Chasing a country dream

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writer September 23, 2011 

Kate Turner is on a musical mission she hopes will take her all the way to a Nashville record contract.

To help pave the way to that singing career, the 25-year-old Burbank woman will release her first music video, which she will debut at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Towne Crier Tavern in Richland.

The video was produced and directed by Turner's friend and fellow Tri-City musician Chase Thompson.

But Turner is more than a country singer. She writes all her own songs and that's what caught the attention recently of the Big Machine record label in Nashville.

"Big Machine is interested in hearing more of my music. That's why we went in and recorded the EP album Baby No, which is the first single and the song that is used in the music video," Turner said. "The EP is being sent to the Big Machine later this month."

Songwriting is a dream Turner has chased her entire life. "I've always wanted to do this," she said.

But chasing that dream meant making sacrifices.

"A lot of people expected me to grow up and get a real job, but I didn't want to lose my music," she said. "I've wanted to do this my whole life."

And sometimes love got in the way of her plans.

"I was engaged once, but everything kind of fell apart when I started pursuing this dream," Turner said.

Turner played saxophone and clarinet at school but never sang in the choir. She would have preferred to quit high school to pursue music, but her parents weren't going to let that happen, she added.

"My parents (Sue and Larry Turner of Burbank) absolutely refused to let me quit, and I'm glad they did now," Turner said.

After graduating from Columbia High School in Burbank, she attended Columbia Basin College for a short time where she sang with the award-winning FreeForm jazz band.

Then she took off for the University of Kentucky to earn a degree in sports broadcasting.

"While in Kentucky, I took a trip to Nashville with some girlfriends from college, and while we were there, I talked to the manager of the Coyote Ugly (nightclub), who let me sing at the bar," Turner said. "After that, I realized this is what I really wanted to do, so I quit college and moved home so I could concentrate on the music."

Turner is hopeful Big Machine will like what they hear on her latest album and help boost her onto the music charts.

"It can be frustrating sometimes, because local radio stations just won't play any of my songs," she said. "So having a big label like Big Machine take notice is exciting.

"I know exactly who I am, what I can do, where I am going," Turner said. "But mostly, I just love what I do."

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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