Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable breakdown stories?
I had a cherry red Subaru Forester and I’ve since commemorated it on my new album with the song “Good Time”. After many months of non-stop touring, I was finally headed home to Louisiana from Wisconsin. My Subaru had other plans and around midnight the engine blew somewhere east of the Land Between the Lakes, KY. Have you ever called AAA and not known what state you’re in? I think maybe I’d been driving too long. I got a 300 mile tow to Nashville and I remember thinking how cliché, I wonder how many other songwriters arrived in Nashville tonight on the back of a tow truck? It was indeed a “good time for bad timing”.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Gas station bananas and green room hummus. Internet vitamins! Green powders!
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
I have never broken a string. Am I now jinxed?
Where do you rehearse?
We rehearsed for the album at our drummer Cameron’s house in Holy Cross, New Orleans. Most days the front door was open to the green grass of the levee, the low booming of the cargo ships on the Mississippi River, train sounds, and the clanging of the draw bridge on St. Claude Avenue. If you’ve spent time on the levee in the Lower 9 you will instantly recognize that delightful combination of sounds.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
The Game. “Don’t you know love is just a game / and feelings never feel the same.”
Describe your first gig.
My first musical incarnation was called Shy Girl Show and I played a Casio SK-8 over slow disco beats. I mostly covered early jazz and blues songs very poorly. I actually went to the emergency room right before my first gig because I spilled an entire tea kettle of boiling hot water on my leg. I still have the scar and a love of morphine.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I’m currently working at a coffee shop in Taos, NM. It’s managed to stay open safely during the pandemic with a walk-up service window. I love being non-stop busy for hours and the satisfaction of doing something so simple and gratifying for others. I love making things with my hands. I remember being a teenager and finding out about coffee shops, that they stayed open late and people gathered there. It was like a revelation – coffee culture! Growing up in the midwest, teens would hang at the mall or walk around the big box stores… but a great coffee shop is almost like a town hall or the center of community.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
I try to maintain low expectations, that way I’m always pleasantly surprised.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Do not date or marry the guitar player.