You know, you would think over all the years I've worked with Standing 'O' I'd have something clever to put here, but all that's in my head today is a poem from Basho that I love: Spring passes The birds cry out-- Tears in the eyes of fishes
An anthropology graduate student turned actor turned podcast personality turned singer/songwriter and storyteller, Katie Anne Mitchell has settled on the term “creative universalist” to encapsulate all manner of artistic sins she decides to pursue. She will be releasing her debut story/song album “The Many Lives of Mockingbird” in Spring 2018. She regularly performs out with her irreverent dark duo “The Middle Annes” alongside Rebekah LeAnn Wiggins and was awarded the “Live and Amplified” award for her original tune “The Dreamer”, a political tune about Santa Claus (naturally). She currently lives in Los Angeles and is a lover of wine, cheese, and trouble.
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Middle Annes photoshoot!
The Middle Annes at Bighorn Music Festival
1: What artist would you most love to work with?
So many. I think especially here on the Standing 'O' since I've been listening to everyone for years and years so I have a lot of admiration for several artists on the site. So, in an effort to not play favorites or embarrass my newbie self, I'll just say there are a couple dozen Standing 'O' artists I'd love to work with at some point in my life.
2: What instrument brings you the most joy?
Upright bass. I don't play (yet), but man, there is something so sexy about the upright bass.
3: What was the worst advice?
Although I've been fortunate to have some wonderfully supportive people in my life from the get-go, I did have a lot of people who tried to give me unsolicited advice on what direction they thought I should be pursuing in my life. It's difficult when you're starting out late for people to take you or your passions seriously (to be fair to those folks, it was also difficult to take myself seriously). I've found the best recourse is to nod, smile, then go do what I feel I should go do anyway. Not that they had malicious intent, but really I think no one knows your path better than you at the end of the day and it's a mistake to put more gravitas on another person's opinion in that regard.
4: What was your first concert?
I've seen varying answers on this one as to whether this pertains to first concert you saw or performed so I'll answer both. The first big concert I saw was Barenaked Ladies and they put on a hell of a show (probably why my go-to down moment silly song is "Chickity China, the Chinese chicken/You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin' song). First concert I performed doing my original songs was Pig 'n Whistle in Hollywood.
5: What/where is the best road food?
In-N-Out....I'm partial since I'm a Cali girl, but it's definitely the first thing I get on a long trip if I'm driving out of town. Or beef jerky. I love me some jerky.
6: What’s the best music advice you ever got?
I've heard a lot of advice from John & Viv's interviews, and my own, and there's always some iteration of "just keep going" that resonates. Although I will say that I love the Birds of Chicago quote from their Art of the Song interview: ""Even if you're not feeling inspired, write something, maybe you won't ever sing that to anyone or keep it, it won't be something that you use, but it has a use in that it's like you're getting rid of the dross so you can find those gleaming gems of good songs in there somewhere." That has been helpful on so many occasions when inspiration just isn't coming.
7: Who is your most surprising inspiration?
I say this in my Thank You credits on the album, but there was this man, Gaffer the Harp Guy, who I met at Far-West Conference, who told me a story that ended in the line "What I hadn't seen was the storm-clouds coming up from behind me, and so as I finally began to cry, the sky opened up, and poured down, and all of nature cried along with me". That line knocked me out and inspired a big part of the story in the album. What an extraordinary person he is.