I have spent the last twelve years impersonating a 70’s country western star named Kitty Rose. Kitty had a loud personality, drawl, wearing cheesy western suits and large cowboy hats. “Kitty” sang (and very well, I might gloat) her own original country western tunes along with classics from Tammy Wynette to Loretta Lynn. Then a funny thing happened. “Kitty” stopped writing new songs. She started dreading live shows. She started becoming a bitter, old cowboy crone basically, trotting out the old favorites over the challenge of presenting the original tunes. It was clear to me, as the face behind Kitty, that Kitty had outworn her welcome. The creative muse that drove me to write songs weekly, sometimes daily, the actual will to sing, was slowly dying inside the Kitty character I had created.
How to stay alive then? Well, first I had to “kill KITTY!!” Fans balked, whined, whimpered in fact. “We love Kitty!” they cried. But no, it was a life or death situation and I had decided to survive. So Kitty met with a freak horse accident at her ranch in Hopland, and Katharine Cole took her first breath in a long, long time. Time passed and after a long drought of creativity, I started once again to get song ideas…halleluiah! Writing, rewriting, recording, re-recording, fleshing out songs, picking out players and hashing out the minute details of each note and nuance, and the album based on the song Hymn in E, or There is No God was born.
After smiling under the cowboy hat for many, many years, it was time to stand up in front of friends and family and once again pour my guts out on to the stage. My days as an entertainer are over. My life as a creative writer of songs begins in earnest. Where the highest praise used to be “Wow, what a voice!”, now the highest praise is “Wow, that song really meant something to me.” And I know that the true purpose of song, poetry, performance is just that – creating a space for the listener, the receiver, to be moved, for emotions to be shared and thoughts exchanged. Music is the great healer, the great motivator, the great uber-consciousness of our lives and my goal now is to open the door to that space for others.
There is No God. With these strong words resounding, beautiful scripted on the cover of the CD itself, I challenge the world and myself to face our greatest fears, throw away the past, and get down to real life. The album is a collection running the entire span of my musical life. The mash up of styles from eighties rock through scat jams, folk songs and modern Americana has one common thread between them. The struggle of life is ours and ours alone. There is no god of hate, no god of judgment to fear when our lives are over. It is the life we have been living and one left to live, that will dictate whether we have truly lived life to the fullest. So lets sing, then, ready? One, two, three, four….
Official Website: www.katharinecole.com
Ed Note: I played Katharine’s new album over and over on a recent road trip and was deeply moved and delighted! Great stuff.
After performing all over the nation as that singing cowgirl, Kitty Rose, Katharine Cole comes out from behind the mask with an intensely personal and revealing album outlining an entire career of music and experience that comes from living a life in bars and night clubs. From struggling with addiction, religious and physical desire, through battles with ego, selflessness and denial, There is No God as its title suggests, is the last stand for a mature artist coming to terms with reality.