Local recording artist Kathryn Joy crafts descriptive jazzy tunes inspired by the resplendence of life
Special to the Daily
As much as “Usain Bolt” is an aptronym for the speedy Olympic sprinter, so too is “Great Aunt Ruth and the Saucy Cats” for the music this virtual band creates.
Born from a chance encounter on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Eagle-Vail resident Kathryn Joy, aka Great Aunt Ruth, and Los Angeles-based jazz musician Joel Scott, recently deceased, aka the original Saucy Cat, created jazz-like tunes with poetic lyrics of aristocratic imagery.
Prior to Scott’s passing from a heart attack brought on by complications from diabetes, the duo released four songs. “A Little Tango Noir,” “The Nightingale Serenade,” “Wake up to Saint-Tropez” and “A Bull Story (A True Story)” are all available to stream on Spotify and for download on iTunes.
Soaked in Grandeur
The songs are a welcome snap from working-class tedium, with storylines soaked in grandeur. At times playfully teasing out the romantic side of a listener’s heart, Joy shows her audience a couple falling in love in the soft hues of a Paris morning or walking the ports of Saint-Tropez under the magnificence of a big blue sky.
“I always wanted to be a writer, but I wanted to wait until after I lived a little and had something to say,” Joy said. “I met Joel and he told me that I was a poet and that music would be my art.”
It was only six days after the duo released their fourth song that Scott passed away. His friends in the recording industry rallied around Joy and enticed her back into recording more music.
“Joel was my original partner in all of this,” Joy said. “I once shared these four little pieces of music with him; he said there was a little magic in them, but they needed work. He became a mentor, a friend and a partner in music. He wanted to give me a good start in music.”
So, Joy soldiers on for Scott, as well as to fulfill her own creative desires. She recently returned from a trip to California where she recorded two new songs with Rahn Coleman, an acclaimed American record producer, vocal coach and musical director who has worked with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Barry White, Tina Turner and more.
“The first song is more of something you might hear in musical theater,” Joy said. “It is about peach melba, a dessert of peaches, cream and raspberries. The dessert was created by a famous French chef in honor of an Australian opera singer. The whole song is a double entendre about a dessert and a woman.”
The other song is a retro-pop love song. It is called “Remember When.”
“It is a song about when you’ve been together with someone for a long time and you suddenly go back to remembering you are in love and how you once chose love,” Joy said. “It is really neat how it is all arranged.”
‘Produces People, Not Music’
Although easily falling in line with Great Aunt Ruth’s infatuation with the finest things in life, those songs are yet to be released. Joy is now anticipating their release and the future of the music she plans to make.
“When I met Rahn Coleman, he explained that he produces people, not music,” Joy said. “He also told me that the only profession more naked than a singer’s is that of a new prostitute engaged in the trade simply trying to feed her child.
“So far, Rahn and I have worked on two songs together. There are several more to go, including a very important tribute to our mutual friend Joel Scott. I find that Rahn believes it is essential to expose the real me, and he’s deftly tailoring the music to deliver me in an authentic manner. If we’re going to be a success, it’s because people identify with me and what I am feeling. This means I have to be more open to revealing my true self to other people.”
Local Tracks is a new twice-monthly series highlighting Eagle County musicians and bands. Want to see your band featured in the High Life section? Email arts and entertainment editor Krista Driscoll at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Hardscrabble stopped by the Vail Daily newsroom to jam as one of their three performances in one Saturday, the last of which was at the Bonfire Block Party.