Sunday, August 13, 2017
Marion T. Morse Park, Lisbon Falls, Maine
I hadn’t seen singer-songwriter Catie Curtis live in six and half years. She lives in Maine, so it had really been too long. I wrote a detailed post about her back in 2011 when Catie performed at a benefit concert for Safe Passage at Bowdoin College. Her song “Magnolia Street” is always going to be one of my most favorite of all time. I was pretty excited to learn of Lisbon’s Concerts in the Park series, especially since it’s a 15 minute drive from my house. They are working on bringing their community together with music, and I’m a big fan of that idea.
Ross, the series organizer, also happens to be Catie Curtis’ cousin, which we learned during her introduction. She played every song folks requested, and it was clear she had some long time fans in the small but appreciative crowd. I loved sitting in my comfy beach chair soaking up a sunny summer afternoon listening to her sing her heartfelt, often autobiographical songs for us.
I learned that her hit song “Kiss That Counted” was written mournfully, pondering what could have been, but she picked up the tempo in the final version and it ends up sounding quite hopeful. Catie toured over the summer to celebrate the release of her newest album, While We’re Here, which marks close to thirty years she’s been a songwriter and performer.
I asked her to play my favorite song, and she graciously obliged. She admitted that she’d lived on Magnolia Avenue in Cambridge, Mass, but that Magnolia Street worked better in the song. Her dad was in the audience and she told him that she’d gone to the place where he sells antiques in Saco, but bought something from someone else’s booth. She played “My Dad’s Yard” for him and told us that he’d salvaged some gym floor from the high school at the Saco town dump and made it his bathroom flooring.
Catie’s show happened the same day the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded, so she ended her set by saying that “everyone who lives in this country has a right to be here because that’s how our country was founded.” She played Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” and we sang together. It felt good, too.
So nice to see you again, Catie. Check her out and visit Lisbon’s Concerts in the Park series. They’re doing a good thing there.