Its' been a while! When last I wrote I was about to embark on another surgery (it seems I only write when I'm worried/nervous/anxious). It went wonderfully, as did the recovery and I'm feeling better than I EVER have. EVER. People comment that I've lost weight when really what I've gained is about 10 days a month. Days that I used to spend in pain I can now use to do stuff. So, I've been doing stuff!

The Green Room is now open! My friend Tara and I have teamed up to hand select items for our musician friends, men and women. Shoes, clothing, accessories, merch cases, etc. The store room is located in our home in Crest so unless you come to one of our "shop jams" which are open to all, you must make an appointment to shop. Check it out and give us a shout!

With the fading of Calamity comes the revival of The Ordeal and it's revolving cast of musicians. Keep an eye out for us this month at Art Walk and the new venue Frauds and Swindlers in the gaslamp.

Garbo is still rocking and will be seen at The Belly Up when we play a set along with Austin Burns, The Peripherals, Talk Like June and Del Sol Project. 10 cover and we could REALLY use your help supporting this show! Also, while you're feeling supportive, a vote or two via under the Americana category would be awesome.

I've been updating my websites in preparation of ListenLocalsd's 10 year anniversary. There WILL be a party so keep 10/12/13 open. Stay tuned for info here and/or at Thank you so much for your support over the years and your continued love of the music being made in San Diego. See you at a show! xo


Sharing is caring.

It's been almost 5 months since my last confession.  I thought it was high time I checked in.  Thank you for caring enough to read and check in on my personal biz. It's good to share. 

Calamity john hancock photoSo, let's see.... when last we spoke I was feeling great and about to embark on a health kick.  *sigh* I guess that never happened (yet) but I did cut bad cholesterol numbers in half thanks to zocor and bags of mixed greens, which I'm eating like it's my job. Flowers are blooming here at Gates Rock and my sweet baby and our furry family cherish every moment.  Dad is feeling better and caring for mom who is recuperating after knee surgery (she's looking forward to playing horseshoes again soon).  My sprained ankle seems to be healing ok and besides rocking out with Garbo, the new chick band is like therapy. I've been painting a bit, making videos and I've taken up the banjo, sort of. 

It's a beautiful life, this span of time we have here on Earth, but it sure is challenging.  We're all feeling it in some way or another, it seems.  Perspective sinks in when you hear of another sweet, amazing person whose daily challenges have turned from finding their keys or figuring out finances to fighting for their lives.  It's many of my favorite people's new normal and they are fighting like superhero warriors.  Their strength and positivity is pure power.  The love and strength of their partners/care givers is just plain dumbfounding and awe inspiring. Please send these people some positive thoughts.

It's their strength and inspiration that quells the panic that overwhelms me lately as I prepare to embark on my own medical situation.  It's nothing NEAR what my friends are dealing with, but still lame and scary.  On March 29th I am celebrating the removal of my reproductive system.  It's all the rage. Well, for those of us with monstrous mensies, anyway.  Not sure what I have, probably endometriosis or some crazy fibroids, either way, I've suffered too long and missed too much work.  Quality of life has finally won over fear of going under.  A new life awaits, and I am going to embrace the hell out of it.

I'll be out for almost the entire month of April, but available via email.  Guest hosts at my showcases will include Taylor Romine and my sweet baby, Jon Edwards. All shows, including the radio show will happen as usual.  There will just be a little bit more red wine to go around.  But I'll be back so save me some pinot. 

Hotrod (3)Besides not having to endure horrendous pain each month, I'm looking forward to some amazing musical things in the near future.  Wine and Song. Garbo shows. The Love Lab. Calamity records. Music seminars for kids. Cathryn's Closet.  Gillian Welch tribute. Outdoor music fest.  And?  On July 8th you'll be invited to the fundraising concert and launch of, a non profit I'm honored to be involved in, raising money to help San Diego's musicians.  Just like Hotrod did. 

