It’s no secret I love Kaitlin Butts. I saw her in concert at Whitewater Amphitheater in June and cried happy tears when she took the stage, cried even harder when I noticed her husband, Cleto Cordero-frontman for the powerhouse band Flatland Cavalry, watching her perform from the wings, and I wept when he joined her on stage for a duet of her newest single “Jackson,” and then again when she joined Flatland Cavalry on stage to duet with Cordero on their hit “A Life Where We Work Out.” Butts puts on an incredible, high-energy show. She interacts with and engages the crowd, keeping them entertained from the first note to the last.
Butts was thinking about the legendary country music couple Johnny Cash and June Carter when she wrote Jackson.
“It was Johnny Cash’s birthday, and I was thinking about how tough it must have been to be June Carter Cash and be in love with such a difficult, outlaw of a man,” said Butts, who penned the tune. “I think most women have been in those shoes. Not knowing if they can see the relationship to the end, to the good times, and through the hard ones.”
A native of Oklahoma, it’s no surprise Butts has been described as a thunderstorm. A tornado warning. The siren wail of a small town’s caution system still in use. Behind her flowing locks of auburn hair, the sweetest Oklahoma twang and a wry grin grows a demanding voice and equally devastating storyteller. This high-rising Oklahoman is steadily blooming into a quick-witted writer who can pick the right details to make a song and story believable and real.
Her new album, What Else Can She Do, finds the emerging songwriter delivering a collection of delicate, strong, and gallant characters and transformative storytellers. What Else Can She Do is a visceral display of just how raw and mighty words and actions can be–and how sometimes, knowing when to walk away can be just as compelling.
“These songs are all stories from different women facing the question: What else can she do,” says Butts. “I don’t think that life is all that pretty sometimes, and it comes with pain and pushing through hard times, or being stagnant, going through the motions, and not knowing what to do, or just being flat-out angry with whatever life has put on your plate.”
Following up her delightful debut Same Hell, Different Devil and a diverse run of singles, the cosmic dancer “Marfa Lights,” haunting murder ballad “White River,” and the sweet tranquility of “How Lucky Am I” (I can’t stop myself from scream-singing that one), What Else Can She Do finds Butts in full blossom.
Released in April, What Else Can She Do already has over 1.5 million streams on Spotify and rose to the top 10 Albums on the Americana Albums Chart. The lead-off track “It Won’t Always Be This Way” recently hit number 25 on the Texas Country Music Charts, and the album continues to receive widespread critical acclaim.