Monday, October 23, 2017

Katelynn Corll at 20 Front Street (Interview)

Katelynn Corll performs at 20 Front Street
Fri., Nov 10
with Callison Nash
I'm pretty sure Katelynn Corll is going to be a rock star... She kinda already is..., having already made some significant splashes on the local music scene all before she graduated high school. I caught up with her back in April for the Detroit Free Press, when we were discussing the release of her second solo album Soul Foundry Sessions, as well as her work with the School of Rock and her drum-work with bands like Harlow.

Corll started on piano at age 5, took on the drums for a rock ‘n’ roll band by the time she was 10, and realized early on how important it was to start writing her own music at a young age.  Corll's got an uncommon drive and passion to not just create music, but connect...connect with audience as well as her fellow musicians. And that enthusiasm can be contagious when you hear her songs or see her live. While she might bring a softer, folk/Americana vibe, her influences include lots of iconic rock auteurs who bring a lot of presence and energy to the stage. Sure, Soul Foundy might fit into folk, but she's got rock 'n' roll in her creative DNA.

I think its that drive that led venues like 20 Front Street to champion her music. She's getting ready to perform her third concert at this cozy/elegant listening room up in Lake Orion. This time around she's invited  indie-folk rock /Americana singer/songwriter Robin Berg of the band Callison Nash out from California.

Before I dive into an interview with Katelynn, here's a couple tracks from these two artists, both featured at 20 Front Street on Nov 10

Corll, photographed in 2016, visiting the site
of 20 Front Street while it was under construction
INTERVIEW: Katelynn Corll

So, share with me a bit more about what you appreciate most about a venue like 20 Front Street? 

This will be my third show at 20 Front Street; my first time was actually the very first show at the venue. Then, my second time there was for my "Soul Foundry Sessions" CD Release Show. Something I am very grateful for was the opportunity to witness the process of making 20 Front Street come to life. I met the owner, Allan Goetz, back in the summer of 2016 after I had just finished an acoustic set in Rochester. At the time, he was telling me about his vision for an intimate acoustic venue in the Lake Orion area. He talked about it with so much enthusiasm, and I could tell how dedicated he already was to making that dream a reality. He invited me to come check out the building when it was just dirt floor and brick walls. 

Even then, it had so much character. Allan had the idea for me to bring my guitar and record an unplugged video of me playing one of my original songs. That actually ended up being the start of the "Songs In the Dirt" series that they had going up until the venue was done. 

The venue itself is breathtaking, and everyone who has performed there and attended a show will agree with that statement. It's a true listening room. No TVs, sound isolated from the lobby and rest of the building, and has a greenroom exclusively for performers. Adding to the experience are a social cafe area with Kombucha on tap, as well as a creamery in the basement with homemade hand-dipped ice cream. But what really makes 20 Front Street stand out is the incredible team behind it. The Goetz family, Tim Williams, Scott Loudon and so many more. Their love and support for the local, national, and even international acts that come to perform there is second to none. 

How's everything else going... Are you working on anything else after Soul Founddry Sessions, or anything you're looking forward to with Harlow?  
Everything is amazing right now! Last Winter/Spring I was very fortunate to have been asked to join Harlow as their new drummer, and the journey so far has been a ton of fun. They are truly some of the nicest and supportive people I know, and the chemistry between all of us is incredible. We're currently looking to tour in early-mid March, so keep an eye out for that. I'm always writing acoustic material for my solo project. In fact, I will be debuting a brand new song at my show on the 10th! My acoustic songwriting process is very delicate, so I tend to spend weeks and even months completing a single song. 

Over the past few months, however, I've been working with Steve Stetson (Uncle Kracker, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas) and Steve Lehane on a new rock single at Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak. I'm recording all the instruments myself, so it has been a really cool experience! It's completely different from my solo material, and an avenue in songwriting I haven't spent much time with since Blood and Wine disbanded. I'm really excited for everyone to hear it!

Tell us about Robin Berg and Callison Nash and how you set up this show? 

Robin Berg is from Southern California. We've never met, but we connected via Facebook a while back. When my previous rock project, Blood and Wine, went out to LA to record with Linkin Park's producer Jeff Blue about two years ago, we did most of the songwriting and recording at Greg Markel of Altered State's home studio, Studio 11:11. Greg has shown immense support of all my musical endeavors since then, and at one point shared one of my live acoustic videos. Robin left a really kind comment on the video, and I noticed he was a musician so I sent him a friend request. He accepted it, and we've been supporting each others artistic journeys since. His music is, to me, a perfect blend of country, folk, and classic singer/songwriter. His lyrics are very easy to relate to, and his voice is outstanding. 

So back in July, I saw that Robin had posted a show poster on his page, and thought about how cool it would be if we performed a show together. I figured it would be a long shot, but I asked anyways and he was all for it right from the start! We've both been really looking forward to this show, and hope everyone will join me in giving Callison Nash a warm welcome to Michigan!

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