© 2019 All Rights Reserved. Background photos by Beth Harrison.


Call it country with a bit of bite. Cassie Urbany’s music combines catchy, resonant melodies with just enough attitude to give it the occasional ‘don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out’ sound.


The songs – a bit folk, a bit blues, a bit country – are the collaborative work of a mother-daughter songwriting duo and performed by artist Cassie Urbany at songwriter showcases, coffeehouses and clubs in the Washington, D.C. area.


“I love how my love of music and my mom’s love of writing have been combined into relatable songs,” Urbany said.


“It’s such a bonding experience,” said her mother, Deborah Straszheim,  a newspaper reporter in Connecticut. “And she has such a beautiful voice.”


Cassie Urbany began writing melodies in high school, but a college breakup transformed her guitar playing into songwriting. After leaving home in New England to get a fresh start in D.C., Cassie wrote her first two songs, then came home to visit her mother,  who’d suffered a breakup at about the same time as her daughter.


The two co-wrote their first song during the visit, then began sending music and lyrics back and forth via text message. Typically, mother or daughter will share an idea for a song and discuss it, starting with the song title or message. Cassie Urbany then writes a melody or offers her mother several to choose from, sending them via text. Straszheim then texts back lyrics, giving her daughter veto power over those she doesn’t like.


Despite the general arrangement, both offer thoughts on melody and lyrics, sometimes singing them to one another, making the songs true collaborations.


Cassie released her first EP, “She Can Have Him”, in 2014. A full length album, including recent songs performed by artist Cassie Urbany and co-written by mother and daughter, will be released shortly.