by Mike Colbert
If lyrics in Kate Schrock’s music bring a character or a lover to a place of decision, musical careers can perhaps be brought to a similar place of turning.
Since traveling to Jamaica and Ecuador , Schrock’s music has taken on the poetry of a world larger and deeper than personal reflection, conjuring up both the cries of the disenfranchised and the voices of their heroes.
At the Lincoln Theater performance in Damariscotta on Saturday night, the artist, who grew up in the area, sang selections of her new material to an enthusiastic crowd of some 200 people.
“Rebel’s Eye”, for example, celebrates those in the third world who dare to stand up for justice. Dedicating the song to reggae legend, Bob Marley, Schrock sang:
“I fell under the influence of your sweet mystery / you took my heart so many miles from where it used to be / is it the stranger who is dangerous? / or is it the familiar, not the peculiar, that truly imprisons us?”
Schrock recently spent time in Jamaica working on a project with Glen DaCosta of Bob Marley and the Wailers fame. She plans to return there this September to continue working on the project.
While branching out into new themes and topics, Schrock has not forgotten her roots, or the influence of songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones and Elton John.
She continues to perform many songs that pre date the new articulation of thought she has found in her third world experience.
Opening with “Bird on a Wing”, Schrock sang: “Bird on a wing, you’re trying to sing, you gotta learn to fly sometime / you’re making me cry / watching you fly / don’t fly away this time.”
The song comes from her most recent CD, “ Indiana ”, a 2003 recording inspired by the search for innocence. Schrock has described the music as an attempt to strip away pretense.
Schrock said she is still writing about “true matters of the heart”, matters that now include themes centering on social injustice, identifying ignorance, greed and other sins that divide. “That’s compassion across the globe, not just, ‘Is he going to love me?’”, she said during an interview.
“Human relationships, romance, misunderstanding, pain – no one’s ever going to stop writing about love”, said Schrock.
Writing with a bigger picture of the world, however, represents not so much a fork in the road, said Schrock, as it does a deepening of what she’s been writing about all along.
Being in Jamaica with people spiritually rich and musically alive helped her understand some of the tensions in the US culture that stem from the country’s focus on materialism.
Despite the more global theme in her work, Schrock said change still boiled down to a personal choice. “Am I going to love?” said Schrock. “Not just each other, but everyone, ourselves included. What’s the decision?”
Schrock is in the studio now, recording new material on her own label, Kakelane Music.The recording will include recent works such as “Message to Babylon ”, “Why?” and “Carolina Hurricane”.