Interview with Kat Darling from The High Crest
How did you get started in music?
I always have loved music. All through school my music education continued. In college I became uninterested in the music other people wanted me to make and was introduced to a plethora of women singer/songwriters. This is when I began to pick up the guitar and write my own songs. After that I just knew that this was what I wanted to do. A few years later I met Aaron, my husband, and we played an open mic night at Java Joes. We booked our own show there and I remember so many people I loved showed up for that very first show. Pieta Brown and Bo Ramsey were playing a show next door that night, walked in and watched our show on their break. They had to hear me while I was super green, but even then it was cool. I feel the universe has continued to inspire me musically. Music became the way I could connect to the world around me and discover just who I was and where I was heading.
What are your current plans in music?
It is a constant balancing act of career, family, schooling and now traveling. As many people know, Aaron and I have sold our house and are now working to do music full time. The transition is slow with lots to learn. We kicked off making music full time in Feb. with the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City. In October we head to the regional conference, Folk Alliance Regional Midwest – FARM.
What are your future plans in music?
Traveling and making music! Because we would like to be able to travel more next year we are really focusing on building relationships with venues and becoming a multi-faceted music machine including The High Crest Folk & Roll, Family Music and Aaron’s solo music. That way we have more opportunities for work along the way. Aaron has a solo project in the works and will be releasing some older recordings as well. The High Crest will be taking the fall to record our family album. We are still working out the details. I am super excited to be working on our family music. It is a huge part of the puzzle for us. I think we will see our world come together once we have released the CD and are touring with our family show.
Who is your biggest mentor?
Aaron Earl Short is my biggest mentor. We both say that we wouldn’t be doing this without each other. It is a really hard industry to be in, starting your own business full time, learning how to travel and play music, being a family…throughout the years it has been build, build, build. He hasn’t stopped believing once. Aaron is a musical powerhouse and sometime I want to see just how many hours in a row this man can play, maybe some sort of Guinness book of world records test! Watching his passion as he writes songs and creates music has been my biggest inspiration. He never stops and my job is to make sure that he never has to. Aaron taught me how to play a lead on the guitar. He stood beside me when I first began playing my songs on stage, something we used to call “feeding yourself to the wolves.” Through all the musical ups and downs he has been there for me reminding me that the music is more powerful and important than all of it.
I also need to include another mentor – my very good friend, Grant Baetz. I met Grant before Aaron. He saw my passion and began to listen to the music I was making; oh do I feel sorry for him! I remember the first Bobby McGee I ever sang for him, ouch! Not only did Grant listen but he began to help me find my voice. His talent on the keys is unmatched, in my eyes. He taught me so much and kept believing in me, even when I was the worst! Since then we have performed some awesome shows together and he will always be one of my favorites to perform with. Grant is a huge reason The High Crest is where we are today.
What band or concert left you a first and lasting impression?
The very first singer/songwriter performance I saw when I was 19 was Brenda Weiler. At that point in my life I had seen very few live music acts, being from small town Iowa and all. I saw her perform at a quaint little coffee shop in St. Joseph, MO. I had heard her CD but it didn’t compare to what it was like to see her perform live. This show was truly intimate and transformative for me. It was the moment when I began to want to be a singer songwriter.
Special Note to Wendy Hull (Wednesday's Notes creator) - Hey, thanks Wendy for loving music so much to get the back story. It is always great to see you out at the shows, posting about the shows and your Wednesday’s Notes. I know I am not alone when I say, Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!