Catherine Terrones

Catherine Terrones

 San Pedro, California, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

California daughter
shake the dust from your feet
look to the trees for picking
all your little soul can need

I gather my skirts in my hand
The waves pull cold behind my knees
Iron blood and shell
I see the sun rising up
over my dream

-from California Daughter, C. Terrones

Biography

Catherine Terrones is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter with an open road ahead of her. Her third EP, Prairie Light is the organic result of tending diverse musical landscapes over the past five years. The album is shaded in layers of folk, country western, and British Isles song form, for a liberated brand of indie folk. Her writing and voice blend a questioning heart and emerging truth, with melodies evocative of 70’s folk music, from either side of the pond.

Catherine grew up in a little house once used as a local library in the early 1900’s, ‘grey gull cottage'. Living on a street hovering above the rocky coast of California, the beach below was her playground. Her mother’s love of 60‘s and 70‘s folk, and her fathers zeal for classical composers, and penchant for booming Opera while cooking dinner, left her open to every beauty music had to offer. The prophetic gift of her mom’s 1970’s McCabe’s Guitar and Joan Baez song book at the age of 15 would take a while to come to fruit, but ultimately proved the true North to her compass.

The rest is dust under the heel so to speak...

Studying clarinet (clarinet...because to an 8 year old Catherine, flute just seemed too proper), piano and voice, singing in choirs as a child, Welsh choir every Sunday and jazz band practice rounded out her formative years. Winning awards for her short story and poetry writing in her teens, music and writing finally came together in the summer between high school and college. She wrote her first song, on the porch of a log cabin in the high mountains of Arizona, at the age of 18. Inspired by the creativity of songwriting, of having an outlet for her words, she picked up her mom’s guitar, and the linen brown pages of her mom's old folksong books. Catherine’s first songs with guitar were intuitive, clear windows into the heart of her creativity.

Those first years resulted in her debut independent release, ‘Ocean Around Your Heart’, a full-length album. Busking and singing in coffee shops gave way to local festivals, but her fascination with the study of music pulled her to finish her music degree, writing songs all the while and performing in a duo all through college. “Bach in the morning, busking in the afternoon, Bizet at night,” gave rhythm to those years.

In 2004, after graduating college, she began attending blues jams and singing with long-established blues artists. This afforded her the unique opportunity to perform with some revered local and national blues acts. Recording a live EP, ‘Sacred Sessions’ of originals and blues traditional songs, accompanied by guest artists, the record garnered airplay on blues radio stations. Gigging in support of the album at blues clubs, biker bars, on giant stages in South Dakota in August heat, and after one too many 'Thrill is Gone's, she handed the golden harmonica back. Catherine had run the course from folk to classical (in college) and blues, and learned so much. None of it was exactly who she felt she could be.

While taking a two year hiatus from performing, and exploring her interests in nature, environmental education, and yoga, Catherine began making demos of her songs at her dining room table. ‘Song for the Velvet Sage’ was a demo album, armed with lots of reverb and a new direction that gave her the starting point, a view of the road ahead. Actually an old path, pointing her back to younger days were the natural landscape was as much a character in her narrative as the people were. Songs kept coming, and over the past few years the songs have become her guide.

Her upcoming album ‘Prairie Light’, showcases her emotionally resonant guitar style and the subtle power of her mezzo-soprano voice. The album represents an emerging synthesis of Catherine’s lyrical style and musical themes, naturally surfacing since her formative years, infused with her personal history, and experience as a performer and artist.

The title track, ‘Prairie Light’, is a song inspired by her grandfather a cowboy - poet, evoking a deep connection to the land of the American West. The invitation ‘Slow Like Honey’, invokes the healing power of place and a desire to reconnect with love. ‘Horizon Line‘ explores the focus, desire, and courage necessary to stay balanced in a relationship. ‘Maid of Iowa’ is Catherine’s own personal search for artistic joy, told in the story of a young woman traveling the Great Mississippi. The final track, ‘California Daughter’ seeks out wayfaring promises in the land of plenty.

Catherine is booking West Coast dates in support of her upcoming album release for Spring and Summer 2012.

Discography

Prairie Light, Catherine Terrones, release date August 2012
Velvet Sage, EP Catherine Terrones (Independent) 2009
Blackhorse Road, EP, Catherine Terrones (Independent) 2007
Sacred Sessions Live, EP Ginger & the Root Cause (Big Blues Dog) 2004
Unpredictable Sun, Live EP, Catherine Cressy and Carrie Mock 2003
Ocean Around Your Heart, Catherine Cressy (Independent) 2000