Community Radio



“The Blue Ribbon Tea Company is a band with a social conscience and does, in my opinion, some of the best songwriting that I have heard.”  Norvel Trosst, Spokane Public Radio



“Bill Kostelec carries on the tradition of Woody Guthrie in his modern folk songs with strong lyrics and memorable melodies.” (2006)  KPBX Spokane Public Radio program guide)



“The show begins at noon in the classic Bing Crosby Theater and features some of our area’s finest folk musicians to honor the folk legend (Woody Guthrie):  KPBX Inland Folk Host Dan Maher, Nacho Celtic’s Carlos Alden, and Bill and Kathy Kostelec’s band, The Blue Ribbon Tea Company. (2010)  KPBX Spokane Public Radio program guide



“Spokane musician and Gonzaga University instructor Bill Kostelec poured his frustrations into a song…..‘This is just my way of responding to things,’ he said. ‘Railroad songs are part of the American music tradition, that whole romantic railroad tradition.  But man, this isn’t romantic, this is disgusting.’  The lyrics of Kostelec’s song, “The Rathdrum Prairie Refueling Depot Disaster” include the lines, “Now the plastic sheet is leaking and your poison’s sinking down/To foul our lifeblood treasure laying hidden beneath the ground.”  Its ending is aimed at railroad executives and politicians: “Keep your oil out of my water, keep your poison from my well/If there’s any justice in this world you’ll drink diesel fuel in hell.”  The song has gotten some air time on KYRS-FM in Spokane, and Kostelec’s acoustic band, The Blue Ribbon Tea Company, has since been invited to perform the tune in Seattle over Memorial Day weekend at the Northwest Folklife Festival.”  James Hagengruber, The Spokesman Review

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