Cathy Freeman was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She spent her childhood in Iowa City, Iowa, where she was active, playing outdoors and riding horses when she was young and, in her teens, swimming and playing competitive tennis. Her musical interests started early with piano lessons and guitar when she was in third grade, adding clarinet in junior high, as well as lots of singing with her father, who introduced her to much of the material now included in the Great American Songbook.
In high school, college, and early post college years, Cathy sang with a number of different ensembles. She participated in her high school chamber and show choirs. At Stanford University, she sang with an a capella group called Counterpoint. Upon graduation and while working with a campus ministry in Berkeley, California, she led a worship band. After marrying and moving back to Iowa City with her husband, Paul Gutjahr, she sang with the university’s gospel choir, Voices of Soul.
When Paul was hired to the faculty at Indiana University, Cathy and Paul moved to Bloomington, Indiana, and she spent the next 5-7 years primarily at home raising her two boys, Isaac and Jeremiah. When the boys entered elementary school, Cathy pursued her musical interests again, this time with a different focus.
“Instead of singing in groups, I started writing my own material, which was new for me. Aside from a few songs written when I was in elementary school and a handful a songs written in college and shortly thereafter, I hadn’t done that much songwriting. Through open mics and songwriter showcases, I also explored solo performance, which was also a whole new enterprise for me. In fact, I’m still amazed I’m doing it as I have pretty intense performance anxiety.”
As her interest in songwriting and performance grew, Cathy took formal voice lessons, played at many open mics, and began playing her own shows. In 2012, she released her first album, “Quiet of the Road.” This was followed by her second album, “Motorcycle Man” in 2015 and, most recently, “Hand Me My Boots” in 2018.
“I’m so grateful for the friends, family, and acquaintances who have attended my performances and encouraged me over the years as I’ve developed as a songwriter and musician. I’m also humbled by the incredible musicians who have helped create and develop the music on my albums.”