Caroline Cotter is a singer songwriter, traveler, artist, teacher and eternal student, living in Portland, Maine. After several years living and traveling all over the world, her collected stories come home with her in the form of songs. She performs original material in the folk tradition with influences of americana, bluegrass, jazz, and world music.
What is home? Where is home? ...So are we there yet?
1984-2000: The youngest of three, Caroline grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, always singing with family, in the glee club, choruses and in her church choir. At age 5 she began piano lessons and fiddled with any instrument within reach. Looking for an instrument that could travel, she gave up the piano lessons but continued with music on her own, inspired by the Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Tori Amos, and Karen Carpenter. At 16 she received her guitar for Christmas and began to teach herself how to play.
2000-2006: In college, Caroline spent a lot of her time singing, both in an all women's a cappella group and in the school's broadway musical revue. In these years Caroline discovered her passion for travel. In January 2004 she got the opportunity to study for a month in Costa Rica and in 2005 in Russia. With each journey, she encountered new characters and new ways of being, experiencing things that would forever change the way she viewed the world. In February of 2005 she began studies in Chile where she lived for 6 months, discovered the value of longer stays in foreign places, and started to play with the concept of home. In 2006 she returned to South America to explore the Patagonia and traveled through Chile and Argentina from Santiago to the Straights of Magellan.
2006-2011 After graduating from college in 2006, she moved to Thailand to discover a different part of the globe, a new culture and to test her ability to be at home, alone in a strange place. She lived and worked in Thailand for the school year teaching 3 and 4 year olds at a bilingual school in Chiang Mai and frequenting Santia's Grotto for jam sessions with local artists and travelers. It was upon her return from Thailand that Caroline began to write her own music. In September of 2007, continuing her search, Caroline traveled to Europe to begin her walk on the Camino de Santiago, as anticipated in El Camino from Back on the Train. She began in St. Jean Pied de Port, France and walked for 30 days across 800k of northern Spain until she reached Santiago de Compostela. After she arrived in Santiago, she continued her walk for three more days to reach the Atlantic coast. The arrival brought a sense of peace and belonging to the hyperactive traveler, but you can't stay at "the end of the earth" forever. So in mid October, she went back to France to work and live on a small organic farm and vineyard in the Southwest and entertained vendors and shoppers in the village markets on her days off. In late November of 2008, she moved to Barcelona to try to settle for a bit, working, writing songs, and doing lots of exploring. In February of 2009 it was time to move on. Looking to the masters of 'finding home within', Caroline continued her travels to India to live in an ashram and to study yoga and meditation for two months in Maharashtra, Pondicherry and Rishikesh. After some time in India, a two week trek along the Jomsom trail in the Anaapurna region of Nepal fired her up for moving to the mountains. Back to the States, Caroline traveled from Mid-coast Maine to New Orleans, North Carolina to New Mexico spreading music and stories of her travels before setting up shop in Boulder, Colorado to work in and study early childhood education. Experiences in Colorado led to opportunities to travel to Peru in January 2011 where she worked on potable water projects and visited with the wise and beautiful people of the Andes. From Peru, Caroline moved to Porto, Portugal where a research opportunity aided in the completion of graduate studies. After several years away, finally there was a call from across the Atlantic to come home.
NOW: In the past five years, Caroline has recorded and self-produced 5 albums of all original material. Experiences in different countries and cultures have greatly influenced her life and work. Albums include: Back on the Train (2007), Pollyanna (2008), My American Mind (2009), Songs from India (2009), and Ruth and Harry & Other Stories (2010). Finally, feeling a pull back to New England, Caroline is enjoying settling in Southern Maine, close to family... and getting closer to home.
With her music, Caroline invites you to share in her adventures and explorations, and encourages you to continue discovering new ways of living life to its fullest!