by David Cohen

Lesbian folk-rock singer, writer, acoustic guitarist, advocate–all of these are qualities that Catie Curtis possesses. Curtis’ music expresses her honesty, values and personal life experiences. Revealing her own truth through her songs, the Boston-based singer has always been true to herself. “I’ve found that you have to be honest about who you are, and you must be real to your own feelings,” Curtis stated when visiting Chicago last August.

Curtis and Marshall married in 2000, and later adopted two children, Lucy and Celia. The ado ption process was challenging, and even though Curtis and Marshall were legally married in Massachusetts, Curtis had to adopt the girls by herself. “The law was different then, and it was easier to do it this way,” Curtis explains.

The inequality and difficulties of this situation where the driving forces behind Curtis becoming an advocate for gay marriage and equality. She became ordained to perform gay marriages in 2010, something she loves to do “because it’s different from everything I do every day especially singing. I love seeing two people in love commit to each other.”

Curtis strived to create music, and in 1991 her hard work paid off with the release of her debut album “From Years to Hours.” During the next twenty years she released 10 more albums and toured the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In October of 1996, the gay community honored Curtis for her music. Curtis won several awards at The Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMAs), who named her The Best Out Recording Artist for her song “Radical,” a song about interracial gay relationships.

In 2009, Curtis performed at the HRC Equality Ball in celebration of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Performing with her were music legends Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright, and Thelma Houston. In 2010, Curtis was invited to perform at the White House.

While touring, Curtis continues to write songs and win over the hearts of her audiences each time she performs live. PINK Magazine’s party “Marry Me PINK” last August at Café Yuca in Chicago was no exception. All agreed that Curtis is a winner, and one guest was overheard saying, “She sounds better live than on her CD!”

The talented singer/song writer/guitarist’s released her latest CD Stretch Limousine on Fire, in August 2011 by Compass Records. Curtis delivers the essence of her own life unlike anything she has done previously. With an extraordinary range of humility and deceptively soft yet strong vocals, Curtis brings forth a compelling message of love, marriage and hope.

To promote Stretch Limousine on Fire, Curtis dedicated two songs to gay marriage and civil unions. “Gay marriages have a special meaning to me. Everyone should be able to marry their loved one regardless of their sexual orientation,” Curtis states. With the approval of same sex marriages in New York last June, Curtis dedicated her song “I Do” to gay marriage. Curtis explains, “This song is about love-straight or gay. It doesn’t matter, it’s the same.

Love is love.” “Wedding Band” to PINK readers to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage in Illinois. Curtis also attended North Halsted Market Days Street Festival in Chicago as a guest at PINK Magazine’s extravaganza “Marry Me PINK.” Curtis autographed her latest CD and posters at Pink’s booth.

Stretch Limousine on Fire marks a departure for Curtis as she pushes her own musical boundaries to explore “the difficult edges of passing events” in life, harsh realities that are tempered with moments of fleeting beauty. “There’s a lot of texture in my music that makes you feel like you’re really close to to the harsh realities” refers Curtis to her new album. Recorded at Los Angeles’ Stampede Origin Studio, Stretch Limousine on Fire harnesses the energy of Curtis’ live concerts, thanks in part to a fiercely talented band featuring drummer Jay Bellerose and bassist Jennifer Condos. “My singing was inspired by their playing,” said Curtis of her band. “Recording felt like a live performance.” The album’s spirited and unique vibe is best embodied by the album’s title track. “Stretch Limousine on Fire” which is an infectious song whose central image takes on the idea that “when bad things happen, you sometimes take comfort in realizing they happen to everybody.” said Curtis. The album also features guest vocalists Lisa Loeb and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Driven by her true love to music, Curtis always pushed herself to explore new ways to express herself as she reveals much about herself in the songs she sings and writes. Everyone should listen to her lyrics which tell the stories of harsh realities, real people, and her own life. She shares the love and appreciation of what life and love have given us all. I highly recommend that everyone listen to her music and find the inspiration, beauty and secrets that Catie Curtis has delivered these past 20 years.