Sometimes in life we carry an ache for a future home that rivals our aching for homes past. Blues artist Caroline Cotto captures this unique sort of pang in her raucous and triumphant single “Bayou Sun” – available now – from her forthcoming album of the same name.
The song starts out with galloping guitar, rock ‘n’ roll piano, and Cotto’s voice dripping with warm honey as she tells a lover all about making her way to New Orleans after practically holding her breath:
Drive Down to The Delta
Baby, won’t you come (won't you come)
I know that you’ve been blue and lonesome
Grab your keys, follow the moss trees, my love
Hold my face in your mind
Till you see the Bayou Sun
“‘Bayou Sun’ is my odyssey,” Cotto declares. “It’s about a young girl leaving New York, living in Paris and London for artistic opportunities, and then finally finding a home in New Orleans. I have carried hundreds of songs within me throughout my travels and knew that once I arrived in New Orleans, I was ready to record material.”
That’s true of both the song and Cotto’s album Bayou Sun, which came about like kismet once she set foot in Louisiana. “When I first arrived in New Orleans, I met with a psychic and she told me to contact David Hyde for help in the music scene,” she recalls. “His name rolled through my mind for many years, and I reached out to him in 2021. We then started working on my full-length album. He co-produced, played bass and did horn arrangements.”
They recorded with Nelson Blanchard at his Techno Sound Studio in Baton Rouge, working with a number of talented musicians in the process, including drummer Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Arc Angels, and Storyville. Country Music Hall of Famer Eddie Bayers (who’s recorded with Dolly Parton, the Beach Boys, and Elton John) also plays drums on six of the album’s songs. And Ronnie Eades, co-founder of the Muscle Shoals horn section, also lends his talents to the record.
After her 22nd birthday, Caroline Cotto was brave enough to leave her country to toil away in the NYC music scene for years before leaving again to live in Paris and explore Europe for artistic opportunities to enrich her writing and music. She dreamed by the Seine, wrote in cafes and wandered the Louvre for hours. Caroline then lived in London, playing blues and soaking up the history of her rock heroes before moving to New Orleans.
Caroline Cotto is an artist who has thought deeply about her experiences. Her poetic lyrics and soulful voice weave the story of a woman on a journey to her salvation, a woman who has sacrificed the familiar for her dreams, a woman with incessant curiosity and a desire to better herself and the world – and she never goes a day without writing by a burning candle.