Erisy Watt Moves West, Makes Music

Folk Sews Musical Roots in S.B.

Erisy Watt

Erisy Watt is a nonstop adventurer. The outdoorsy folk singer and Cabin By the Sea series founder came westward as a teen to attend UCSB in a horizon-broadening move to look beyond the river-rope swings and Smoky Mountains of her Tennessee youth. Though she arrived a stranger, Watt quickly found a new home and purpose in the surf, sand, and skies of Santa Barbara. It’s here she first discovered her songwriting abilities and made her debut at a UCSB open-mike night as a freshman. “I thought, no one knows me, so I’m gonna give it a go,” said the former dancer, who took up guitar at 17 after too many injuries.

Her daring spirit led to her hosting a regular open-mike night, and last year, while completing her environmental studies degree, Watt pioneered a whole new SOhO concert series: Cabin By the Sea, which has hosted acts like Mango Mango, The Dustbowl Revival, and the T Sisters. For each concert, SOhO is festooned with cabin coziness, and the proceeds of each show go toward a different area environmental nonprofit. Watt was inspired to found the series by her love of the land. “My day would be to wake up, jump in the ocean first thing, make an amazing breakfast, then go trail running or camping in the mountains at night. I’m never not grateful for it,” she said.

When not singing or fundraising for world betterment through music, Watt can be found digging in the dirt and teaching kids at Fairview Gardens or promoting access to green transportation for the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST). Who knows how far her adventurous spirit will take her next? But for now, Watt seems quite happily situated in her newly made home by the sea.


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