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Cat Clyde's "Mama Said" starts off with a twangy slide guitar, the understated stomp of a drum, and an acoustic rhythm guitar that anchors it all. Once Clyde's voice comes in, we're transported to a world far from new Netflix shows, electronic music festivals, and the obnoxious noise that comes with the internet.

Sonically, "Mama Said" isn't outwardly vintage, but the lyrics, instrumentation, and songwriting all point to an artist unconcerned with current styles or the shift in preferences since the days of blues and folk. It's a welcomed counterbalance to the influx of artists constantly trying to stay on-trend or reaching for the next big thing. Cat Clyde is just doing what comes naturally.

Can you give us some background? Where are you from, what has been your path to this point?

I am 24 years old, currently living in Hamilton, Ontario. I am from Stratford, Ontario. I love going on long walks in the woods with my dog, and being around animals in general. I've been playing music now for some time and went to school for music recording/production as well. After that, I decided I wanted to do music as a career.

Where was the "Mama Said" video shot? Can you tell us a little about the bus?

The video was shot near my mothers house in Russeldale. I've walked most of the wooded parts in that area, and happened upon [the bus] about 10 years ago. I spent a lot of time there as a kid and in my teens, exploring and such.  

Who is that playing guitar?

Patrick Fockler, he played guitar, keys, and bass on my entire upcoming album.

How long have you been making music, and when did you start releasing it?

I have been in bands since my early teens and I have always been writing. Writing is very important to me, it helps me release energy and clears my head. I've been recording myself for a few years, but haven't really released too much until recently. 

What music did you grow up listening to, and what do you listen to now? Any big influences specifically?

I didn't listen to anything good when I was younger. I had no influence of any good music. I started getting into the blues when I was about 15 and it led me to find most of my influences today, which include: Lead Belly, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Memphis Minnie, Karen Dalton, Blind Willie McTell. I still listen to those artists all the time. Currently, I have been listening to a lot of Blind Willie McTell, Elmore James, Rodriguez, and most recently Driftwood Soldier.

In the age of the internet and social media, the feel of "Mama Said" is so refreshingly natural and organic. Is that important to you?

Doing things naturally is very essential for me. I don't like to be involved in anything without authenticity.  I don't really fit into the chaos of city life and modern things. If I had it my way, I would be living in a cabin in the mountains somewhere with no phone or internet. 

I saw one of your tour videos where you say something like, "Any questions you have about life, you can get the answer by taking a walk in the woods." Can you explain that?

Nature is extremely important to me. Without it, I can't focus or find clarity in anything I do. While in nature, you become aware and observant. When you stop and look, feel, smell, taste, and experience what's going on around you, everything becomes clearer than a cloudless sky.

What are your goals with music? 

Just making more records, performing, and traveling.

What's next for you?

A few new music videos, another tour, and much more recording.

Cat Clyde 3
Photo by Joe Lipstein

 

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