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    Katharine Cole’s Thought-Provoking New CD “There Is No God” Erases Constant Condemnation

    Anna Kuperberg Photography(Editor’s Note: Popular “Bay Times” music columnist Katharine Cole played to packed houses here in the Bay Area before recently moving to Atlanta. The OutMusic Award winner for best female artist has a new CD, “There is No God” (©2013 K. Cole/Crackerjill Music/BMI) which will be available for sale and downloads on October 13, 2013. It opens with the searing voice of judgment, “I say it in love…” the preacher begins, but his message is clear. His god is not going to let any “homos” into heaven. “No, no NO!” he screams out – they are all going to hell! Then, like a voice crying in the wilderness, Cole calmly declares, “There is no god to hand down justice. There is no devil by his side.” And so begins the musician’s trail past broken spirits, lust, anger, addiction, denial and guilt, and back into the light. We were lucky enough to catch Katharine last week, speaking from the front porch of her Georgia home, to answer some questions about her new CD.)

    BT: “There is No God” is quite a catchy title, especially for someone who just moved into the Bible Belt!

    KC: Yes, it is. And it is the first time I’ve had to call my parents ahead of time to warn them about the name of my new CD and the reasoning behind it (laughing)! When I wrote the title track, I just felt so sad about the constant condemnation of us as emotional beings, as spiritual beings, and human beings, even by the organized Church. Like many singers, I began my journey singing in my church choir and was extremely devout in my faith. My young prepubescent mind had no inkling that the god of love preached from so many pulpits was about to condemn me to hell, tearing my heart, innocence and spiritual faith away from me. I felt it was my time to send out a clear and calming rational prayer out that this fiction is really just that, fiction. When you see the stellar beauty, acceptance, and total lack of judgment in the natural world, you must come to the realization we are all a part of that world as well. I wanted to bring some clarity and peace to myself, and hopefully to others.

    BT:  Although most of the CD is your original work, your cover of Joan Armatrading’s “Weakness in Me” is an interesting choice, as well as the traditional folk songs you’ve revamped in this CD. Is there a method to the madness?

    KC: Madness, yes! Some would think covering “Weakness” would be crazy after it has been covered by Melissa Etheridge and many other artists, but this album has an arc to it that runs parallel to my autobiography, and that song played a pivotal role in my ‘coming out’ story. So the choice is very personal to me. The traditional songs do the same. “Dixie” was my high school pep song, believe it or not. The band would march out to it while they unrolled the confederate flag. All white high school in Houston, you know! We were so childishly ignorant then! I’ve always had this love-hate thing about the song, and it seems the actual piece of music, which has so many verses, something like twenty, is a beautiful song. In fact, I sang the second verse, which I learned as a child from a record of Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Ah way down South in the land of traitors…” and my Southern grandmother, well, it was the first time she scolded me good for singing around the house! The other folk song, “Young Girl’s Lament,” was written way back during the seventeen hundreds when if you wound up in jail, it was a death sentence as you were doomed to catch the plague for sure. And this gal loves to drink, and thereby signs her death warrant. I find it really telling how she describes with such egocentricity how she wants “three young ladies to carry her coffin.” Definitely delusions of grandeur going on there – and in my drinking days, well, let’s say I can relate to that!

    BT:  Do you feel your fans from your previous country western CD’s
    as “Kitty Rose” will be happy with these songs?

    KC: I can’t tell you that this album is anything like the frolicking fiction that was Kitty Rose, but there is no way anything I write can come out without a twang to it and, in fact, the Phil Lee song “Just Some Girl,” with the pedal steel and country-inspired arrangement, is a definite Kitty Rose fan pleaser. After twelve years of performing as Kitty Rose – and I did enjoy her so – the songwriter in me just very simply stopped creating. It was clear those last few years that if I was going to continue creating new music, I was going to have to “kill off Kitty.” I can only hope my Kitty fans will be willing to listen to the woman behind the cowboy hat as well.

    BT: So, down to details – where, when and how???!

    KC: “There is No God” is available to listen to right now, streaming on several sites on the Internet, but you will only be able to download the title track until October 13th. Then the entire album will be available on iTunes and CDBaby and many online sources, as you might imagine. I’ve got an app now (how totally 21st Century!), so if you download my app “Katharine Cole” on your iPhone, you can keep up to date with me, or check my website (www.katharinecole.com), which I update quite a lot. I have a few videos on YouTube, but will be doing a live video by Christmas time, so like most artists, you can Google me, YouTube me, and Tumblr me. Oh, and my Facebook Artist Page is just a few shy of 1000 as of today, so please “like” me on Facebook, and I swear I won’t post a lot of cute kitten videos on your timeline!

    BT: When can we see you live in the Bay Area?

    KC: I might be doing a special house concert through “Betty’s List,” so stay tuned. I hope to perform the album live, of course, and would have promotional copies of the CD (shhh, don’t tell my record label!). It is sure to be a totally “ungodly” show and I hope it works out and that a lot of my fans and friends can come!