A little girl who sang “Sea of Cowboy Hats’ and won her first singing competition during the Magnolia Fair at Matewan has grown into a beautiful and talented young woman who is well on her way to living her dream as a country music singer.
The Madison Creek native has been working hard toward her goal and says she was “bit by the bug” when she was on that Magnolia Fair stage at age four.
“I will never forget that. I remember telling them ‘thank you for letting me win.’ I won a savings bond that I kept it until I was 17.”
Kaitlin says from then on, she sang whenever she got an opportunity, often in church — any church — in West Virginia and North Carolina. She says she doesn’t sing in competition very often, but has won the Quaker Steak and Lube singing competition twice.
Kaitlin graduated from Logan High School, started college and married her high school sweetheart. The couple live in Logan and have a four-year-old daughter, Peyton. Kaitlin says she has known her husband forever.
“I have known Chad all my life. My mom cut his hair when he was little. I couldn’t stand him then, but in the 11th grade, I started liking him a little bit. He played baseball in school, now he’s an underground coal miner at Mountain Laurel. He’s very supportive, he comes to very show he can get to and he let’s me use the living room to practice. The travel and time away from home is the hardest part of the lifestyle to deal with right now. I’m gone at least three days a week for practice, events and recording. Peyton goes with me on a lot of the trips. Peyton loves to sing, but not so much my songs, she likes Katy Perry. She keeps the stress down from this job. She evens it out for me.”
In 2012, Kaitlin felt like she had to change her life. Going to school and working was just not what she wanted to do. She says she sat down with her mom and said, “I’m quitting school and I’m quitting my job. I want to be a singer.” That was when a new family business was started and they went on the road.
“This is a family business,” said Kaitlin, “My dad is the finance person and security; my mom is my manager, critiquer, overseer and songwriter; my sister does my back-up vocals and my grandparents are investors and my biggest fans. It’s an expensive career and people in Nashville have said Nashville is a ‘10-year town,’ meaning it takes about 10 years to achieve success as a country singer there.”
Kaitlin is two years into that ten years and her career isn’t at the point where it’s paying the bills. She says there’s no going back at this point. She said, “This has to work. I have no Plan B.”
In addition to traveling to Nashville once a week, and Greenville, S.C. as she works on her career, this busy young woman continues to sing at charity functions and churches, balance her family life and even finds time to shoot at indoor archery competitions. She has an Elite bow guys, and she knows how to use it. She’s one of the few women West Virginia to shoot open class with a back tension. She recently came in second in a competition at Sod Archery in Lincoln County, W.Va..
Illustrated Steam at Nashville has offered her a marketing promotion contract. Some of their clients include Dirks Bentley, Charlie Worsham, Keith Urban and Brett Eldridge. They have also worked with Universal and Warner Brothers Records.
Kaitlin will be opening for Eric Paslay at the Coalfield Jamboree on Feb. 22, then will be recording a new album, “Burnin’ Bridges,” which will be available on iTunes. She is working with drummer Scotty Hawkins, who was formerly with Reba McEntire, now with Kix Brooks and is currently on the cover of Modern Drummer; Tim Lawter, engineer and bass guitar player, who has been with the Marshall Tucker Band for ten years and will engineer her new album; Chris Dingess, lead guitar player from Logan and her sister Jane Bragg, who sings back-up vocals. For the show in February, she will be with Mountain Station from Huntington. Kaitlin says she will collaborate with Mountain Station from now on, along with Chris Dingess and Jane Bragg, who will always be with her.
The new album, which is scheduled to be out in April, will feature new music and a new style for Kaitlin. She says she is excited to get started.
“I want to bring traditional country music back with an updated sound and I’m excited for the public to see the new me. It’s exciting, something fresh and new.”
Kaitlin has a website, www.kaitlinboytek.com, is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaitboytek and Twitter @kaitboytek.
Message Kaitlin on Facebook to buy tickets to the show at the Coalfield Jamboree on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Tickets are $20 each and the doors open at 6 p.m.