The big circle on my calendar yesterday was for going to see the debut of my friend’s new band, PULP, play at Cambria Pines Lodge. “This is the first time we’ve ever all been together in the same room,” she announced about three-fourths of the way through the show. Everyone thought she was kidding after dancing to their talented offerings all night.
I’ve known Katrina Resewehr since our sons were in kindergarten together. Ever the involved mom, be it volunteering in the classroom or being on the sidelines at a sporting event, she is always there for her son, Harper, now in 11th grade, and daughter, Lily, who is in fifth. By coincidence of her children being older and on a happenstance dare, she now has an added job title: rock and roll singer.
“When I was running the dance team at Coast Union, I taught the girls ‘Rollin’ on the River,’ probably just for the dance moves I’d seen somewhere.” Known for her animated style, a mutual friend cornered her at a karaoke birthday party at the Lodge one night about three years ago. “She kept insisting I sing that song up there and it was our friend’s birthday, so I finally did. I was totally hooked!”
Now 41, she’d never had any previous aspirations of singing in front of large audiences. After frequenting the open mike nights there, karaoke emcee George Gray asked if anyone had a band that would like to perform at the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations. Katrina offhandedly told her husband, Howard Dohlen, that she’d like a band. He said, “Wait a minute,” walked outside the Lodge and came back a few minutes later with a band for her.
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“I knew George Caperonis and Eric Cooper (who happened to be standing outside) played in bands and it wound up they were available and eager,” Howard told me. And what was intended to be a one-gig stand at the park turned into a two-and-a-half year project. “We often played four gigs a week all over the county.”
“I was a nervous wreck, the first time up there,” Katrina confessed. “I just stood there with my hands in my pockets. But, Eric was having so much fun, he made me feel secure and so I learned to let go a little and have fun, too.”
While her favorite venue was a pub in San Luis Obispo ( “The energy is so high there!”), she learned a lot from a now-defunct club in Paso Robles, Monteleone’s. “They had a list posted that all performers had to follow, like ‘must be better dressed than the patrons and don’t sit on stage.’ ”
People may wonder how one mixes parenting with the rock and roll lifestyle. “People are always offering me drinks and I tell them, ‘no thanks’ because I’d rather be coherent and on top of the game!” We were laughing during this interview because, once a mom always a mom — “I looked down last night and saw this guy’s shoe untied and I just wanted to tell him to tie it ... you know, be careful.”
While her first band could be put in the genre of metal/funk/rap, PULP is more classic rock and funk, easy to dance to (to which I can attest). “I felt
like I hadn’t sung long enough to stick with one kind of music. I wanted to branch out.”
Their son, Harper, had actually been in a band in middle school, so had a P.A. system. Howard took on the duty of learning to use it and accompanied Katrina’s band as their sound guy and is now at the helm for PULP. All in the family? “Harper wants to be a comedian, which I think is much harder, and Lily loves to sing, so who knows what that will lead to.”
What do the kids think of her chosen field? Lily tells her it gets a little old when she keeps playing the same music over and over, trying to learn a song, but “I like it because it makes you happy, mom, and it’s kind of cool telling people that!”
What motivates her to perform? “I just absolutely love singing and I love seeing people dancing and having a good time. I just giggle when the club pays me for doing something I so enjoy doing!”
PULP will be performing locally again soon. Keep an ear open!