Country music singer's uplifting new post-cancer album
CATHERINE Britt has beaten breast cancer, but she didn't want her next album to focus on her health scare.
She says the roller coaster of diagnosis, treatment and remission over the past three years was crucial, though, to the outlook she now has on life.
The country music singer's seventh studio album Catherine Britt & The Cold Cold Hearts, out today, is steeped in positivity.
"You have to make a decision when you're going through something like that if you're going to be public or private about it, and that depends on the person's personality and your way of dealing with crisis," she says.
"I don't think anyone knows how they're going to act in that situation. My only real way to get through it was to work harder and keep busy. I did things during my treatment like the F U Cancer tour with the McGrath Foundation. It was my way of coping for sure.
"This new album is really not about that at all. It's got one song on there (I'm Not Ready) about almost dying and living life to the fullest, but I don't see it as a cancer song. I see it as a realisation to live life like everyday day is your last. I'm very blessed with that hindsight at 33. I feel very grateful in that way and I wanted to express that in the album.
"The rest of the record is such a positive record. It's all about travelling and our life for the past three years, and I'm really proud of that. I couldn't have written this record until after everything that happened."
There are a few love songs for her husband, James. The couple welcomed their son Hank into the world just two days after Catherine finished recording the album in her home studio, aptly named Beverley Hillbilly Studios.
"The next single is Met My Match. It's all about James, which he loves," she says.
"Every artist wants their own creative space but to record at that professional level is really cool. I was really lucky the label bought into the idea of doing the home studio thing instead of flying me to another part of the world and paying a big-time producer. After everything I've been through I want to be home."
Packing her family up in a camper van, Catherine is on the road in support of the album.
"We've officially rented our house out and are living in the caravan full time," she says.
"We're travelling with a six-month-old, but he's so good. We left when he was three weeks old, so he doesn't know any different. That's his life, which is pretty special."
She's looking forward to showcasing her long-time band members Michael Muchow and Andy Toombs, who make up The Cold Cold Hearts.
"These two guys are my best mates. They've been in my band for 20 years," she says.
"I've always wanted to do one of those 'artist and a band' projects like Ryan Adams & The Cardinals and Emmylou Harris & The Hot Band.
"When you're seven albums in you've got to do something different. I felt like it was finally time to give it a go and see where it goes. Maybe we can do a couple of records like this."
Catherine Britt & The Cold Cold Hearts play the Maryborough Sports Club tonight, the Royal Hotel in Gympie on tomorrow, Lefty's Old Time Music Hall in Brisbane on Sunday and The Groundwater Country Music Festival on the Gold Coast on July 27 and 28.