Kate Voegele returns to her roots

Kristen Kotz

The Cleveland native and singer/songwriter plays at the House of Blues

Courtesy Ari Michelson

Credit: Ron Soltys

Kate Voegele

with The Whitest Light

at the House of Blues (Cambridge Room)

Tuesday Feb. 19, at 9:30 p.m. $10-$12

Cleveland native Kate Voegele, who has been singing and writing her own songs since she was 15 years old, is stopping back home on her national tour route.

Voegele’s first album, Don’t Look Away, was released in May 2007. She said the album is a combination of everything she has been writing and her experiences.

“People want to hear music they can relate to,” she said. “I wanted to write a record that spoke to people.”

Voegele has opened for such artists as the Counting Crows and John Mayer.

Voegele’s music is a mix of pop and blues, and she says that one thing that makes her different than a lot of female singers is that she writes her own songs.

“A lot of the pop music out there sounds like it was written by a 45-year-old man and is being sung by an 18-year-old girl.”

The 21-year-old singer/songwriter was one of the first artists signed to MySpace Records in 2006.

“It’s been a great experience,” she said. “(MySpace Records) do(es) a good job of taking talent and developing them.”

Currently, Voegele is touring the U.S. and promoting her album.

“It’s cool,” she said. “I love traveling and any change of scenery.”

Voegele credits her dad for sparking her interest in music. He used to play James Taylor records before she went to bed when she was growing up. He also taught her how to play guitar.

“I was looking for something artistic to do when I was in high school,” she said. “So I thought why not try my hand at songwriting?”

Voegele has also recently gotten into acting, playing the role of Mia, an up-and-coming musician, on “One Tree Hill.” She is appearing on the show for six episodes. She landed the role on the show through an open audition. Voegele hadn’t acted before appearing on the show.

“I didn’t think I would get the part, but I figured I might as well audition, so I went to the casting anyways,” she said.

Her singles “Only Fooling Myself” and “Kindly Unspoken” have both been featured on the show. Voegele said she would like to try acting again in the future.

Before releasing her first album, Voegele was a fine arts major at Miami University of Ohio.

“I am an artist, and I love to paint and draw,” she said. “I am a very right-brained, artistic person. I don’t think I could ever be happy being something like an accountant.”

Voegele had to leave school when her album came out last spring, but she hopes to pursue an online degree.

“I think it’s good to have a degree,” she said. “It would be great if I can do it at my own pace.”

Voegele’s music influences include Joni Mitchell and Carole King. What she likes most about them is that they sound the same live as they do recorded, she said.

“They have such a natural talent,” she said. “You can’t fake that.”

Voegele is excited to be coming back to Cleveland to play Feb. 19 at the House of Blues.

“I love Cleveland,” she said. “Hometown shows are always fun.”

After this show, Voegele will continue touring. She is going to play at the South by Southwest music festival in March.

Voegele said that one of the reasons she performs is because she likes to see people enjoy her music and be able to relate to it .

“Everyone likes a pop song,” she said. “I don’t care who you are.”

Contact all reporter Kristen Kotz at [email protected].