Katie Oates — Something True: On Life and Meaning

katie oates

Katie Oates is a singer and songwriter. Her music explores the longings and connections that invite us into the higher graces of our humanity. There is laughter and tears in her lyrics and the thrill of getting lost in a song. There is a clever flirtation in her words and a vulnerability in her desires. What is true about her music is what is true about Katie: she has a grateful and generous spirit that seeks to make relationships meaningful, playful and profound. She has been a singer throughout her life – from church choirs to musical theater to smoky bar room stages – but it has been in mid-life that she began composing and performing original songs. Katie inspires us to do the same: to find our voice and to discover the best in ourselves.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in singing and songwriting and a journey to give voice to the connections that matter.

In This Episode
In This Episode


  • Katie shares what is consistent about all her songs.
  • She answers whether music or words come first when she composes songs.
  • She explains what butterfly nets have to do with songwriting.
  • Katie sings ‘When Dragons Were Real.’
  • She talks about growing up as a preacher’s daughter and what she internalized and carries with her to this day.
  • She discusses going away to boarding school, attending college and graduate school, and the one line through it all.
  • She shares her impressions of Boston and Nashville and the push and pull of music.
  • Katie talks about an experience that led to a decision that changed her life.
  • She discusses the importance of story in her life and work.
  • She reads a quote of her own about craving connection to the ‘funny, odd, poignant and limitless.’
  • She answers whether the past and future are quite sufficient.
  • She talks about why many people feel lost and disconnected, what’s next in her work, and whether fame is something she desires.
  • Katie sings ‘Edge of a Hurricane.

Mark Peres adds a personal word that begins this way, “Katie’s music and the yearning for and celebration of human connection that is her work transports me to the moment I witnessed Johnny and June Carter Cash on stage…”

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