For those of you so inclined, I could use your prayers and positive thoughts on Good Friday. I look forward to an easy excavation and swift recovery.  There are many happy times ahead, friends.  I'm excited and honored to share them with you.

xo Cathryn


It's been 14 months, time for an update.

Hi friends,

I was just clicking around some of my pages and realized I hadn't posted in my "personal" blog in over a year so I thought I'd "check in".  Hi.  How are you? 

Me? I feel GREAT, truly better than ever.  No more pain from the tumor and no residuals from the surgery (thanks to Dr. Ghosh et al). In fact, I've felt SO GOOD over the past year that I've been living LARGE...eating and drinking and dancing and carrying on with reckless abandon.  Time to knock it off (not the dancing part) and get serious about eating right which affects my weight which affects my crazily elevated cholesterol which affects how long I get to enjoy this life.  So, ya...I'm gonna start doing that.

My band Garbo is back at it after taking the summer off... we're looking forward to hitting the stages in early 2013, stay tuned!  In the meantime you can hear the new tunes here.  And while you're listening, I uploaded the last 20 years of my music on Soundcloud, you can download most of it for free.

New hg promo1
In other news, The Homegrown Hour is rocking steady every Sunday night at 8pm on 102.1 KPRi when my long-time friend, bandmate and producer, Jeff Berkley and I play local music and talk about local music stuff.  You can hear every show via podcast right here.  If you've got songs you want to submit, send the mp3s to and I'll do what I can to get them on.

I've been keeping busy, thankfully, hosting showcases each week and the talent never ceases to amaze me.  We've teamed up again with Lloyd Pest Control and have some exciting things planned for the near future.  I'm also planning on resurrecting an altcountry version of Band Camp in 2013, bigger, badder.  Stay tuned...

IMG_0977What else?  Well, Jonny and I moved to Crest in March.  We'd been longing to live "farther out" when during a random stop at craigslist I found a rental that was right up our alley.  Seven months and a serious heat wave later we still couldn't be happier. The old gal was built in the 1930s (maybe as old as 1923!) and has survived 2 (documented) devastating fires during her lifetime.  A dentist ran his practice downstairs for many years and his wife must have spent hours on this acre, cultivating her gardens and trees.  We call the place Gates Rock after the current owners who have taken loving care of her for the past 20+ years.  We feel honored to care for her now and as the seasons change so does her character.  Windows and doors open for weeks on end during summer are now being closed and we're tightening up against the elements as winter approaches.  Relying only on the fire and cuddling close... we're far from living a pioneer life but it's still awesome being rural.  We love this place.

That pretty much brings us up to date... there is some other stuff like another girl band in the works, a new stop motion video will be released sometime this winter, Cathryn's Closet will open in 2013 and Jonny said I get to build a chicken coup.  My family is good, my friends are happy and all is right at this moment.  I hope the same for you and I hope to see your face soon.  Stop into a show and say hello.

Until then,

Cathryn Beeks


Six weeks after surgery... time to swim!


Words with friends It's Monday, August 29th, exactly 6 weeks after surgery.  Six weeks of moving from the couch to bed and back again.  Six weeks of Netflix (thank you Tudors!), Words with Friends, reality TV, hanging with the pets and 6 weeks of Jonny waiting on me hand and foot.  I love that man.  Six weeks are up, I can milk this no more. 

I've been feeling stronger every day, although, if I do too much I can sure feel it.  I'm still not walking that great but now that I'm not restricted in my movements or from being submerged in water I will start my rehab in our little pool.  The resistance of walking in waist high water is sure to build up my strength quick-like.  The old pain that constantly shot down my leg is gone.  I am sleeping better than I have ever slept and starting to feel lighter and "alive" again.  It's a blessing and a trip.  I'm looking forward to being able to move and walk and hike and do stuff I haven't been able to do in a long time.

