Kristen's music is born from a dark Southern psyche charred by half-burned cigarette ash then soaked in sweet tea.
Kristen's musical career began early. She was onstage at 13, singing the standards, but at some point she dropped out of the jazz clubs, dropped out of Berklee College of Music, and was dropped onto the dim stages of the Nashville alternative scene, where her persona took shape, took a drag, slid into thigh-high boots, and then got fed-back and distorted through an amplifier. Kristen carries her jazz background the way a gunfighter carries a rosary. To Kristen, jazz is heritage. It is interweaved in her twisted roots, inseparable, but masked by the mysterious character that has grown out of it.
This transition is all documented in a series of recordings, beginning with Kristen's 2001 release Only Words. The metamorphosis completed with 2006's Love Letters From A Fool, which marked the beginning of her on-going collaboration with producer Ben Strano. This album kicks off with the explosive and moody single "Dangerous," a song which became Kristen's debut music video and signaled that a strong, strange, and sexy iconoclast had arrived to destroy and rebuild the temple of the female singer-songwriters.
Kristen builds further on this foundation with her latest, Show Me Where the Edge Is, a bold new work with Strano that showcases her expert songwriting alongside that of her strongest musical influence, Elvis Costello. Whether on the three Costello re-workings or her own originals, each of the 13 vocal takes is impeccable - Cothron is truly a singer's singer, equally at home nailing one-take vocals in the studio and entrancing live audiences. Producer Ben Strano says, "If I could only listen to (or record) one voice for the rest of my life... I'd want it to be Kristen. She sings so effortlessly that the barrier between what she sings and what she feels is non existent... a pure channel between emotion and voice that few if any can match. Normally a singer is hindered by what their voice will actually allow them to do. Kristen doesn't have this (seemingly mortal) problem."
For Kristen, Show Me Where the Edge Is also marks a daring comeback and evolution. After a serious car wreck turned her world upside down in 2008, she faced an unprecedented period of musical inactivity and self-doubt. For someone who often gigged 7 nights a week, the prospect of wiping the calendar clean was debilitating. True to form, Cothron came back swinging, building a new band around her and her trademark Telecaster, and pushing her art further than ever. With her renewed focus, she was able to turn the dark experience into the fire that fueled much of the writing for the new record. From "Edge" "To Edge" this is the work of someone who has seen the edge and declared no surrender...