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Live Music Week happens bi-annually at WERS to raise money to keep our station running. We ask if you can pledge your support in order to keep us live on air, bringing you live performances from your favorite musicians. Pledges can be made here.
Susan Cattano is a busy woman. Not only is she a working and touring singer-songwriter, but is also a professor at Berklee and a mother of two children. Fortunately, this afternoon, the country bluegrass musician managed to fit some time into her hectic schedule and stop by the WERS studio to play some of her songs as part of our Live Music Week.
Aimable and warm, Cattaneo puts off the demeanor of someone grateful and excited to be pursuing her passion. She eagerly talks about the personal stories behind her songs and how happy she is to have such an active life. She began her set with the first track from her sophomore album, “Gotta Get Gone,” before breaking into her next song, “Red Light Kiss,” which she stated infuses the musical practice of “recoloring,” a term she teaches in her class at Berklee. The last tune she played for us was a return to a much more old-country tradition and a track from her upcoming album (still in production), “How a Cowboy Says Goodbye”.
At first glance, Cattaneo’s Nashville-sounding style may seem out a bit out of place within the city of Boston, but despite those differences, Cattaneo is positive about standing out. “It’s good be unique,” she says, “if you have a little bit of a twang, it’s kind of unique and special.” While optimistic, Cattaneo does acknowledge some of the difficulties of being a country singer in a northern city, “Honestly, it’s challenging sometimes because I think that trying to find venues that are country-music friendly are few and far between here.” In spite of the obstacles, she has had success as both a songwriter for other vocalists and as musician herself, having previously performed at Toby Keith’s bar in Foxborough and opening for Travis Tritt in Worcester, MA.
With regards to managing her daily life of work and family with her passion for music, Cattano is also willinging to note that it can be stressful, but ultimately rewarding. “It’s really challenging,” she said, “…I think a happy mom is a good mom and I think it’s been really cool for them to see me doing something outside of them that I really find gratifying… and I hope I’m providing a good role model for them of someone who really is trying to be a good mom, but also having this very rich life that is different from them – that runs parallel.”
Susan Cattaneo’s newest album, Little Big Sky, is out now and be sure to keep up with her website for news on her upcoming projects.