Checking In: Welcome to The Kat Edmonson Show
“Writing and shooting a show every week is quite demanding”
By Raoul Hernandez,
10:10AM, Fri. Aug. 7, 2020
Austin-launched lioness Kat Edmonson notched a birthday to start the week. Fierce Leo determination matches her jazz-era purr, most recently on February’s fifth LP Dreamer’s Do. Hunt it down Sunday nights on the singer’s Facebook variety show from her digs in New York, 7pm EST.
Austin Chronicle: Where are you sheltering and under what circumstances? Who else is there and how’s that going?
Kat Edmonson: Under the circumstances, it’s going fine. My partner Aaron [Thurston] and I have spent the majority of the pandemic inside our apartment in Brooklyn. However, we just moved upstate.
We’re finally able to go outside and we have a lot more space to shoot The Kat Edmonson Show. We feel deeply grateful every day that we can be together through all of this.
AC: At what point did C-19 shut down operations for you, and what went down with the ship, so to speak, both personally & professionally?
KE: I’d just released my new album, Dreamers Do, in February and was on a 40-city tour of the U.S. Everything was going great and there was a lot of momentum. One week into the tour, we started hearing about this virus, but really didn’t know what to make of it.
My fans kept coming out every night and I continued to sign records and take photos with people. We made it halfway through the tour when venues began shutting down one by one. Within two days, the whole thing was over.
After about a month at home, Aaron and I created The Kat Edmonson Show so I could perform online. Aaron plays drums in my band and co-produced my last two records with me, so it was a natural thing to do this together. He handles the sound, the lights, and everything technical, although he considers himself a novice, so he dislikes when I mention it.
The show is part live music, part pre-recorded segments, and I spend a lot of time interacting with my audience, answering questions and taking requests. There are comedic sketches and also artist friends that come on. It’s so fun!
I’ve always wanted to have a variety show, so this is a dream come true. It’s odd to say that in the middle of a global crisis.
AC: As a global culture, people employ music for every purpose imaginable, obviously spanning religion to entertainment and everything in between. What happens to communities like ours when people can no longer access it in person?
KE: I’m afraid to find out.
AC: Everyone’s had to shift or drastically alter their work situation. What does that look like for you?
KE: My entire focus is on The Kat Edmonson Show now. Writing and shooting a new show every week is quite demanding, and takes up a good deal of my time. Meanwhile, I don’t know when we’ll be able to tour again and music sales have plummeted since the beginning of the pandemic, so I can’t focus on what isn’t.
I have to focus on what is – what I do have. I have this show where I can reach people and I’m really grateful.
AC: What’s your soundtrack for the apocalypse and what role does music play for you as a fan and scholar of it in times of hardship?
KE: I’ve been listening to warm-sounding recordings from the Seventies through the Eighties: Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Allen Toussaint, Bill Withers, Patty LaBelle, Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand). I guess I’m craving gospel music right now.
Check out the entire Checking In series.