Although she is often working behind the scenes,
Katie Garibaldi has a significant impact on what you read in the
pages of Guitar Player. She transcribes probably 95-percent of the
staff ’s interviews (typically when the writer is in panic mode over
a looming deadline), helps proof copy, assists with special projects,
and is generally happy to lend a hand at any time. But she’s
also a gifted songwriter with a gorgeous voice who has worked
hard to fund her albums, book her own tours, and deal with all
the promo and marketing strategies critical to life as an independent
artist. She took on the producer’s role for her new release,
Follow Your Heart [Living Dream Music], creating more of a country
slant to her music, adding horns, co-writing for a small string
ensemble, and letting her recent marriage inform the compositions.
“I had a clear vision about how I wanted this album to sound,
so I was determined to take creative control—especially as these
songs are some of my most personal songs yet,” says Garibaldi.
“I found a confidence in myself to wear the producer’s hat, and,
in fact, that made me stronger as an artist. I found a way to communicate
what I wanted to hear by explaining the stories and
emotions of my songs to the musicians, and it was a natural and
intuitive process. Producing this album helped me learn that I can
trust my instincts as an artist in the studio.”
Garibaldi wanted to transfer the pure energy of the musicians
to the listener, so she cut the basic tracks live, singing and playing
her Luna Trinity-Artist and Breedlove C25/SMYE Custom guitars
along with the drums and bass. Excepting a couple of guitar and
vocal fixes, the only overdubs on the album are the guest musicians.
“When you go with your intuition and stay true to yourself,
things always work out,” she says.
As a member of the singer-songwriter community, Garibaldi
has always been supportive of other artists, and she has taken several
trips to Nashville and Austin to experience those cities’ nurturing
live-performance and songwriting scenes. But she has also
been a bit of an outsider—following her own muse, rather than
engaging in multi-songwriter collaborations, or trying to break
into the so-called hit-making machinery.
“I think too many people are following the leader, instead
of thinking of their own ways to express themselves,” she says.
“There’s this whole community out there teaching formulas and
the rights and wrongs of songwriting. But the result is everyone
writing the same thing. To me, that’s a very silly concept. Songwriting
is such a personal thing, and art is supposed to be unique
and creative. Songs should come from the heart—not from a set