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Don't Ditch Choir

'Freshman year in high school, I signed up for choir thinking it would be an easy class to ditch," says San Diego composer Cathryn Beeks. "Instead I ended up figuring out that I wanted to be a singer. I pretty much lived for music from that point on, and in 1992 I left my hometown of Lancaster, California, in a motor home -- to make it to the big time. The crazy adventures and experiences I had along the way are the songs I still sing today."

One recent song is called "Keep Walking," which Cathryn wrote "as a tribute to the people who train all year to walk 60 miles in the Breast Cancer Three-Day Walk. I asked a friend of mine who is walking in this year's event to give me updates on her training and progress so I could share it with my Listen Local list subscribers," Beeks says. "She agreed and surprised me by starting Team Listen Local and inviting others to join and walk with her. Besides the physical part of the event, walkers must raise $2200 and have health insurance."

Information on the Breast Cancer Three Day Walk can be found at ListenLocalSD.com, a website that Beeks is a partner in, or at the3day. Beeks also hosts the Listen Local Mixer at Desi 'n' Friends in Point Loma every other Tuesday with open mike and guest artists.

TRICKIEST PROBLEM PLAYING LIVE?

"I have a seven-piece band, so just getting everyone there at the same time is often tricky, hence 'the Ordeal.' Once we've assembled and assessed the sound situation, we're usually good to go. Because we have three vocalists, sax, and mandolin, in addition to our standard instruments, sometimes we have to play completely unplugged. Luckily, my band is laid back and professional enough to roll with whatever gets tossed at us."

BEST GIG?

"Just performed at the Belly Up as a backing vocalist for Deadline Friday's CD-release concert. The music was brilliant, sound was killer, the drinks were flowing, and Marc Ford played with us."

WORST GIG?

"Weddings."

"END OF THE WORLD" CDs?

1. The Listen Local Cookbook CD Compilation, Vol. I. "Contains 20 of my favorite songs of 20 of my favorite local releases. It is rad."

2. Steph Johnson, Genesee Avenue. "I hear tons of great voices every night, but Stephy J's voice is medicine to me."

3. Deadline Friday, Days Gone. "This CD will be the soundtrack of many good times to come."

4. Greta Gaines, It Was Hot. "Call it 'hick-hop' or whatever you like...Greta has been inspiring me for a decade or more. Great songwriting, killer voice, powerful snowboarding queen."

5. Christopher Dallman, Race the Light. "Has everything you'll ever need."

EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?

"My parents, dancing in the kitchen."

WHAT DID YOU DO PROM NIGHT?

"The standard '80s thing: Pre-party at someone's house, then 20 of us in a limo headed to the cheesy hotel banquet room. I did have on a swanky beaded gown that was way ahead of its time."

YOUR PROFESSION IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IS...

"Pro billiards."

WHERE DO YOU SEE MUSIC GOING IN THE 21st CENTURY?

"I'm hoping someone will invent a device that plays every instrument imaginable. You strap it to your head and make sounds by moving specific body parts. The people who are really good at it will be amazing to behold. Others not so accomplished will not only sound lame, they'll look ridiculous, too."

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'Freshman year in high school, I signed up for choir thinking it would be an easy class to ditch," says San Diego composer Cathryn Beeks. "Instead I ended up figuring out that I wanted to be a singer. I pretty much lived for music from that point on, and in 1992 I left my hometown of Lancaster, California, in a motor home -- to make it to the big time. The crazy adventures and experiences I had along the way are the songs I still sing today."

One recent song is called "Keep Walking," which Cathryn wrote "as a tribute to the people who train all year to walk 60 miles in the Breast Cancer Three-Day Walk. I asked a friend of mine who is walking in this year's event to give me updates on her training and progress so I could share it with my Listen Local list subscribers," Beeks says. "She agreed and surprised me by starting Team Listen Local and inviting others to join and walk with her. Besides the physical part of the event, walkers must raise $2200 and have health insurance."

Information on the Breast Cancer Three Day Walk can be found at ListenLocalSD.com, a website that Beeks is a partner in, or at the3day. Beeks also hosts the Listen Local Mixer at Desi 'n' Friends in Point Loma every other Tuesday with open mike and guest artists.

TRICKIEST PROBLEM PLAYING LIVE?

"I have a seven-piece band, so just getting everyone there at the same time is often tricky, hence 'the Ordeal.' Once we've assembled and assessed the sound situation, we're usually good to go. Because we have three vocalists, sax, and mandolin, in addition to our standard instruments, sometimes we have to play completely unplugged. Luckily, my band is laid back and professional enough to roll with whatever gets tossed at us."

BEST GIG?

"Just performed at the Belly Up as a backing vocalist for Deadline Friday's CD-release concert. The music was brilliant, sound was killer, the drinks were flowing, and Marc Ford played with us."

WORST GIG?

"Weddings."

"END OF THE WORLD" CDs?

1. The Listen Local Cookbook CD Compilation, Vol. I. "Contains 20 of my favorite songs of 20 of my favorite local releases. It is rad."

2. Steph Johnson, Genesee Avenue. "I hear tons of great voices every night, but Stephy J's voice is medicine to me."

3. Deadline Friday, Days Gone. "This CD will be the soundtrack of many good times to come."

4. Greta Gaines, It Was Hot. "Call it 'hick-hop' or whatever you like...Greta has been inspiring me for a decade or more. Great songwriting, killer voice, powerful snowboarding queen."

5. Christopher Dallman, Race the Light. "Has everything you'll ever need."

EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?

"My parents, dancing in the kitchen."

WHAT DID YOU DO PROM NIGHT?

"The standard '80s thing: Pre-party at someone's house, then 20 of us in a limo headed to the cheesy hotel banquet room. I did have on a swanky beaded gown that was way ahead of its time."

YOUR PROFESSION IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IS...

"Pro billiards."

WHERE DO YOU SEE MUSIC GOING IN THE 21st CENTURY?

"I'm hoping someone will invent a device that plays every instrument imaginable. You strap it to your head and make sounds by moving specific body parts. The people who are really good at it will be amazing to behold. Others not so accomplished will not only sound lame, they'll look ridiculous, too."

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