LORETTA'S ARTIST OF WEEK 5/4/15
Susan Cattaneo has been a songwriting professor at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music for 13 years. She’s written songs covered by numerous artists in Nashville, and her tunes helped launch the careers of Jillian Cardanelli and Erica Nicole. Cattaneo, the singer-songwriter, has released three albums of mostly upbeat, catchy pop-country music, “Brave and Wild,” in 2009, “Heaven to Heartache” in 2011 and “Little Blue Sky” in 2012. You’ll hear a blend of country, rock and soul with sparkles of blues and folk – music that would slide into the comfort zone for fans of Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter or Sheryl Crow.
Cattaneo knows how to craft a lyric and pen a hook, to marry lyric and melody. On her albums, she says, “I did mainstream country songs I originally wrote for others, and I found myself a mainstream country artist. The single ‘Girls Night Out’ from ‘Heaven to Heartache’ charted. Some people wanted another single like that. And I wondered, ‘Is that really me?’” The answer she came up with: Not quite. The music she’s pursuing now is going down a darker, more brooding path. If she had to pick a genre, she’d call it Americana, in the broadest definition of the term: music that encompasses all the genres of the great American tradition: country, blues and folk.
Susan's life is a mixture of teaching, writing and recording in Nashville, gigging around Boston, occasional touring, and raising a family in Medford, just north of Boston. “I’m a mom,” she says, “and that’s an important part of my life. Family is hugely important. I have a boy, 13, and a girl, 11. My husband works in digital marketing and is my manager.”
When she ponders her life in the country music world, Cattaneo says, “I think country music needs to swing back into traditional country, not to cheating/drinking/lying songs, but sonically. I write strong-women songs. I think I tell the female perspective very well. I’m proud of it I’m anxious to share these new songs with the world. Judge me on the songs. I want to throw the cards out there.”