vocal range as powerful as Sarah Mclachlan and the blues mentality
of Sass Jordan, Braanen, backed by solid musicians, blets out powerful
churning folk rock and pensive ballads. Her work is characterized
by big expressive vocals that Braaten can color with vibrato and
pitch at will. When she is not singing, the space is masterfully
filled by snarling clean guitar and effective percussion. Cathy
Braaten is an oddly distinctive amalgam of influences: Springsteen
along with Howlin' Wolf and Melissa Etheridge.
A native of small factory town Austin, Minn., Braaten felt the
urge to make music at an early age. "I've always felt that
a musical life was something that would genetically happen,"
she says. "I knew that whatever I did, I didn't want to work
in a factory." Her first instrument was the flute, but she
found that singing and playing the flute were incompatible. So she
started practicing on a guitar her father bought at an auction.
The emergence of tough independent women in rock during the 1970s
and 1980s provided models of the type of performer Braaten strived
"Annie Lennox and Chrissie Hynde were the women of the moment
and they were strong," Braaten says. "I was inspired by
their attitude." Bratten is not shy about promoting her music
through the live circuit. She divides her time between Chicago and
Minneapolis. In addition, she recently played to some of her largest
audiences by supporting old'timers Chicago (the group) in the Quad
Cities and Peoria. More info can be found at cathybraaten.com