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Recently returned from Nashville, Kat Danser kindly sat down with me to discuss her time spent recording and her strong relationship with the musical world. Although I was slightly nervous to meet the “Queen of Swamp Blues,” her inviting personality and engaging stories soon erased my nerves.

When I inquired about her recent project down in Nashville she announced that she is extremely excited about her upcoming album because she feels it is her strongest work yet, both creatively and vocally. Much of Kat’s inspiration originates from her own experiences, so the substance for this album stemmed from her travels throughout the American South. This provided an overarching theme of travel for this compilation of music.

It was a miracle that I was able to meet with her at all because, as a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology, a professor of popular music and a performing musician, she is always swamped (which I guess is fitting for the Queen of Swamp Blues)! When I inquired about how she manages to survive such a hectic schedule she admitted that she often encounters conflicts while balancing her numerous responsibilities. While she is able to approach performing and teaching as the same thing, she confessed that once you become a student there is little time for much else (a roadblock familiar to most students). However, this ambitious musician does not let this tarnish her passion for music because as she puts it, she is “living her passion.” She gushed that she gets to experience both creating music and researching it; because of this opportunity, she is able to bring a real world perspective to music both inside and outside the classroom.

Based on the amount of enthusiasm Kat has for her diverse roles in the music community, it is no surprise that she applies a similar attitude to activities outside the realm of music! Kat joked she is now “long in the tooth” and has realized having good mental and physical health is essential to her involvement in music. In order to embrace this philosophy Kat has gone “wild with exercise” over the last year and is currently training for the Woman to Warrior obstacle competition! Not only is exercise good for her well-being, but she also shared that it is critical for her dissertation because she comes up with her most creative ideas when she allows her brain to take a break.

Her album Goin’ Gone will be released sometime next year and I am excited for more of her unique sound and musical storytelling.

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