If you’ve never tried to interview a musician, you don’t know the complications. They are busy people, running on schedules seemingly not made with the rest of the world in mind. Now make that three musicians, toss in families, out-of-town commitments and the call of a well-earned island vacation, and the chances of getting Caroline Doctorow, Inda Eaton and Nancy Atlas together for an interview are pretty slim. So it was between their being in sub-zero weather in Wyoming, booking local folk festivals and being chased by stingrays in Trunk Bay that the three East Enders found time to get together…or at least talk about the notion.
These talented singer-songwriters are once again blending their voices, music and bands for “Way Out East: A Journey in Song“ on Saturday, April 5. Their first journey “way out east” took place in October of 2012 at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater, and this year the ladies are journeying a bit west, appearing at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor.
Good friends offstage, these diverse performers bring the warmth of that relationship to their show. “The best part of playing with Nancy and Caroline” comments Eaton, “is the camaraderie from backstage at the kitchen table that comes through in the harmony.”
With a friendship based partially on the connection of being established female bandleaders, the three “understand each other in a way that few others do,” according to Atlas.
Speaking of Atlas, Doctorow says, “The first time I saw her I thought, That girl has the it factor. She is fearless. Her moral compass is straight and true, more then any other musician I know of in my peer group.”
It’s apparent that both Eaton and Atlas look at Doctorow as an East End musical trailblazer. Their acknowledgement of this status often takes the form of good-natured ribbing onstage.
“Inda and I are the two loudmouths, but Caroline is the one to watch,” says Atlas. “That woman has the best one-liners and is tougher than a tomcat.”
Known to East End audiences a good while before Atlas was strumming her guitar at the old Wild Rose and a good stretch before Eaton had set foot this far east, Doctorow has a healthy perspective on the local music scene, where it’s been and the strong direction it’s now going.
“I started out a long time ago,” she says. “Back then there were just a few steady bars that presented live music and just a handful of working bands. Now with theaters like Bay Street, which is a real jewel, and other new theaters popping up, music presented at local wineries, museums, clubs and listening rooms, there are opportunities all around us.”
After they wow audiences at what promises to be a sold-out Bay Street performance, these three friends will hit the road for a small Wyoming tour built around Eaton’s educational outreach program, Ideas to Inspire (I2I), which shares the power of music and creativity with young students. A concert performance for the nonprofit organization Artcore in Casper, Wyoming, will be a focal point of the trip, which will also include other educational opportunities for the performers. “I’m so excited,” says Atlas, “I get to present my children’s book Rockstar Pigeon in addition to playing great venues.”
Doctorow shares that excitement. “Inda does great work out there,” she says. “I’m not sure what to expect, it will be a very fast-paced tour. As the great western singer Patsy Montana once said, ‘I don’t know where I’m going but at least I’ll have company.’”
“Way Out East: A Journey in Song” with Nancy Atlas, Caroline Doctorow and Inda Eaton Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m. at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. For tickets and more information, visit baystreet.org.