Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21: Singer, songwriter Cat Power - AKA Chan Marshall - "Sun" "Ruin" is 42-years-old today.

Born Charlyn Marie Marshall in Atlanta, Georgia, "Cat Power" for her minimalist style, sparse guitar and piano playing, and breathy vocals. Marshall's father is a blues musician and pianist.

Her childhood involved much upheaval, with Marshall living throughout the Southern United States. After dropping out of high school, she started performing under the name Cat Power while in Atlanta, backed by musicians Glen Thrasher, Marc Moore, and others. She took the Cat Power name after a Caterpillar ad that read: "Cat Diesel Power."

While in Atlanta, Marshall played her first live shows as support to her friends' bands, including Magic Bone and Opal Foxx Quartet.

Due to her close relationships with the various people involved, she has stated that music at this time was primarily a social interest rather than an artistic one. She also stated in a 2007 interview for Soft Focus that the music itself was more experimental.

In 1992 she moved to New York City with Glen Thrasher. It was Thrasher who introduced her to New York's free-jazz and experimental music scene. In particular she cites a concert by Anthony Braxton with giving her the confidence to perform in public.

In 1996 she was signed to Matador Records and, along with Foljahn and Shelley, recorded her album, What Would the Community Think, which spawned a single and music video, "Nude as the News."

Gear magazine photo
In late 1996, following a three-month tour co-headlining with the band Guv'ner in support of the release of What Would the Community Think, Marshall disappeared from the music scene, initially working as a baby sitter in Portland, Oregon and then moving to a farmhouse in Prosperity, South Carolina. She planned to retire from public performance but during a sleepless night resulting from a nightmare, Marshall wrote several new songs. These songs would make up the bulk of Moon Pix. The record was recorded at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne in eleven days. The album was well-received by critics, and gained her recognition in the indie rock scene.

(Continued below video and Amazon portals ...)


(Press album cover for direct link to the Amazon Website):

The Greatest


Marshall put together a new band in Winter 2006 named The Dirty Delta Blues Band, with whom she toured and recorded throughout 2007. Also in 2007, she became the first female solo act to win the Shortlist Music Prize when The Greatest was voted album of the year in June.

Earlier in the year she was nominated in the Best International Female Solo Artist category at the annual Brit Awards. The Dirty Delta Blues band recorded an album of covers called Jukebox which was released on January 22, 2008, on Matador Records.

Since returning to the stage Marshall has contributed guest vocals to several albums. She performed a duet with model Karen Elson on an English cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je t'aime... moi non plus" for the tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited.

She also sang lead vocal on the Ensemble track "Disown, Delete" and reworked "Revelations" with Yoko Ono for Ono's 2007 album Yes, I'm a Witch. She also performed guest vocals for Faithless and El-P. She also duets on the Dexter Romweber Duo song "Love Letters."

Also in 2007, Marshall contributed songs to the soundtrack of Ethan Hawke's movie The Hottest State, recording with Jesse Harris and Terry Manning, and the Academy Award-winning Juno.
In early 2008, she collaborated with Beck and producer Danger Mouse on the album Modern Guilt. She contributed backing vocals to two tracks, "Orphans" and "Walls." The album was released in July of that year.
Cat Power also provided backup vocals on Marianne Faithfull's cover of "Hold On" by Neko Case on the 2009 album Easy Come Easy Go.

Recently, Marshall's performance style has been said to be much more enthusiastic and professional than in the past. An article in Salon called "The Greatest Marshall" Cat Power says that her new found musical collaborators and sobriety are largely responsible for her increased confidence onstage.

In April 2012, it was announced that Marshall's new LP, entitled Sun will be released in September 2012 in the UK.  The album's lead single, "Ruin," was released for free download at Matador Record's store on June 20, 2012, in promotion for the album.


For more about Chan, visit her Website at -


1 comment:

  1. This is one of my favorite videos.
    Plus, she's from my town!