Charlyne Marie “Chan” (pronounced Shawn) Marshall, better known as Cat Power, is an artist. An artist in every sense. Singer-songwriter, musician, actress, and model are a few of the titles attached to her name. Speaking of name, Cat Power was originally the name of Marshall’s first band but has become her moniker as a solo artist.
Part of Marshall’s intrigue (or frustration depending on who you talk go) is her unpredictability on stage, much of which stems from her history with alcohol, severe bouts of stage freight, and depression.
What would we put the over-under for times she has been approached to make a pop album and lots of money? To Cat Power’s credit she has stuck to her guns through some difficult and challenging times, both financially and emotionally. No, Iggy Pop doesn’t sing back up for sell outs, but, he did for Cat Power on her 2012 album Sun.
Cat Power, who alternately writes her own songs and is known to always bring something interesting and irresistible to a cover, was born in Atlanta Georgia in 1972 and got into music performances to hang out with friends and get drunk. Ultimately, she realized she could travel and make more money singing than working two or three jobs. As a child, she was not allowed to buy albums so she was influenced by the record collections of her parents and step-father which included Otis Redding, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Rolling Stones, Barry White, Black Flag, and Sister Sledge.
Growing up in the south and in a religious family she began singing hymns. Her work ranges from retro-soul and blues and funk to more recently experimenting with electronica. Marshall took the name Cat Power from a trucker cap she saw that read Cat Diesel Power and in addition to Iggy Pop has worked with Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, and Mabon and Leroy Hodges to name a few.
In addition to her vocal chops, Marshall is blessed with model-good looks and a “neo-grunge” style that impressed designers like Marc Jacobs and Nicolas Ghesquiere enough to get her photographed for New York Magazine and Purple Magazine in the early 2000’s.
In an interview with Pitchfork magazine in 2012, Marshall told Ryan Dombal on feeling misunderstood. “People don’t actually know that I mean what I say when I say it,” she explained.
I think that the one thing we do know about Cat Power is that she means what she says when she says it and that nobody can question her authenticity. We are excited for her to take the stage at Pioneer Park this Thursday for the 5th concert of the the 2017 Twilight Concert Series. There is still time to get your pre-show tickets here before prices increase day-of.
*Blog post contributed by William Wright