Heartstrings Interview

The Librarian: An Interview with Caitlin Canty

Since the release of her second album – Reckless Skyline – in January,  Caitlin Canty has found herself on almost every music lover’s radar, and rightfully so. Her voice combines an unforgettable triple threat: warmth, tenderness and character. Lucky for us, we recently had the opportunity to interview this Vermont native, who now resides in Nashville. Lucky for you, she begins her Reckless Skyline tour tomorrow in Spring Lake, Michigan and is making stops all over the country into mid-December, with a dream team band at her side.

What is your earliest memory of music?

My mom singing…

How did your relationship with Jeffrey Foucault develop?

I opened a show of his at the Lizard Lounge where he gave me his record, Horse Latitudes. I was impressed by his solo show, and that record sounded better than anything I’d heard in a long time. I opened a few more shows over the next year and every time we’d be talking records and how to make them right. I had the maker of one of my favorite records spelling out how he made one I loved. I asked 10,000 questions. When I was ready to record my next, Jeff signed on to produce it.

Why did you name the album “Reckless Skyline”?

The last song I wrote for that record, “I Never” starts, “I was watching the sun paint a reckless skyline / Could be sitting on the front porch with a summer sigh.”

Many of the songs that found their way onto this record have a theme running through; of pinning an eye on or pushing toward some distant horizon.

I read that you recently moved from your home state of Vermont to Nashville — why did you decide to relocate and what has the experience been like so far?

I moved to Nashville in March, left on tour in May, and got back mid September. So I’m no local yet, but I love it here. It’s packed with sweet people who also make music. And it’s an easy place to tour in and out of.

How did your band come together?

When Jeff signed on to produce Reckless Skyline, our first conversation was about the band – who would be the core players. We had decided to record live and all together in one room, and the players we picked are kick ass studio musicians but spend a good part of the year on the road together too. The rhythm section (Billy Conway, Jeremy Moses Curtis) is part of Cold Satellite, and Eric Heywood’s been in Jeff’s band and on his Horse Latitudes. Matt Lorenz and I had toured together and he was an incredible asset- he sang his backing vocals live with me and played just about every instrument you can think of.

What is your songwriting process? How does a song take shape?

I try to catch a song while it’s coming on. Sit down and close the door and work with it while it’s fresh.

But if I’m on the road, I’m a bit more of a librarian, collecting and cataloging words or melodies or seeds of songs in notebooks and voice memos.

If you could choose any musician to collaborate with, who would it be and why?

I’m going to mention one I haven’t collaborated with yet – I really have been lucky to be working with my heroes on this last record. Kristin Andreassen is an incredible songwriter and musician – one of my favorite lyricists, and she just moved to Nashville.

What do you do when you’re not playing music?

Enjoy my dinner and then get back to the music.

If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

Fathers teach your daughters how to kick a ball, play catch, and shoot hoops.

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