Trailer for sale or rentAlso helping motivate me to move is our new old trailer.  It had been on our "wish list" ever since I decided tent camping wasn't as awesome as it used to be.  We started saving for it a while back and although any extra money I make should be applied to all these medical bills, I found an incredible deal on Craig's List and Jonny gave in to my whinning so we scrapped together some dough and towed it home from Lakeside.  It's a 14 foot 1967 Mobile Scout in great shape.  We are currently repainting, reupholstering and generally jazzing it up.  Hopefully it'll be ready in time for Chick Camp.  Another cool thing is that Jonny's Ford "project truck" he's been restoring for the past few years was also born in 1967.  They'll be a cute pair cruising down the road someday.

So, that's it.  Time to get back to life and looking forward to it.  Huge love and thanks to all my family, friends and business associates for the support during this crazy time.  I will figure out a way to repay you... promise!




Home, sweet home.

Hi friends,

Resting at home, finally. 

Monday surgery morning was super creepy, up at 3:45 am with Jonny, mom and dad... checked into the hospital at 5.  I got all prepped, wheeled into the scary room with all the lights and I remember saying "I feel weird, this feels weird, I feel weird" then the next thing I knew I was in recovery.

The first thing I noticed was the gnarly non-stop pain I was so accustomed to was gone.  In fact, I'd never felt better and for the next two days I was pretty euphoric.  I only hit the personal pain pump twice in two days...pretty proud of that.  :)

On the third day I started feeling some new aches and strange tinglings but I guess that's to be expected after having your insides all moved around.  They went in through my left side, about a 4.5 inch area just above my hip.  They think they got around 95 percent of the tumor, they'll know more after an MRI in a few weeks. 

Jeffrey Joe is right, those nurses and doctors are the shit and my surgical team were rockstars.  Such amazing, giving people... I can't imagine having to do what they do every day.  So thankful...

Michele and Jonny helped me home yesterday afternoon, Sallie relieved Michele so Jonny could go to work at 4am this morning.  Gina is with me now so Jonny can sleep and Marcia and Garrison are on the job tomorrow since Jonny works all day.  Jonny is off for a week after tomorrow so we'll enjoy some much needed us time.

Today my body is feeling the aches and pains of laying around for the last five days...and my shifting/regenerating insides, but the old familair sharp random pain is still absent.  Sleeping on my back is not my favorite so sleep comes and goes.  I'm enjoying a norco every 12 hours instead of every 4 hours as recommended.  Walking is still unsteady but feels good.  Watching movies, enjoying being waited on hand and foot and feeling like "It's good to be alive".

I can't even BEGIN to thank everyone for the love and well wishes...I'll be taking you up on your offers to visit soon, for now.... rest.  Big love to you all and more updates soon.

Love, Cathryn


my my my my schwannoma

Hey friends,

Just a quick update on my health situation, thanks for caring/reading. 

The latest MRI showed no other tumors on my spine besides the big 'ol schwannoma on my spinal nerve near my L5 area, the one causing all of my pain.  Problem is, they can't tell how "involved" it is with my nerve until they go in and poke around.  Best case scenario is that it's hanging off of it, easy to remove.  If it's too intertwined they may not be able to get at it with out risking injury to my nerve and my ability to walk.  In that case they'll biopsy it and try radiation or cyberknife.  Hoping for the hanging tumor and an easy 20 minute surgery.  I'm scheduled for July 25th.  Before that I have to have a CT angioplasty and some blood tests so it's non-stop fun from here on out... 

After surgery I'll be in the hospital for 3 days then laying around for 6 weeks.  I'm HOPING to be good to go for the music awards on August 8th.  It would be the first one I've missed in 11 years.  Anyway, will continue with guest hosts at the live shows, The Homegrown Hour will be rocking and I'll be on the computer to keep you posted on everything.  And?  I'll be pain free by the end of this summer.   

Thank you again for your questions and concerns and most importantly your positive vibes.  I can feel them.




So, did I tell you?

