When singer/songwriter Julia Othmer took center stage at Santa-Cali-Gon this past summer, she played to an enthusiastic crowd of longtime fans and appreciative newbies who were blown away by a tide of kinetic energy that was as powerful and sweeping as that of a Marvel superhero.
Sitting behind a keyboard, Othmer had the mesmerized crowd in the palm of her hand and she dug deep into her personal music vault with a variety of songs from her first album, “Oasis Motel,” to covers of some of her favorite artists and a sneak peek into her latest venture, her new album “SOUND.”
Othmer will debut “SOUND” Dec. 9 at The Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. in downtown Kansas City, and she can’t wait to take part in one of the most anticipated concerts of her career.
“I’m so proud of this album,” she said by phone from her home in Los Angeles. “When you have worked on something for so long, and now, it’s time to deliver the finished product, well – I can’t think of a better place to do it than Kansas City.
“I’m going to be struttin’ my stuff and I hope everyone digs it.”
For the past decade, Othmer’s talents have been showcased in a wide variety of venues, ranging from performing alongside Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Heart and Ingrid Michaelson on the Lilith Fair Tour, to releasing her critically acclaimed first album “Oasis Motel.”
She was born in Kentucky and grew up in Kansas City. Her parents still live in Parkville, and she has many close ties to Independence through friends like Russ Lawrence of Secret Garden and Tammy Parsons and Darlene Carpenter from B-Vogue Salon and Art Gallery, all in the historic Englewood Art District.
Friends and fans – both old and new – will make the debut concert special as she will do two sets – one that will feature all the songs from “SOUND,” and a second that will include favorites from her past musical collaborations.
“SOUND” was recorded in her garage/studio in Los Angeles and is a true work of love. She and producer James J.T. Lundie play most instruments and provide the vocals.
“James challenged me throughout the album, made me dig deeper than I ever have, and that’s one reason I am so excited about it,” she said. “It’s good – really good.
“And it’s done! Finished! And I can’t wait to get a response from the concert in Kansas City. “I can’t even tell you how excited I am about the new album. I think it’s special, and I hope everyone who listens will think so, too.”
When she debuts the album at The Folly Theater, Othmer will be backed by the same group of area sessions standouts who made the Santa-Cali-Gon concert so special - Tim Braun (guitar), Johnny Hamil (bass) and John Whitaker (drums).
“I’m so excited about coming home and performing for all my friends, and hopefully, some new fans,” she said, the energy of her voice exploding over the phone line. “I have such wonderful fans. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
“You know, I never sit down with the intentions of writing a hit song. There are just times when I hear this little voice, and I listen to that little voice, and I just go with it.
“And that’s how the creative process oftentimes starts with me. It might sound a little funny, but it works.”
To find out more about Othmer and her music, go to www.juliaothmer.com.