By Ian Aspinall

Hello dear reader.  I’m writing this interview up after C2C as it was the last thing I did before a very busy weekend/few days.  Our esteemed leader Helen asked me a couple of weeks before C2C if I’d like to do any interviews and I of course jumped at the chance.  However, as I explained to Helen, this is the first time I’ve ever done one.  I’ve never even interviewed someone for a job or anything, so asking insightful questions to a stranger is a completely new phenomenon to me.  So please bear with me during this attempt at being Parky.  I will also add that I was told I had 10 minutes, and I was under the impression they would be quite strict.  As it happened they weren’t, so the end of the interview is off script.

After being welcomed, we all sat down, and I did warn the seasoned professional musician and her road manager that it was my first time, so please go easy on me.

CL: Hi, welcome to London!  Is this your first time to the UK, to London or have you been here before? [I should add, I had tried to have a look through Instagram and some press about an upcoming release, and thought she may have been here before, but couldn’t be sure].

CS: Ah yeah, last time I was here was in 2016 playing the Troubadour, so it’s been a minute since I was last here. I’ve released 2 records since then, and have been dreaming of being part of C2C for so long and I’m so happy.

CL: This leads me to another one of my questions.  Were you aware of C2C before being booked?  How much of a buzz around it is there in the US?

CS: In Nashville specifically and the music community there’s definitely a buzz.  It’s such a cool festival and I’m so honoured to be a part of it.

At this point my nerves were getting the better of me and there was a random ramble about how the Brits love the Country scene and follow what’s going over there really closely.

CL: So you’ve been here before.  What do you think about British audiences, and what reputation do the British audiences have over in the US?

CS: Yes, well the first time I played, I had a few friends warn me that everyone’s quite quiet and I actually first went to my friend Lucie Silvas’s show here in 2016 and I watched it before I played, and I watched how quiet and respectful everyone is.  And I do realise it’s because everybody is paying attention and being respectful and not that they hate it.  American audiences tend to be a bit more rowdy and there’s more hoots and hollering but I’m very much looking forward to playing the UK again because I know it’s full of music listeners and this audience really respects the songs.

CL: Moving on to your career, I know that you’ve done a lot of song writing and written for and with other people.  Was that always the plan, or was becoming an artist in your own right, releasing your own music, the plan, or has that been a more organic development?

CS: Plan A was to become an artist. When I moved to Nashville over a decade ago I fell in love with, not just music city, but songwriters’ city and I found that people, you, could make money making up songs for a job and I thought that sounds like a great idea while I figure out what I want to say as an artist and so I signed a publishing deal and just started writing to really hone my craft. And Plan B started working out unexpectedly, the first cuts I had were Jason Aldean, Rascall Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers and the list goes on so it was very exciting time.  But as the years went on, it started getting harder and harder to get the songs out, I began missing the stage, and began missing out on the initial vision for myself, so I’m now very grateful that I’ll be doing both.

CL: Well I’m very glad you’re releasing your own music as I love Put Me Back Together – it’s my favourite song of yours and I have been listening on repeat.

CL: I’m really looking forward to the Songwriter’s event tonight. We don’t get really big ones here.  I know they’re pretty much the norm in Nashville, and we have loads of small ones, and I end up knowing all the people at them, so tonight is going to be huge and I’m really looking forward to it.  Are you looking forward to tonight?

CS: I’m so looking forward to tonight.  Songwriters’ rounds are so special to me because that’s where I started, in the writing room, and it gives you space to tell your stories.  If you’re doing a live show you don’t necessarily get all that. [At this point CS was a little too quiet for the microphone to pick up, but I remember she was excited and happy].

CL: Tonight is going to be so much fun, and I’m really looking forward to it.  Even though the festival is massive, the Thursday night before is often considered the best night of the festival weekend, as it’s so special. It is also the start of the weekend, and we are still full of energy and know what’s going on.

CL: While you’re here, away from the music is there anything you specifically want to do, want to see?

CS: We spent the whole day yesterday wandering and exploring and having a great time.  Me and my friend Tenille Townes were just out.  It was so fun.  I’m looking forward to the food.  Mostly just walking the streets.  There’s something about walking round London. I love being around the architecture, the cobblestones, the whole thing is magic and I’m just throwing myself headfirst in to all that.

CL:  So my boss says she likes to have a random, fun, type of question at the end and she suggested: what superpower would you have?

CS:  The power to just transport myself just like that.  I could go be in China, I could go be in New Zealand, just like that.

This was the end of my prepared questions, and I can honestly say Caitlyn and Katie, her road manager made me feel very comfortable and at ease, despite my tendency to ramble.  They were such lovely people. We briefly discussed Caitlyn’s new record, High, out on April 8th.  There’s 2 tracks already out, ‘High’ and ‘Downtown Baby’.  Both are excellent, and if you were at C2C and caught any of Caitlyn’s sets you may well have heard another song from the album – a beautiful song about her family and being away from them.  Her performance at CMA Songwriters on the Thursday night was amazing, and I managed to catch 2 other sets of hers across the weekend, and I imagine these all brought her a whole load of new fans.  I, for one, was over the moon, as she sang ‘Put me Back Together’ in an almost silent Indigo on Saturday morning

I am positive she will be back on these shores and I will be front row when she is.

High’ is out April 8th on all regular music platforms.

Photo credit Ian Aspinall

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