FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
CK: I don’t really have a technique that I stick to. Whenever I sit down to write, there’s always a sense of mystery and a challenge to stay present and not force the song in any particular direction. I mostly just follow my instincts. I usually start by playing the guitar and just getting as loose and un-critical as possible. Usually what happens is that a melody comes to me, and slowly words will drift along. Then over several days or weeks or whatever, a song will usually be born.
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Rain & Mud & Wild & Green?
CK: There were many challenges. There always are! I think the biggest one was getting through my own fear before I actually went into the studio. Another challenge I always face in any recording is the amount of patience it takes to go through the process, especially when a song you’ve worked on for many sessions just isn’t working.
FEMMUSIC: What was the best experience making Rain & Mud & Wild & Green?
CK: Being in New York City. Being in an environment that was so focused and being in a studio among so many other studios and other musicians. Also, Ben Wisch is a fantastic person to work with and we had a blast.
FEMMUSIC: How was it working with Ben Wisch? What did he bring to the project?
CK: Ben is excellent at so many aspects of recording. He’s a great engineer. He gets a phenomenal sound. The thing that struck me the most was his ability to hear the vocal tracks and know for sure which one was the right one. He’s all about getting the raw emotional performance –whether it’s vocals or guitar or bass or whatever.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the music industry, have you been discriminated against?
CK: Not that I’ve noticed. I’m lucky enough to be making music independently — so I’m probably not the person to ask about industry discrimination. In the acoustic world, it doesn’t seem to be an issue.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
CK: Truthfully, I don’t really care about the Music Industry. I’m so blown away by the amount of great artists who are doing their music (and making a living!) without worrying about what the music industry is doing. But if I have to answer the question…I’d like to see people with some semblance of soul and spirit in positions of power.
FEMMUSIC: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
CK: I would say never wait for anyone or anything (i.e. labels, agents) to come along and “rescue” you. Rescue yourself. Produce yourself. Take tiny steps. Recognize the value and inner strength you gain from building your own career, and be patient with that process. It’s hard work, but if you challenge yourself to take all of your experiences — good and bad — and learn from them and use them as tools for your own growth as both artist and human, the pay-off is unbelievable.
FEMMUSIC: What’s next on the horizon? What have you been working on lately?
CK: Right now I’m at an artist’s colony in Virginia writing songs. I’ve been doing a little bit of co-writing with some Nashville-based songwriters which has really forced me to expand my horizons. I’ll probably be recording a new CD this year. My tour schedule has been a lot more intense since this CD came out, and I’m playing in all sorts of new places and states across the country.