Being inspired by another, the towering artist can have a two-fold effect on those who are inspired. It can turn into just an attempt to copy the original, or it can produce a spirit that reminds and brings something new itself. The late Amy Winehouse certainly had both songwriting and singing capabilities to inspire a multitude of oncoming artists, but many have just tried too hard to walk in her steps. On the other hand, Glasgow’s Kate Reid takes a completely different approach with her latest single ‘Caroline.’
Reid actually recorded this song a few years back and waited with its release along with a few others, so that she could release it at the anniversary of Winehouse’s death since, “…it seemed like fitting and poignant timing,” as Reid puts it herself. Actually, the track was written by Kate’s friend David McSweeney in a coffee shop in Glasgow’s West End shortly after the death of Amy Winehouse in 2011 and ‘Caroline’ is certainly a slow-burning scorcher. No big instrumentation, piano, guitar, accordion, subtle backing vocals from Reid’s sister Hazel and Kate’s delicate vocals.
While in no way tracking Winehouse’s musical steps, it still recalls the spirit of the departed great artist. Fittingly, ‘Caroline’ lasts less than three minutes to point out that Winehouse’s artistry was cut off too early. Kate Reid shares that ”Caroline’ talks about feeling alone even when you’re surrounded by other people and the dark clouds that can obscure even the sunniest soul at times. It also explores how alcohol can seem like a good solution to take the edge off those desperate feelings, but in the long run, it really doesn’t help. Having dealt with depression in its many guises for the last 25 years, it is a song I really knew I could sing.”
‘Caroline’ works brilliantly in two ways. To remind us of Amy Winehouse’s greatness and to tell us how truly talented Kate Reid herself is.
For more from Kate Reid check out her official website, Facebook and Instagram.
Some people’s final moments on Earth strike at the soul perhaps more than reason or logic would suggest that they should; the ones to whom the celebrity status does not do justice for the sheer scale of input they have put into stranger’s lives, the inspiration they instil, the boundaries they demolish; it is those that we maybe mourn the loss of in a deeper way than we might otherwise believe, that strike a match of motivation in us to create something in their honour.
No matter your own thoughts on Amy Winehouse, there can surely be no debate on how she shook the world with her interpretations of music, the smoky upbeat jazz/soul melody of voice and how it melded with the times in such a way that she didn’t just capture the zeitgeist, she let it loose to run rampant and enthuse others in the wake of her life, and in her sad passing in 2011.
Glasgow’s singer/songwriter Kate Reid understands the beauty in the woman, the strength she persisted in showing to the world, even when it became sadly obvious that she was playing through the sadness and despair of the accompanying music.
In the marking of the tenth anniversary of Ms. Winehouse’s passing, a song that has been almost hidden from view and originally penned by David McSweeney, is given the release of life, and in the fierce lyrics of Caroline, the feeling of isolation, perhaps the seclusion that many of us have faced since, is enhanced, pushed beyond the sadness, and instead frames what it means to be a fragile, but openly talented, and arguably flawed human being.
To acknowledge the flaw is proof that we are capable of reaching the highs unforeseen, of achieving greatness by overcoming the narrative set out for us, and Kate Reid’s daring interpretation of the song is to be applauded for the courage of its own performance, as well as acknowledging the flaw of hero who inspired so many.
The song itself is resplendent, rich, forceful, it strides out into the world in the same dynamic manner that Amy Winehouse accomplished, but it is also tender, the accompanying accordion and piano being true to the softer side of performance, and as Caroline progresses, it reflects the message of what it means to be alone, to be surrounded by your own tangible thoughts, but hopefully feel the love expressed so elegantly by Kate Reid at the same time.
A truly wonderful piece of art that encapsulates the spirit of an icon, Caroline is marvellous song that fills the heart.
My guest, Kate Reid, is a fellow Scot with a beautiful voice but she talks about having such low confidence that she struggles to accept compliments. Kate talks about her struggle with a binge eating disorder, how opening up and talking was the single most helpful thing, and we muse over whether we can ever truly understand how the mind works…
I invited Kate onto Truthbook because I have loved her honesty and openness through poems, songs, and Facebook posts. In her own words, she has always had an insatiable appetite for wanting to understand why she feels the way she feels and has found solace in talking.
Our paths crossed in the early 2000s, during her days in the Scottish band The Midden-where she was the lead singer and guitarist with her sisters, Meggan and Hazel. A measure of their success-playing in front of 25,000 at Glasgow’s Hogmany in 2004 with Snow Patrol! I remember a particularly vibrant and foot tapping night at the battle of the bands in the Scotia bar in Glasgow and celebrating their win with a pint of Guinness.
Since then, Kate has continued to keep life interesting; she is a singer, songwriter, she has written a book of poems and has a novel in the making. She spent 9 years teaching French, German and Music and more recently she is a radio presenter with Dunoon Community Radio. She is a Top 200 UK chart singer (check out Kate’s newly released song Caroline below). At the age of 40, in 2019, she became a MUM to Alexander….
Kate and Alexander live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world on the North Coast of Scotland.
But behind the scenes of these positive images, Kate has battled with a binge eating disorder pretty much since puberty. I remember when she first spoke about it on FB and thinking wow, I had no idea…