Musical therapy

Kate Cotter

Opening for Jen Chapin is another soulful singer/songwriter, Kate Cotter, whom RN&R readers voted 2007’s Best Local Musician. On the heels of the release of her second album, August, this soft-spoken performer is finding that she can experience tremendous success and still call Reno home.

“I really love it here, and I’ve gotten into the [Riverside] Artist Lofts, which has made it possible for me to play professionally and stay here,” she says. “This city’s evolving all the time, and it has so many different layers.”

Cotter has spent most of her 30 years in Reno, and she remembers music as always being a part of her life.

“I think I’ve always written songs, even when I was little. One time, my friend and I decided we’d go door to door, offering to play songs to people for money,” she says, laughing at the memory. “We’d just make songs up as we went. When my parents found out, I was in so much trouble!”

She was always drawn to spiritual and philosophical themes, which is what led her to pursue a degree in religious studies. Later, she went on to work with the Episcopal diocese for a six-month internship in Honduras, helping people in undeveloped areas to develop life skills and establish businesses.

These experiences inform her lyrics and lend a spiritual, ethereal quality to her songs. With styles ranging from acoustic folk to jangly pop or Celtic rock, Cotter’s versatility and lush sound is the perfect way to kick off a summer evening.