Being Brave – and Taking Names

Songwriter Teresa Kolo debuts new album “Brave Girl” Tuesday, Feb. 14.  Album recounts artist’s journey of finding her voice

SEATTLE – February 15, 2017Musician Teresa Kolo says the title of her new album “Brave Girl” is aspirational.

“It’s about the desire to be that person, not claiming the title exactly, but I’m saying that’s the goal,” she said.

There’s a lot of evidence that Kolo already exhibits the bravery she hopes to attain.

“Sometimes you have to pull the pieces together and review your life, look at what you’ve done so far to see the progress you’ve made,” she said. “Sometimes you have to take a flyover view of life to observe your evolution – instead of focusing on what’s still so messy and imperfect”.

The album provides a glimpse into her personal journey, and the years it took to pull the recording together was its own odyssey.

Along the way, Kolo learned how to believe in her own talent and vision.

Kolo started playing music at a young age in her hometown of Houston. She longed for a piano and was given a guitar.  The guitar was a gift from her brother, when she was in the 4th grade.

In her 20s, she completely dove into songwriting. “I was always exposed to diverse music, and I think that’s kind of where my songwriting came from,” she said. “I had an older brother and sister who were active in exposing me to music beyond just the pop that my friends were listening to.”

Kolo was well received by her audiences. She played frequently at a number of popular venues in Houston and built a reputation for her unique, percussive approach to playing guitar and her strong focus on lyrics.

She released her first recording in the mid-2000s. “It was strongly directed by my husband at the time, as well as by a great engineer and producer, Karl Caillouet,” she said. “They were a guiding presence and I appreciated them. But this time it was just me. So it took me longer to figure out what I was doing.”

The additional time made it possible to capture the exact sound she wanted.

“I think this album represents my songwriting well,” she said. “ It has some pared down songs with just me and my guitar and also some with more instrumentation.”

Kolo said that by traversing some recent, difficult times, including a divorce and the death of her brother, she learned to trust her own voice.

“Some songs I wrote during my divorce, about that very challenging time,” she said. “They’re all about finding your way out – and using that hard stuff as a catalyst to get somewhere better and closer to where you want to be.”

Kolo also found a certain freedom in her move across country to Seattle. She has been in the city for a couple of years now – and said the new environment has been inspirational.

“I live in a place where much of what I crave is accessible to me -- beauty of the natural world and ways to stimulate myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically – and most of that is within walking distance,” Kolo said. “Living here as made me realize that the world is so much bigger than I knew and it has motivated me to ask for more than just a little, adequate life.”

She said one of her mantras is “blooming late.”

“You know that can – and does – happen,” Kolo said. “It’s not just one event that helps you grow. It happens over the period of a lifetime. I love that possibility of growth; I love stories of people who contribute their very best offerings a little later in life.”