AUDRA KUBAT: FOLK HEALER
 

 

Michelle Diggs (What can I possibly tell Detroiters about music? I mean you people know it, play it, feel it and groove to it unlike any people's I've met (and I've gotten around). So I'll leave it to the artist... Audra Kubat the lovely folk singer with a large rock and roll heart. )

Hi Audra. So what's this I hear about a truckbed tour through the world's biggest yard sale?

Audra Kubat: Well, Mike Clark - who produced my second album, Untitled for Now- and I went on a road trip down US 27 to go to a blue grass festival down in the south which my manager Sterling had arranged. US 27 used to be traveled a lot more but I-75 took away all that traffic, now they have a 5-day yard sale through three states trying to get people to travel the smaller roads. Mike and I were in his truck with a PA, in hopes that I could sing in the back of the truck, roadside - kind of like a carnival coming into town. But the PA wasn't working so I did a few stops and sang unplugged for some kind folks.

MD: How was the festival?

AK: Great! The producer was kind of nervous because he had never had a folk singer at the festival, so I converted my songs to picking blue grass style and it went over pretty well. I taught myself to play guitar by ear when I was 19 and blue grass chords were part of my training... so it wasn't too difficult.

MD: Tell me about your new album.

AK: I just finished recording about 2 weeks ago so it hasn't been mastered or anything.

MD: So, no sneak peeks?

AK: No, it won't be released until late fall. Sorry. But I did just sign on with a new independent record label called Times Beach out of Royal Oak . They have seven Detroit artists including me. I worked with producer Eric Hogemeyer and we recorded at Rust Belt Studios. It took us about two weeks.

MD: What is different about this album than Untitled for Now?

AK: This project is a lot more stripped down. It's mostly guitar, vocals and vocal overdubs with a little percussion. I want to be able to represent live what is on the CD. And of course the title is different. Lonely Child is named after one of the songs. The title may come off sad but it's not. I look at it like we come into the world alone and leave the world alone - the sooner you can fulfill yourself the sooner you can have fulfilling relationships with others. So it's really about hope and freedom. With my music I'm figuring out how to communicate better. I want to challenge people with ideas, yet not be too obtuse that people don't understand. I think that this world is - can be - sad. Anyway it's harder to be happy, and I think that we have the power within ourselves to be happy. I want to affect people positively all the while healing myself with writing and singing.

MD: Nice. I love to hear about the creative process! What is your tattoo about?

AK: It is a Celtic peacock with all the feathers stripped except for one. It's to remind me to look for the beauty in everything. Sometimes you have to look hard for the beauty in the city. But what is beauty without the tension? We wouldn't know one without the other.

MD: So what else is going on?

AK: I was asked to be the art director of the folk stage at the Taste Fest the weekend of July 4th. I wanted it to be more than just folk acts. I asked bands to do a stripped down sort of thing - kind of exposing the nitty gritty part of the bands. We are also going to start each evening off with spoken word from the Detroit National Poetry Team. They just won the national title, so they are ready to rock. Oh yeah, I'm also getting ready for a national tour after my next record release.

MD: Phew. Girl it sounds like you are the one on fire! So one last obligatory question, what is on your CD player right now?

AK: Dolly Parton's Halos and Horns, Beck's Sea of Change, The Paybacks, Bob Dylan Highway 61 revisited.

(Listen to Audra's "Where is Love" off Untitled for Now on thedetroiter.com radio stations D-Rox and Radio Free Detroit - Peace, Michelle)

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