Currently making a major splash in the indie Folk/Americana market with her self-titled debut on 37 Records, emerging singer/songwriter Cathy-Anne McClintock's incredible musical journey inspires people everywhere to echo the title of her best known song “I Wanna Live Like That.”
The track, which she recorded on her album as a duet with Grammy winning bluegrass/folk legend Tim O’Brien, has appeared on Disney Channel, HBO/Showtime and has been recorded and released over 30 times by a vast array of international independent recording artists. She’s also been featured in Billboard, The Record and Marquee magazine.
Exclusive Magazine recently caught up with Cathy-Anne and asked her all sorts of wonderful questions - including one about penguins!
Your music has it’s roots in folk, country and bluegrass. Who were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "When I was a kid my mom payed us a lot of Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty and Emmy Lou. Through my teens it was U2, the Beatles, Sting....then my older sister introduced me to bluegrass and folk. Tim O'Brien, the Stanleys, Alison, Tony Rice, the Osbournes, Larry Sparks...it was pretty much done.
I was hooked. They all factor somewhere in there today. Music is kind of like that for me. Kind of like osmosis."
You’ve just released your self-titled debut album. As an up-and-coming artist, how would you describe the sound and style of your music? "I would say a pop/folk/bluegrass fusion...for lack of better description...but totally acoustic."
Your new single “Up” is gaining attention from those in the Bipolar Disorder community. You drew on your own personal experiences with the disease in order to write the song, tell us a little about this "I grew up with a mom that was(is) bi polar but we never knew it. "Labels" weren't so freely handed out then. I just knew that sometimes she was really creative, fun and energetic until suddenly she wanted to be alone in her room for long periods of time, usually in tears. There was no way to console her."
"It continued like this for as long as I can remember...even today. I really feel for those and the families of those who are living through it. I used to think that I couldn't relate to that lady 'pushing around the shopping cart talking to herself' but now I know without a doubt that the only difference between her and my mom is relentlessly supportive adult children and God. Simple."
You spent 10 years working with the award-winning Canadian Bluegrass band, Tumbleweed. Why did you decide that it was time for you to venture out into a solo career? "We all knew it was time. Everyone in the group was ready to explore their own thing. We learned alot from one another and had some great experiences. I even documented one of the tours in Europe on video on our Tumbleweed compilation last year called The Collection. Great fun and even more fun looking back at it."
When someone thinks of the roots of Bluegrass music, Canada isn’t the first place to come to mind! So tell us, how did a Canadian born girl get into the Bluegrass scene? "I was in the tenth grade and my parents split up. I started spending more time with my older sister (8 yrs older). I say that because she had kind of taken on the role of parent and nurturer at that time in my life when I really needed it. She decided she wanted to learn how to play the banjo(!!) of all things. As most teenagers where I grew up I thought that was an unusual choice! Then she took my friend Susanne and I to our first bluegrass festival."
"That's how it started...she continued to play me very interesting music that I'd never before heard, ever! We started to go to a bluegrass club in Vancouver where people would go and just jam. We met a couple of musicians, formed a casual group for fun, entered a songwriting contest, won recording time...(my sister, Trisha, wrote the tune) it went from there."
Your music has been featured on several television shows, including the Disney’s “Knock First” and HBO. How have these opportunities help gain exposure from your music? "Alot of kids have heard the songs and I've had a fair number of young artists record one of them in particular. An original tune called 'I Wanna Live Like That' has been a favorite. I think people of all ages can really relate to the message. The song has been recorded almost 40 times. Crazy eh?"
Indeed ... and so just how easy or hard is it to create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderments and accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "Gosh, maybe I can answer that if or when it ever happens! Ha ha. My goal has never been to surpass those who've inspired me...build on? Sure. I think I've been influenced by some amazing artists and people. In the end it comes down to the fact that hopefully we all (songwriters) have a different perspective on life that we can bring to the table. In doing that I hope someone who hears mine will be able to relate, be inspired even feel better for having come across it."
Your sister, Trisha Gagnon, is the bass player in the Juno nominated Bluegrass band, The Jaybirds. Clearly, you come from a very musical family; tell us a little more about the encouragement you had towards music in your youth "Well...that won't take long! We sang a bit in church, I played a little clarinet..listened to my sister sing alot of Bonnie Raitt and Carole King tunes. Trisha's always been a great singer. I think it's how she 'got away'. She influenced me without even knowing it and has always been a huge blessing in my life. I was never one of those kids that 'performed for everyone on the coffee table'! My confidence came later...the more I realized that what I had to say could matter."
You’re currently playing a three-date festival that runs until August 24th in Laguna Beach, California. What is your favorite part about playing lives shows and what can fans expect from a Cathy Anne Mcclintock live set? "Well, they can expect to hear a great, talented group of players called the 'Valley Boys', they can expect to have some fun and to see us have some fun too! My favorite part of playing live is seeing the people out there smiling, listening, laughing...just seeing different responses from folks and talking with them after is great."
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today and why? "Hmmm. That's a tough one. This one's far from cheesy... I think 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' by U2. They were a huge influence with me...you may not hear it in my music (!) but they really were. I was about 12 years old and I loved how Bono would say exactly what was on his mind and not give a crap what people would say about it. He wanted to make things better and bring attention to issues that mattered. I remember begging my dad to let me play it on my way to school as we drove for 45 minutes with the deal that he'd be able to listen to classical and CBC Canada the whole way home! Whatever it took!! I had a strong feeling they were special even at that age."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins do you? Who doesn't love penguins? "Seriously though...'The March of the Penguins' was one of the most amazing documentaries I've ever seen. I'm a true animal lover and their story is unbelievable. Creation floors me."
Interview: Erin M. Stranyak
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