Catherine Britt is an artist on the rise. Her authentic country style evokes 1940s Nashville and painstaking takes in smoky recording studios. Her aching vocals puts one in mind of a younger Dolly Parton, while her guitar playing wouldn’t sound out of place on a jukebox in your downtown neighborhood bar. She’s playing at the Nick on Saturday on her way to South by Southwest.
Q: How does a young girl from Australia discover traditional American country music?
My Dad showed me a film called “Coal Miner’s Daughter” when I was 9 years old and it changed my life. I went digging for all sorts of music from there and fell in love with country music.
Q: Were you influenced at all by Kasey Chambers?
Kasey and her dad essentially discovered me when I first started out, and she was the first to take me out on tour. She is like a big sister to me, but musically I think we are very different.
Q: Describe your childhood as it relates to becoming a musician.
I always sang as a little girl around the house and started writing songs when I picked up the guitar at 11 years old.
Q: How did you get your first instrument?
I got a cheap guitar for Christmas one year from mum and dad!
Q: “Red Dirt” transports me to Australia, much like Midnight Oil or early INXS did. Your homeland becomes an essential part of the song.
It is very influenced by our travelling around Australia for the last three years in the caravan. It is purely inspired by heading out to the outback from my home on the coast.
Q: "Hillbilly Pickin Ramblin Girl” is pretty country. Tell me about the girl in the song.
It was written as a “this is who I am” song when I was 15 and writing for my debut album. I still sing it at every gig to this day. It’s my signature song and, yes, it’s as country as one can get!
Q: How much of your personal life makes it into your music? Do you consider yourself an autobiographical writer?
I am a very personal songwriter and write mostly from my life and experience. I write a little bit of story songs also but mostly personal stories.
Q: SXSW is coming up. Will this be your first time you’ve attended?
Q: You’re coming to Birmingham March 9th. Will this be your first time there?
Yes! I’m very excited :)
Q: What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
Head back home and back to travelling for the year in Australia playing shows and also working on another new record at the end of the year.
Freelancer Larry May reviews musicians for The Anniston Star.