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Listening Session: Paula Cole Sings From "Ithaca"16:29
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Paula Cole in the Radio Boston studios. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Paula Cole in the Radio Boston studios. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Paula Cole, a singer-songwriter known for her mega-hits "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone" and "I Don't Want To Wait," released a new album, "Ithaca," on Tuesday.

The Rockport native is again living on the North Shore and raising her daughter in the idyllic coastal town. "Ithaca" recalls the beloved home of the Greek hero Odysseus, who finally managed to return home a decade after the battle of Troy.  Cole calls Rockport her "Ithaca," and says she's finally come home on her terms.

In 1997, Cole won a Grammy Award as "best new artist." But then personal struggles and a divorce forced her to take a seven-year hiatus — a risky move in the music business. She returned from the shadows in 2007 with her album "Courage" and has been fiercely supported by her fans.

With "Ithaca," her fifth album, she is again on tour, bringing stories of survival, renewal, pain and rebirth to her fans.  In an interview with the Gloucester Times, Cole said, "the album starts with songs written in the throes of divorce and moves through those years and relocating to Rockport.  That's the light."

Cole, who studied jazz singing and improvisation at the Berklee College of Music, returns to her alma mater on Friday to perform at the BeanTown Jazz Festival.

Paula Cole joins us in studio to talk about her journey and to sing from her new album.

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This program aired on September 24, 2010.

Jessica Alpert Twitter Managing Producer, Program Development
Jessica Alpert is the managing producer for program development at WBUR. In this position, she develops new podcasts and programs while also launching and nurturing WBUR’s newest projects.

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