It’s 2016, and here they walk exiting a record shop, two 22-year-old girls, one a musician, and one a writer. It’s 2016, but the musician is carrying a stickered suitcase that was probably a hand-me-down from her mother or bought at a thrift shop. The writer has two waist length Willie Nelson braids growing from underneath the brim of a much-preloved Resistol cowboy hat. The Fort Worth tourists stare at the two misfits as if they’re waiting for them to break into an act that’s part of the Stockyards’ entertainment, but the pair pays no attention. Maybe they’re used to it.
Here are two girls, who never got a chance to see the seventies- or the eighties for that matter, boldly adorned in western memorabilia, not only as a form of self-expression but as an ode to those who preceded them in the industry. The singer is Oklahoma City’s very own Kaitlin Butts, and the writer accompanying her, is me.
It’s 2016, and Kaitlin Butts isn’t making today’s meaningless music that targets an easily marketable young audience, she’s making music for the few that still believe in classic raw talent and in-your-face lyrics. Her latest album “Same Hell, Different Devil”, which features Whiskey Myers’ Jon Knudson, offers heart healing break up bashers like “Hope it Bleeds”, as well as humble slow tunes, including her “Let Yourself Fall.”
“At the time, I didn’t think anyone else was ever going to hear them,” Kaitlin tells me about being alone in her bedroom while writing her most popular songs, “Gal like Me” and “Wild Rose.” Fast forward to today and these two songs are all over Texas radio, captivating thousands of self-proclaimed wildflowers like myself, who caught the song with wind-whipped hair while flying down farm road 1188 in nowhere, Texas.
In such a natural way, Kaitlin’s lyrics were able to perfectly narrate that soulful moment, leading me to meet her at Chief Records a few short weeks later.
It’s amazing that in 2016 there are still individuals passionate about The West’s history and the pursuit to preserve its rich heritage. We’re in an optimal time for the industry, as so many young people are redefining the culture with their art and craftsmanship, music, and fashion. In the words of Kaitlin, “There’s a certain honesty, simplicity, and beauty in the lifestyle… and a great deal of respect for the history, traditions, and music,” all of which can be held accountable for uniting the writer, the musician, and so many others.
Head to https://kaitlinbutts.com for tour dates, videos, and merchandise.