New England songstress Susan Cattaneo has had a wide ranging career – both as a solo artist and a member of beloved Massachusetts group the Boxcar Lilies – due to the special way she blends folk, rock, and blues with a strong dose of twang. Over the years she has garnered attention for her powerful vocals and her vivid lyrical storytelling. In fact, you might say Cattaneo is an authority when it comes to songwriting considering that she has taught it at the Berklee College of Music for over 10 years.
On August 25th Cattaneo will release what may be her most important musical endeavor to date with the wide-ranging double album The Hammer & The Heart. The album traces Cattaneo’s journey from her early days in New Jersey to her
trial-by-fire in Nashville’s Music Row to her current home in Massachusetts. With songs ranging from straight-up rockers to tender ballads in a rich melding of genres and eras, this is an album that truly captures the full spectrum of Cattaneo’s talent. The music itself is at times reminiscent of her peers such as Bonnie Raitt, Patty Griffin, Carole King and Emmylou Harris. But perhaps the coolest part of the album as a whole is that it features a massive roster of 41 guests including Americana favorites like The Bottle Rockers, Bill Kirchen, Duke Levine and Mark Erelli, proving that Cattaneo is truly an artist’s artist.
Today Glide Magazine is premiering “Ten Kinds of Trouble”, a rollicking rootsy tune that rambles along with a gaggle of acoustic instruments and Cattaneo’s freewheeling vocals. The song feels rustic and laid back, and its easy to imagine it being played with joy by someone like Levon Helm. In other words, the song showcases not just her singing abilities but also the hugely talented musicians she surrounds herself with, and you can feel the organic live energy happening.
Cattaneo describes the story behind the song in her own words:
“I wrote this with my friend Jillian Cardarelli, an up and coming young country singer. It’s an upbeat fun song about someone with ‘a thing for The King’ who falls for someone who’s reminds her of Elvis. In a record that’s all about making music with the people I love, I had to have a track recorded with my live band. I’m lucky that they are some of the most talented musicians in the New England area. We normally perform this song as a fast country tune. We were messing around in the studio and just for fun we tried it with a different ‘Little Feat’ kinda feel and tempo. We love how it turned out! There’s a certain naughtiness to the lyric that comes out better in this slinkier, slower version. It’s a blast to play it this way, and I think the song captures the relaxed and groovy ease that we have as a band. “
Susan Cattaneo releases The Hammer & The Heart on August 25th. For more music and info visit susancattaneo.com.
Photo credit: Jyoti Sackett