Boston mainstay and resident "folk-rock goddess", as the New Yorker calls her, Catie Curtis paid a visit to the WUMB air studio on September 10th for a performance and interview with Dave Palmater in preparation for her shows at Club Passim on Saturday, September 19th.
Curtis, who is coming off of a divorce--the end of a seventeen-year marriage to be exact--and has a yet unnamed record dealing with the topic, chose to start the session with "Troubled Mind" from her 1996 album Truth and Lies. As an artist who has based most of her material off of her own life Curtis says that she is in a tricky spot with a lot of the material on her forthcoming album. Many of her earlier records were about her married life and parenting her young children. Not all of the songs are based fact for fact on her own experiences. One song that fits this description is "My Betraying Heart",cowritten with Maia Sharp, which tells the story of overlapping relationships. She never wants to put a disclaimer out on song saying that they did or did not happen in her life. With twenty plus years of touring under her belt fans are always coming up to her and telling her how her songs relate to their own lives. What matters is that relatability, "what is important is that it could have happened" to her. She also played a song that was formerly named after her Unitarian minister who's name appeared in the song. The lyrics include asking "is it real life yet" and questioning whether the person leaving a long-term relationship is in fact doing the right thing. The song is currently untitled because she chose to remove the minister's name from the lyrics.
The next few months are going to be busy for Curtis. In addition to writing and performing she runs a series of songwriting retreats. Applications are still being accepted for a session running Columbus Day weekend. She also produces the Voices United Concerts to raise awareness for Americans United For Separation of Church and State. The next next installation features Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem on October 30th at the First Unitarian Society in Newton. Curtis is also looking for a venue to host her annual holiday show.
You can catch Catie Curtis at Club Passim on Saturday, September 19th, at 5 PM and 8 PM. More information can be found on her website CatieCurtis.com.