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Uploaded on Sep 24, 2010

You can learn a lot about a new or emerging artist by the covers they choose to adopt as part of their own repertoire. Covers, more so even than even the best songwriter's originals, tell the story of where an artist's coming from, what lights their creative fire and the standards by which they measure their own material and aspire to. At a typical performance by Austin signer-songwriter Chrissy Flatt, if time allows her to reach beyond the songs that have comprised her first two albums, you can always count on a Buddy Holly song or two, a little Del Shannon, and at least one choice gem plucked from the catalogs of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke and even John Denver — all of which help shine a little light on how she developed into the artist she is today. And then there's the one cover that pretty much says it all: Ray Davies' misfit manifesto "I'm Not Like Everybody Else."

From her earliest childhood memories of growing up in Waco and San Antonio to the present day, Flatt has always walked way outside the lines of convention. Whether as an awkward middle-schooler wearing clothes from her mother's closet she thought were cool or as a mohawked punk in high school, the girl just never fit in with the status quo, even among the other misfits (she was, against form, the "polite" punk). After high school, she took a few college courses, searching for direction in drama, painting, photography, woodworking, even beauty school. Fortunately none of the above fully captured her restless spirit and imagination, because destiny, while long-delayed, was right around the corner. At 27, inspired by the death of a dear friend — which for this life-long outsider happened to be a beloved black cat — Flatt picked up her guitar and wrote her first song.

"After that, I found songwriting to be the biggest comfort in my life," she explains. "Ever since I was a little kid — and especially after my father died when I was 4 — music has always been an escape for me. From the gospel songs my dad sang around the house, to the Beatles, Stones, Pretenders and Patti Smith ... music connected me to so many different places. And it just feels so good to create my own music now and then share it with the world. I was a late bloomer getting on my path, but now I can't imagine ever wanting to do anything else."


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