Friday, May 4
Saturday, February 11, 2017 ♦ 8:00 PM
4545 N Lincoln Ave · The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall · 773.728.6000
Catie Curtis's list of accomplishments spans 14 albums, songs featured on TV shows “Grey's Anatomy”, “Dawson's Creek”, and “Felicity”; and movies like “Finding Graceland” and “A Slipping Down Life”. For over 25 years, she has been a perennially popular headliner, appearing at Lilith Fair, Carnegie Hall, performing arts centers, concert halls, folk clubs, music festivals and the White House! She was even dubbed a “folk rock goddess” by The New Yorker.
Catie's career has been a marvel–a hopscotch of serendipity, small-town roots, and the search for honest stories. She seeks the everyday details that let you see your own life in her songs: headlights crossing a bedroom wall; finding love in your dad's heart; and the falling-in-love moment of “The Kiss That Counted.”
Catie's newest album speaks in that familiar, frank and reassuring voice about life events everyone encounters: love, loss, and the search for redemption. “While We're Here” rides the wave of tumultuous life transitions (divorce, death and falling in love) with clear-eyed courage and soulfulness. As the title cut says “we could all die tomorrow, I'm not gonna live in fear, don't ever stop giving living a shot, while we're here.”
Around the country, people tell Curtis that her songs are like companions, soundtracks for their lives. In her ‘90s gay-rights classic, “Radical,” she sings, “I'm not being radical when I kiss you/ and I don't love you to make a point.” The intimacy with which she has expressed her gay identity has helped others through their own difficult journey to authenticity, whether related to sexuality or simply accepting oneself whole-heartedly. “To me, a song is like a conversation with a friend,” she says. “There's always a lot of ‘Yeah, yeah, me, too.' There's a kind of voice you use when you talk to someone you're comfortable with. That's the voice I look for in my songs.”
For “While We're Here”, Curtis recorded the basic tracks live in the studio with Julie Wolf (Ani Difranco, Bruce Cockburn) on piano, Jon Evans (Sarah McLachlin, Tori Amos) on bass and drummer Matthew Bossi in Jamaica Plain, MA. “There's nothing better than getting in the zone with some great players and discovering what can happen,” says Curtis who also invited Jimmy Ryan (mandolin), Duke Levine (guitar), Jefferson Hammer (guitar), Jaime Edwards (keys), Elana Arian (fiddle) and singers Ben Demerath and Rose Polenzani to round out the sound.
Catie looks forward to hitting the road with this new recording. She has announced that this will be her last tour, dubbing it “The Final Outing.” She will take one last road trip across the USA and beyond in 2017. While the concert stage has sustained her long career, Catie is finally giving in to her nesting instinct, saying “The themes of ‘While We're Here' involve endings and beginnings, change and resilience. After 25 years on the road I am ready for my own new beginning.”
"While We're Here” is about living in the present”, says Catie. “While recording the album, the theme of life choices kept coming up. That life is short is something that resonates deeply with me, and I started to take notice of the things I truly loved.” Connecting with people one-on-one has always been the most meaningful aspect of touring, and Catie intends to continue that part of her work. “While I won't be traveling to everyone out there, I am inviting everyone out there to come to me! I will be producing creativity retreats where all are welcome. I will also perform shows online and connect by posting and blogging.” Catie will also continue to record new music and play private events and benefit concerts.
To reassure everyone, “I'm healthy and happy!” says Catie. After a long and full touring career, and now with so many innovative ways to reach an audience, it is a great time to keep her feet on the ground and work at some of these new approaches. The thought has become liberating, that “I don't have to tour in order to live a creative life. I realized as I was singing about choices on “While We're Here”, I also have a choice.”
Connor Garvey is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Portland, Maine, with the amiable presence of an entertainer, the lyrical depth of a poet, and the enchantment of a storyteller.