Daily Discovery: Kathryn Rose Wood, “Lullaby (to Preston)”

Kathryn Rose Wood

Videos by American Songwriter

ARTIST: Kathryn Rose Wood

SONG: “Lullaby (to Preston)”

HOMETOWN: York, Pennsylvania

CURRENT LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana

AMBITIONS: Well, I received my higher education degrees in music therapy…which tells you, I’ve always wanted to use music to make a difference, whether in a clinical sense or otherwise.  I strive to write songs that are honest and relatable, that connect with the listener on a below-the-surface level, even if written for commercial purposes.  Most of all, I aim to make music that can start a conversation, and maybe even help effect social change.

TURN-OFFS:  Those folks who hate everything and everyone, complain constantly but don’t want to do anything to fix their (often fixable) problems, just generally seem to enjoy being surly…absolute biggest turn-off.  I’ve met a few, more than I hoped I would, and even ended up writing a song (aptly titled, “Kanye” – but not because it’s about him!).

TURN-ONS:  Musical collaboration of any sort (writing, playing, producing), pedal steel, songs that make you go “Dang, I wish I wrote that!,” and a great Derek Trucks slide solo.

DREAM GIG: To one day work as a staff songwriter, making music that will reach and potentially influence the mass population, while keeping sincerity at the core of the song.

:  “All the white folks shake their asses, lookin’ for the two and four.  I’ll have mine in martini glasses, ’cause I can’t take it anymore.” – Sheryl Crow, “Members Only”

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Merry Go Round” – Kacey Musgraves. Witty, candid, thoughtful all while being catchy and well-arranged.  Doesn’t get much better.

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Lauryn Hill, Nat King Cole, Bill Withers, Clive Davis and Pope Francis (bet that threw you for a loop!). 

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: I’ve seen many, many, many concerts but my favorite still might be when I was 11 or 12 and saw Brandy on her Never Say Never tour, at the height of “The Boy is Mine” fame. I was so obsessed with her in every way, even owning the Brandy doll, and that was one of my first concerts, so it just makes sense.  Not to say I haven’t seen equally awe-inspiring shows since!  

I WROTE THIS SONG BECAUSE… I wrote “Lullaby (to Preston)” in the weeks after my 19-year-old brother took his own life.  His suicide seemed sudden at first, but over time it was clear he had been covering up his struggles for much longer, and didn’t feel emboldened to ask for help. This song is my letter to him, but to also those who are struggling, lost, confused, hopeless, or on the verge of breaking. In the months after Preston’s passing, the lyrics became words I needed to hear from someone else and it is my hope that someone, somewhere would hear this song and feel encouraged, too – to ask for help, to choose to stay, to advocate for themselves and others.


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