"I think each of these songs has a theme of being at peace with what is."
World-traveling Americana singer/songwriter Caroline Cotter releases her new full-length album "Home on the River" on Feb. 9 and spends its debut weekend performing in Northwest Arkansas. In her constant touring the past three years -- only a fraction of the 15 years she's been traveling to more than 30 countries -- Cotter wrote all the songs for her sophomore album from the road and reveals how her travels have shaped her outlook on staying grounded.
with Michael Thomas Howard
WHEN & WHERE — 8 p.m. Feb. 9, at New Province Brewing, Rogers; 7 p.m. Feb. 10, at Bike Rack Brewing, Bentonville
COST — Free in Rogers; $10 in Bentonville
INFO — carolinecotter.com
"The real thread [of 'Home On The River'] is the peace with being on a journey and carrying my home with me, rather than finding comfort from home in the traditional sense," she shares. "I came from a very stable upbringing where my house was a safe haven ... and for me, [losing at 18] my home, the only house I'd ever lived in, was a big deal. But once that went away and I started traveling, [I was] seeing how people all over the world live and reassessing what it takes to live a fulfilled and happy life. And all these things just started really becoming more clear to me that I could experience life in a different way from what I had grown up to know."
Cotter's blend of introspection and an outward, open view of the world on the album's nine original tunes -- plus an a capella cover of Woodie Guthrie's "My Place" -- offer a complex journey for the listener. In her reflections on the material world, on family and love, and on her reasons for pursuing music, Cotter hopes her raw soul-searching can create a connection with her audience live as well as through the recorded music.
"This has always been a lot about my own mental health, and the more that I perform I recognize that other people can relate in that way," she says of the unexpected response to the new tunes. "I guess I was sort surprised at how peace of mind resonated with the people I've played it for so far. I guess there's just a lot of angst and upset, more and more every day, and people are sick of it and want to relax and have peace of mind.
"I think it's something that a lot of us want and a lot of these songs speak to obstacles to peace of mind So hopefully anyone who hears the songs can know that they're not alone and feel as though peace of mind is accessible -- that they have everything that they need already."
NAN What's Up on 02/02/2018
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