Being a woman is complicated. Being a woman staring down life’s challenges, disappointments and triumphs can be ... complicated.
“The TrashCannon Album,” the latest album from local musician Caitlin Cannon, tackles some pretty tough stuff: Battling addiction, her brother’s imprisonment, social justice reform, economic injustice and female empowerment. And while these are heavy topics, Cannon slips in the occasional nod and wink, letting the world know that it can keep knocking her down, but she’ll get back up and come out swinging every time.
The album comes out Friday, ending a process that took a little more than a year, including a Kickstarter campaign last summer. It’s made up of 12 “countrypolitan” tracks that run the gamut of emotions – from ugly-crying until your mascara runs down your face to belting out along with Cannon in the car with the windows rolled down.
“I don’t know if I would have the courage to endeavor here without support of (producer) Megan Burtt,” Cannon said on the Kickstarter page. “This was my first time working with a female producer. It was different, perhaps instrumental, in achieving a collection of really honest material.”
And for Cannon, the challenges with her songs is striking a balance between being totally straightforward and being more diplomatic.
“I think it’s like you might be worried your point of view could be offensive. A lot of the songs are, some of them have some ‘MeToo’ humor, and I think if you have a point of view as an artist, you have your art, which is this safe world where you can express a point of view fully, but at the same time, you might turn people off by being so pointed,” she said. “So for me, I just try to keep things really honest and then I try to bring some levity to it because, I don’t know, I suppose that’s how I deal with problems in life also.
“But in my songs, that’s the most fulfilling part of the craft for me is like, ‘Oh, how can I really express this but in a really colorful, funny way?’”
The album of all original material also pays homage to some of country music’s most iconic female performers. Cannon lists Loretta Lynn, Kacey Jones, Tammy Wynette, Bobbi Gentry, Kitty Wells, Dolly Parton, K.T. Olsen, The Dixie Chicks and many more as those who fought against gender bias and “laid the bedrock for young female artists to stand on.”
While the novel coronavirus pandemic laid waste to everyone’s plans, including Cannon, who was shoring up plans for a tour in support of “The TrashCannon Album,” when the world shut down, she’s still looking forward to the time she can get back onstage. If things go well and we’re able to mingle again, Cannon has a local album release show planned for July at the Rochester Hotel. She’s also looking forward to playing the Four Corners Folk Festival in the beginning of September in Pagosa Springs.
“The TrashCannon Album” is available for sale on just about every online platform – you can also check it out on Cannon’s website, www.caitlincannonmusic.com.