'Every time I write a song, I feel as if I'm writing for the first time. I haven't figured out the mystery of why that is. Each song is a new discovery. And it's a path I'm compelled to follow.' Artistic growth, in most instances, is often the outcome of an unexpected challenge. Kathy Compton's debut disc Recovering Humans embraces the future while professing that no restless yearning is improper, nor is any unseen knowledge off-limits. 'Music for me can be really rough, and at the same time, really pleasurable. It's the best way for me to express myself.' A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Kathy was introduced to music by her father, who entertained the family with songs rendered on banjo and accordion. Her home was ripe with the resonance of vintage 1950s rock 'n' roll records and a radio tuned to a local bluegrass station. In school Kathy became an outcast of a different kind, gravitating towards jazz instead of the sounds of commercial rock radio that her classmates preferred. 'It was sexy. I fell in love with the music of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald. But at the same time, I'm also inspired by U2, the Cure, and Sting.' Studying with renown jazz trumpeter John D'earth (Bruce Hornsby, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Lionel Hampton), Kathy gradually began to write songs and play gigs accompanied only by her guitar, raw nerves, and a clear cut goal to develop her artistry. Ross Hoffman, instrumental in the successful careers of Dave Matthews and Hanson, met Kathy and they began a collaboration that came to fruition as Recovering Humans. But first, at Hoffman's prompting, Kathy migrated to New York City to hone her skills as a performer. Recalls Hoffman, 'it was like going to rock 'n' roll boot-camp for three years!' Compton concurs 'Manhattan was great, but pretty scary. I learned how to work with other musicians, paying my dues at open mics and small clubs all over town.' When she wasn't flying solo Kathy's backing ensemble included Suzanne Vega's bassist Michael Visceglia and former members of Vega's touring band: keyboard player / producer Stephen Gaboury, guitarist Marc Shulman, and drummer Frank Vilardi. Upon her return to Virginia Compton and Hoffman enlisted producer Kevin McNoldy (Seven Mary Three, Earth To Andy, Robin and Linda Williams) to helm Recovering Humans. With Hoffman on guitar and backing vocals and McNoldy contributing bass, guitar, and keyboards, drummer Roderick Coles was added to the mix. Along with Craig Harmon on Hammond B3 and backing vocalist Andy Waldeck, McNoldy harnessed the initial spark of musicians finding all the right grooves. 'The album captures the spirit of a live performance' Kathy proclaims with pride and a sense of wonder. 'The more we worked together, the more comfortable I became with the entire recording process. I'm always trying to find that place where I'm not thinking at all. Working on pure instinct can be the hardest thing, and conveying the most subtle of emotions in the confines of a recording booth is a skill that takes a lifetime to master. But I've got my toolbox and I'm ready to go for it.' On Recovering Humans, Kathy Compton has created songs of hope that tackle dark issues with a distinctive pop sensibility. 'I dig the 'golden rule,' she exclaims. 'I understand that many people, myself included, are frustrated with the lack of emotional depth and substance in a lot of popular music. Music is a powerful medium with the capacity to lift the human spirit and generate a positive vibe. That's my goal. We achieved it on Recovering Humans and we'll up the ante at my live shows. I've always been intrigued by the shared energy that exists between an audience and an artist. I want to feel good and I want to make people feel good without misgiving or reservation.'
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