Catherine (“Cat”) Russell. Backup singer/collaborator to David Bowie, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Paul Simon, Dolly Parton (and many more!), and her legendary father (the late Luis Russell) was Louis Armstrong’s musical director. She is also an incredible Jazz Musician - her sixth album, Harlem On My Mind, received a Grammy Nomination.
As you can imagine, Cat has incredibly dazzling stories to share, and you’ll hear some of them on this episode. For example what it was like to sing duets with David Bowie night after night, why singing with Dolly Parton - who she describes as the “sweetest, most real person” is one of her all-time favorite experiences, and what Louis Armstrong meant to her. She also talks about singing with Steely Dan (she’s been working with them over the last 25 years and counting), Paul Simon, her dear friend Cindy Lauper, and more. She has an incredibly rich musical background and you’ll love to hear these stories. But to me, she is the person who taught me how to sing the Blues, who helped me move through my first real heartbreak, and the woman who continues to mentor and care for me through life’s challenges and joys. She’s still one of my all-time favorite people to sit down with over a cup of tea to talk about music, men, work, friendship, LIFE. As you’ll hear in the interview, she talks about being honest with her feelings, about emotional learnings, the things no one teaches us about it school - and how list writing helps when her mind is racing.
Because Catherine has taught me so much about life and music I thought it was fitting to have her as our first artist in the “mentor series” of this podcast. I love her to pieces, and know you will, too!