Caitlin Harnett recently released her long awaited debut album The River Runs North. Recorded in Canada with a great supporting cast of musicians the album is a fine collection of songs that pull from the rivers of folk and sometimes country music. Of the album we said:
Even through its melancholic moments there’s a youthful optimism on this accomplished first album that warms the soul and lifts the spirit.
Harnett is celebrating the release of the album with a full band (Shaky Town) show this week at Easy Tiger in Paddington with support from Lacey Cole & the Lazy Colts so we thought it’d be perfect timing to grill her with our Six Strings Q&A .
What was the album that first led you down the dusty path of Americana music?
Oh, that’s easy! Whiskeytown – Pneumonia. Without a doubt. I had an old cassette tape copy that my dad gave me and I would listen to it on every drive in my old Camry.
What’s been the most memorable gig you’ve played and why?
Actually, I just opened up for Hurray For The Riff Raff with my band last week at the Newtown Social Club; we were super nervous as it was only our second show but that was one of my favourite shows. The sound, the energy in the room, all of it! It was really special for me.
How did you learn to play your instrument?
I taught myself from a book on this little old classical guitar that mum and dad bought me for my 11th birthday. I would sit on my bed every day and just learn chords and write songs.
What do you consider the finest song you’ve written and why?
That’s a tough question. It feels weird to sit here and say ‘yeah, I have written this song and its great’ you know? I guess from my record I would have to say Benny and thats largely due to the arrangement we worked on in the studio. I am really proud of how it turned out.
If you could sit-in with one other musician (living or dead) who would it be?
It’s almost default for me to say Jackson Browne but lo and behold I am going to betray my love for him and say Gene Clark. He is my new wonder man.
Do you feel there is a strong folk/country music community in Australia and what does it need to grow?
I think there is a great bunch of music lovers and musicians who wholeheartedly embrace folk/country music and are dedicated to seeing it grow in Australia. Unfortunately, there are a lot of close-minded people that are holding back Australian country music and not letting it expand to where it needs to be. I believe there is a very important place for traditional country music but music is forever growing and changing and we need to be a part of that. The more venues, radio stations, labels, etc that support us the more it will grow.
What’s your favourite Americana release so far this year?
Joseph Huber – The Hanging Road
What are your musical plans over the next 12 months?
I am doing a house concert tour in February with my friend Josh Rennie-Hynes, a tour in March (TBA), then heading over to Canada in May and hopefully touring Europe whilst writing for the next record! Busy!