Behind the scenes: creating the "Something True" cd

How do we find contentment in a world filled with such sorrow, brokenness, and injustice? Not an easy question to answer, but that is one of the themes underlying the songs on my first EP of original songs: finding laughter in the depths of sorrow, recognizing the constant yearning for the past and the future, facing a bully, and trying to connect with others through music. The video has clips of me talking about the songs on the EP as well as fun behind the scenes footage of the recording process and live performances.  

I am amazed by the number of talented, creative and supportive people who contributed to recording my first cd of original songs—many of whom make cameo appearances on the video. There are also fun glimpses of family and friends who have been so supportive over these past few years. So very grateful to you all! 

Artists seen on video include: Chris Rosser, Bob Malone, Eliot Wadopian, Dan Hood, Al Sergel, Tim and Sarah Williams, and Cheryl Hoover. Studio scenes shot at GAT3 in Charlotte, NC (Wade Starnes at engineer board) and Stone Temple Studios  (Robert George, engineer). The video was shot and edited by Levin Chaskey (Charlotte Star Room) with additional footage from Wes Cobb.

Opening for Creative Mornings Charlotte

I enjoyed a musical moment with Charlotte's creative community by sharing my song "Play Me." Don't miss Dan Hood showing off his musical chops on electric guitar. Dan arranged this song (which I had written for jazz piano) into a 12-bar blues for guitar.

You always remember your first time

February 1st, 2017, 11:30am in the birthplace of Bono and William Butler Yeats (Dublin, Ireland) my first radio airplay by Sean Brophy of 103.2 Dublin City FM. He mentions my name at the top of the show in a lineup with Fairport Convention (Sandy Denny) and the Oscar nominated song from La La Land (sung by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone). Esteemed company. Listen to Sean’s entire entertaining and diverse show by clicking the play button above or going to the mixcloud page here . Charlotte, NC and Bob Malone (who played piano) get a shout-out in the intro to my song “Keep on Talking” at 49:10.  Many thanks to Alexis Bruce (my manager), Chris Rosser (recorded and mixed the cd) and the folks at Gat3 studios for their work on the song. 

The Beauty We Create Together...

The "Something True EP Release Party" in December was a heart-warming reminder of how a community of people can support and encourage each other. Levin Chaskey captured the songs and the mood  in the video below, Cheryl Hoover sang backup, Chris Rosser (who recorded, mixed and played on the cd) contributed his talents, fellow songwriters, artists, poets, professors, family, and neighbors attended and celebrated with me. Many thanks to Alexis Bruce and Charlotte Star Room for hosting. (Don't miss the video shot of the sketch my neighbor—whom I've known since she was born—drew of me that evening!)

 

EP Concert with Chris Rosser: December 16 in Charlotte, NC

Singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Rosser (who recorded my EP and a full cd of original songs premiering early next year) will be in town on December 16 to help launch my 5-song EP. Everyone on my email list is getting access to a free stream and download of the title track (available now) and a free EP (available next week). If you aren't already on my email list, sign up before December 16th and I will send you the link! Details of the concert are on my schedule page. Thank you so much for your support.

Photo by Levin Chaskey, cd graphics and design by Matthew Fleming

Photo by Levin Chaskey, cd graphics and design by Matthew Fleming

Edge of a Hurricane

On the day hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina, I was up in Asheville (which just barely caught the edge of the storm). I was walking along the French Broad river in the Olivette neighborhood when I came across a couple getting married. It was just the two of them, the minister, and a photographer. I was so struck by their deciding to get married even in the middle of a storm; they seemed so frail but also strong--choosing love no matter what the sky might portend. I wanted to sing something for them, but I couldn't think of what I would sing, even though I have sung for many weddings over the years. Right then and there I decided to write a song about that moment. As I searched for ideas, the larger metaphor of how dangerous and frightening our world is today loomed larger and larger in my imagination. I recorded this demo at the end of October as I finished up writing, so I could have a record of the song in progress; flawed though it is, here on 11/9 (the day after the 2016 election) I thought it was important to send out some light. It is in our darkest storms that we have to shelter each other—choose love. My daughter just turned 18 and voted with me in this last election. As I prepare to send her out into this dangerous world, I dedicate this song to her—and to all those who are frightened and despairing. 

STACY AND ERIC WERNER’S HOUSE CONCERT IN MISSOULA

My friend Stacy Jennings Werner and her husband Eric hosted a house concert for me in Missoula, Montana with local musician John Floridis. If you’ve ever thought of hosting or attending a house concert for a musician, I hope these pictures will encourage you! It’s an intimate, special evening. (All photos by Jack Oates.)

My sister, Nancy Spragins, flew over from Seattle for the concert (and, as always, was a huge help to Stacy and great source of moral support for me).

 

Lots of great food including cherished family recipes (my grandmother's caramel cake!)

 

Tuning up and getting ready to play.

From left my cousins (Gingy & Peter Heyler, sister Nancy, and my Mom) along with other friends and neighbors made a great listening crowd

The concert was live-streamed by Western Montana's Facebook page. You can watch it (in two parts) on my Facebook Music Page

John and I played for 3 hours. One heck of an audience (40 or so in Missoula and 9,000 watching all over the world) stayed with us for most of the concert.

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Stacy, John and me basking in the glow…..        Stacy and Eric…the hosts (and friends).

"Saving the Whales" top 10 finalist in CSA songwriting contest!

Delighted to announce that my song, "Saving the Whales" is a top 10 finalist in the Connecticut Songwriting Association's Environmental Contest and will appear on the compilation cd. I will perform at an event on September 10 at Coogan's Farm in Mystic, CT along with the winners and other finalists (my roommate, Jane Fallon, at the Ellis Paul Songwriting Retreat won the Grand Prize!). Details and tickets here if you live in the area!

 

RELATED SHOW

  • Artist: Katie Oates
  • Date: 09/10/16
  • Time: 3:30pm
  • Venue: Coogan Farm
  • City: Mystic , CT
  • Country: US
  • Age restrictions: All Ages

Video of title song of my upcoming cd: "Something True"

 If you've ever been to the Northwest of the United States, you know how precious water is. Even in places people think of as rainy (like Seattle), the quantity of rain is much less than most cities in the Eastern United States get. A few summers ago I was driving across a long wide stretch of prairie and saw a thunderstorm way off in the distance. There was a dark line extending underneath the length of the storm system, and I realized the rain was evaporating before it could reach the earth: all that parched land, water just above and none of it reaching ground. It reminded me of the way we want so badly to connect to the people we love the most--and how often we fail. (Video by Wes Cobb.)