By now you are well aware that I’m rather partial about finding new-to-me talent performing here in Maine. Such is the case with Caroline Cotter, who is set to perform at Slates in Hallowell on Monday, Nov. 5. Cotter is touring in support of her new CD “Home on the River,” which was released this past June. She’s very familiar with Portland, as it’s the home of the Council of International Educational Exchange where she worked while writing and recording her first album, “Dreaming as I Do,” which came out in 2015. Since then, Cotter’s played more than 600 shows in 43 states and 12 countries. She also taught yoga throughout Portland at camps, conferences and retreats. She grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and went to college in Maine. I called her at her home in Kittery a few months back to chat about the upcoming show in central Maine.

Q: Now, is “Home on the River” your sophomore release?

Cotter: Yes, it is my second album.

Q: How long have you been a singer-songwriter?

Cotter: I have been writing songs for the last 11 years and playing and singing since middle school. I started recording pretty much when I started writing so I’m doing it D.I.Y. now. I performed a lot and didn’t know how to make it into a profession. I was very happy doing the things I was doing and finding my way and writing and booking. I got jobs in different places all over the globe and really enjoyed having music as a way to open doors and to share with people. It felt like a real gift, and it granted me close relationships with people that I might not have had opportunities to meet otherwise.

Q: It matters not if the music is folk, classical, rock, alternative or any other genre you can name because any music that comes from the heart goes to the heart of the listener. Music truly is the universal language because it transcends boundaries — it transcends everything.

Cotter: Yeah, it’s very encouraging and touching when you see a door open, especially when I don’t speak a language and have that intimacy. It happens at house concerts, too — any show where people haven’t heard my music yet. I love the difference before the show — in interactions — and after the show. You can see their hearts open; it’s really neat.

Q: Have you ever played at Slates before?

Cotter: No, I haven’t, but I’ve heard and known about it for three years now, and so I’m grateful to be performing there.

Q: You’re going to love it there. Not only is the food exceptional, but the audiences are of the listening variety, so you won’t have to compete with a bar or wait-persons because the music matters there. Quite frankly, what you do music-wise is tailor-made for the folks who’ll be coming to see you. Are you a solo performer or will you have backing musicians with you?

Cotter: I perform solo when I travel far and wide, but I have performed in Maine with a band and that’s been a lot of fun. Some members of the band and the styles that we play have differed throughout the years.

Q: For example?

Cotter: I had a string band, and we played a lot of original music in that configuration. And then there was a bluegrass band, and a lot of the songs that we played were my songs. Now you might not listen to my music and think that it could be bluegrass, but with the right players, anything can be bluegrass! More recently I’ve enjoyed collaborating with some musicians from the Portland area to take a show out myself. I played Music in the Park in Congress Square Park with a drummer and an upright bass. That’s a configuration that I really like — I like that trio — and on the album I also had an electric guitar that was really fun to have.

Q: Will the Slates’ show be a solo gig for you?

Cotter: It will be, yeah.

Q: Do you find the traveling that you’ve done over the years impacts your music?

Cotter: I’m sure it does. I mean, I can’t say for sure because living my life impacts my music and my life is travel — so therefore travel impacts my music. So, yes, I think it does. I think that the different experiences that I’m having while out on the road certainly change my perspective and my point of view, so that works its way into my songs, for sure.

Q: Now seeing this will be a venue debut for you, Caroline, is there anything you’d like to get across to the folks reading this article?

Cotter: It’s really nice when people listen to my music before they come — I always find that really nice — but not everyone has time for that. So I guess the one thing I can say is that I’m very much looking forward to the venue. I’ve heard a lot about Slates and, yeah, it’s an honor to be invited to play there, and I really appreciate that. I am looking forward to it.

Lucky Clark has spent 49 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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