Text & Photos Becky Jane Newbold
It was October. Steam from the coffee cup softly caressed my face and strums from the acoustic played a steady beat. In a voice full of life experience, the words of poet/songwriter Caty Lou touched a chord deep.
Never mind Autumn’s brilliant colors flashing outside in the breeze. Caty Lou, shuffling through eight inches of papers, probably eight thousand words, held our rapt attention. Words therapeutic to her soul scribbled at all hours of the night flooded her thoughts with relief through her pen.
When the deluge began in March, 2012, Caty Lou dashed off 78 songs. By October, 400. Flooding like storm water, songs touching all aspects of life overflowed. “I never aspired to be a songwriter. I just wrote,” she said. And the music accompanied.
Catharine Hess, aka, Caty Lou, admits part of the creativity is response to grief. When her husband of 51 years died suddenly a few years ago, she was shocked. “I was going downhill since Bill died. We met when I was 17 and we did everything together,” Catharine said.
Now it seems she is re-awakening and Caty Lou’s music is part of the healing. Vocal instruction to increase the strength of her vocal chords and taking her songs to singer songwriter festivals, Caty Lou has begun to get attention.
Guitarist Peter Dickson brings life to the words with recordings of her tunes. Her friend Lori built a website, http://catylou.com, providing a link to Peter’s rough draft recordings. While demos are in process, the greater accomplishment is simply living her dream.
A friendship between Lori, Peter and Caty Lou carries the trio. “I’ve never met anyone like Peter Dickson,” Caty Lou said. “He doesn’t walk on water, but he only sinks in to his ankles,” she added with a chuckle.
Her dream is to help people. “I really believe the songs are more than just songs,” she said.