Katie Anne Mitchell
From anthropology graduate student to actor to singer/songwriter and storyteller, Katie Anne Mitchell has settled on the term “creative universalist” to encapsulate all manner of artistic sins. Her debut album “The Many Lives of Mockingbird” is a reflection of her diverse approach with a half-audiobook/half-song concoction that is reflective, humorous, and just a little bit mad.
The otherworldliness of Luna Lovegood meets the heartbreak of the Greek Persephone meets the convoluted spiritualism of the Fox sisters for an intimate around-the-campfire folk tale. Mitchell regularly performs out solo and with her irreverent witchy folk duo “The Middle Annes” alongside Rebekah LeAnn Wiggins (also featured on the album) at iconic L.A. venues including Hotel Café, The Viper Room and The Mint.
As one fan describes on watching her perform at Folk Alliance International that watching her is like watching the musical 'Theatre of the Absurd.' She likes that. She was additionally awarded the “Live and Amplified” award for her original tune “The Dreamer”, a political tune about Santa Claus (naturally). She currently lives in Los Angeles and is a lover of wine, cheese, and trouble.
Inspiration Behind Her Work & Assorted Musings
I started in music through working for this radio program called Art of the Song and their affiliate website The Standing ‘O’ Project. Through listening to interviews and eventually conducting interviews myself and attending folk festivals and conferences, I developed a deep love for the folk community. In particular, the stories that each artist carried with them. I’ve always been a fan of the storytelling tradition and I knew that by telling one continuous story between songs, I got to carry on that legacy (and, as a bonus, use some of my acting chops!). To go a little deeper, I’ve struggled in my life with effectively saying what I needed to say in a moment, and writing music and stories really became a haven to have my unfiltered voice and perspective come through. Although the characters in my songs may, at times, seem to be extreme, I view them to all be shades of myself, just disarticulated into different personalities. “The Many Lives of Mockingbird”, in particular, though fantastical, I feel is a very personal story. (Although, as you can probably tell, I am also a huge fantasy junky. I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale.)
That said, one of the things that I love about a story is that it takes on a life of it’s own after you release it out into the world. One of my favorite pieces of feedback was by a lovely woman (not in the music industry) who wrote extensive analysis of the elements she saw in the work, reflections on the human condition at large, things I didn’t see myself. I love that. I feel like she added a piece of her own story to this story and it felt like it expanded. It became more communal. So while it started out as a personal story, I feel like with each new person’s interpretation of the work, that it becomes less of just my story and more of our story. In that vein, my recent songwriting has focused on telling other people’s stories who are ’nearly forgotten’ to give them an opportunity to be heard and related to. I am currently working on a spoken word/song piece called “No One Knows Millie” based loosely on the life of my great aunt.
I feature one song on the album (Self-Made) by an awesome artist Rebekah Wiggins who I perform in a folk duo with called The Middle Annes. Rebekah and I will be making a video from my song “Goodbye, Eddie” and releasing it under The Middle Annes in the Fall.
Reactions To the Album:
"Katie Anne Mitchell went head first off the creative high dive with her debut CD entering the world of songwriting, performing and recording with grace & class. She claims her place with ease and a dose of badass courage by weaving a theatrical mix of narrative and song complimented by a compelling vocal styling that is all her own." ~John Dillon & Vivian Nesbitt (Art of the Song Creativity Radio)
"The Many Lives of Mockingbird" is comprised of songs and stories woven together like a web, spun from a fine silk thread. Each time I listen, I find myself drawn into its' magic and mystery, while more and more of its' meaning is revealed. Katie Anne Mitchell is a true story teller, as her voice flows from a soft whisper to a beautiful and haunting heart breaking melody. It's as if she has composed a sound track to her own movie just waiting for the curtain to rise. When you listen to this record, you'll know you are one of the lucky ones to be sitting in the theater.” ~Martha Reich Braden (Singer/Songwriter)
"One of the most ambitious, intricate, and complex first release projects I've ever seen. Vulnerable and self-revelatory, it holds nothing back. A massive piece of work - I am very impressed!!" ~Kray Van Kirk (Singer/Songwriter)
"Katie Anne Mitchell's The Many Lives of Mockingbird is an exquisite array of subliminal music and spoken word arrangement that takes you on an ethereal journey from blissful to the underbelly of the human experience. It's sonically arranged in a powerful manner showcasing KAM's rich beautiful vocals, that intertwine mesmerizingly with layered folk instrumentals. An upstanding debut and an artist to watch." ~Thea Juliette Stevenson (Singer/songwriter, ARSNK)
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