Little me and papa We musicians make a ton of sacrifices in the pursuit of our dreams, don't we?  Not to whine about it, especially since I'm in a super happy place now, but I've given up a lot over the past 20 years.  I quit a bunch of great paying day jobs, ignored maternal stirrings, struggled financially and totally dissed planning for the future.  Those things just never meant a whole hell of a lot to me, I was too busy scrambling to become famous or rich or something.  The worst thing I did, though, was disregard my health.

Catinjaxbeach I think the last time I had health insurance was around 1992 or so.  After that I just had to "walk off" jammed fingers, sprained ankles, strep throat and other incidental medical issues.  Planned Parenthood helped me keep my lady parts updated, thankfully.  The only time I sucked it up and paid for trained medical help was when I thought I had a stroke after my face went all droopy from Bells Paulsy.  That episode scared me so much that I quit smoking my beloved Eve 120 cigarettes.  It was July 25, 2001. 

8ball rack cat mattOver the next few years I gained the obligatory ex smoker weight while I concentrated on getting off the ground.  A pothole and a pair of super high heels put an end to my softball playing which was about the only activity I engaged in besides rocking with my band 8ball Rack.  As my activity level decreased I began having pain in my neck and back and tingling in my fingers.  Over the next few years the pain moved from my neck and back to my hip and down my leg, different levels of pain depending on the activity I engaged in.  I had to give up my high heels and strenuous activity and I turned to red wine and motrin for relief.

Myweekcover Gradually increasing pain is such a funny thing.  Not funny "ha ha", funny stupid.  Although I felt physically worse from week to week, my life was good.  My business was sustaining me and bringing me joy, I had great friends and I found the man of my dreams and we were loving love.  All that love made it easier to ignore the pain, but I always knew deep down that something was not right.  And it kept getting worse.


Cathryn on the radio After a tip from Sven-Erik Seaholm in 2006, I wrote a letter to MusicCares asking for financial assistance so that I could go to the doctor.  I was given a $3000 grant so I used the money to get an ultrasound and a sigmoidoscomy, thereby ruling out some illnesses that run in our family.  After that I spent the next few years dealing with the pain and enjoying my life.  I got married, released a new album and got a job playing local music on a cool radio station.  Life was good.  The pain persisted and increased...

Me and michele By 2010 I started feeling like I was losing "me".  My moods, my lack of activity, my weight gain, the guilt and the lack of hope for the future began to consume me.  I had done my best, over the years, to hide all the pain and fear from Jonny and everyone, but it was closing in on me.  My cousin Michele (the super hot nurse) encouraged me to apply for health insurance.  Whether it was Obama's doing or not, we got accepted.  Jonny and I were overjoyed and made the necessary adjustments to our budget. 

Shwanomma It was pretty overwhelming and exciting and I didn't know where to start.  After a tip from J Grace's awesome doctor/dad I found a primary care physician and started the journey.  I found out I had super high cholesterol (which I kinda knew), hip displacia (which is weird), fibroids and my blood tested positive for RA.  I went in for a second opinion about the hip and ended up having a few MRIs which found a tumor called a schwannoma on my spinal nerve.  It was about that time that our automatic payment set up to pay our insurance paid a day late so we were canceled.  After more than a month of dealing with that we were finally reinstated and I was able to see the neurosurgeon who said my tumor was the second largest he'd seen in that area and that it would need to be removed.  The good news was I did not have RA.

MriYesterday I was scheduled to have 3 MRIs but half an hour into the process I freaked OUT and couldn't continue.  I'd had MRIs before but they were "open".  This one was no bueno.  Hopefully they can get the info they need from another open one... waiting to hear.


Cathryn working So that brings us pretty much up to date. Despite having insurance we're racking up some pretty good bills on the 'rents credit card all to find out that surgery is in my near future, which is creepy beyond my imagination.  It seems weird to share this with so many folks but at the same time it makes it real and I've been in denial for so long that it's time I own it.  I believe in the power of positive energy so I hope you'll send me some.  Plus, maybe this story will be a wake up call to some of my young musician friends who are ignoring their own physical (or mental) pain while they make it to the big time. 

More to come,


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