Tell us about your tour vehicle.
I’m really lucky on this front. I have a 2016 Ford F-150. I got it brand new in July of 2016 and now it has almost 68,000 miles on it. It has a covered bed, hauls the trailer, and comfortably seats 4. Because it’s so new I haven’t had to make any major repairs and haven’t had any breakdowns. (I’m in the passenger seat as I type this, so knock on wood).
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
I like to go to Trader Joe’s and stock up before going out. I tend to be a pretty healthy eater 95% of the time, so that’s really important to me. Recently, my husband (guitar player) and I toured out to and through Texas and back (to Georgia) on $45 worth of rice cakes, jerky, unsweetened dried fruit, tuna, peanut butter, Lara Bars, and wine and came home with food leftover.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
None! It’s really really hard to break violin and bass strings. The brands I like are also on the expensive side ($45 – $100 for my fiddle depending on how I want my sound to be for the next 6 to 12 months).
Where do you rehearse?
We rehearse in our drummer/bass player’s garage/basement a lot if we’re over in Birmingham, AL. Back home in Athens, we like to rent a room from Nuci’s Space since they’re such a great organization (definitely worth looking up!) I run rehearsals pretty tightly, so other than the weird lyrics I like to make up on the fly, nothing too wild happens.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
“Old Stone”. It actually ended up on my second album! // “So I will wait here solemn like a statue, cold until you care to come around, but given time old stone is known to crumble, to the ground”
Describe your first gig.
I was the house musician at an Irish pub. I sat in the corner with an acoustic guitar and sang all the songs that I’d heard on my parents’ “Irish Tenors” albums as a kid. And sometimes snuck in Flogging Molly covers.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I was most recently a fitness coach at a kickboxing gym. I’ve worked in the fitness world a lot. (I actually just finished yoga teacher training). But my favorite day job was horse training. I’ve trained horses for most of my adult life. I keep “retiring” from it, but find myself back at it every couple of years.
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?
This is kind of hard to say. I used to just be a hired-gun, so I had a bottom line for gigs. I made good money and worked steadily. Now, I’m pushing my own music so I’m definitely not making the same income. I do expect that to turn around sooner than later with continued hard work and tenacity.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
That this is not just something that you try your hand at if you’re really “meant for it”. It’s hard. It’s work. Sometimes it’s thankless. It can break your heart. But there’s nothing else in the world that it makes sense for you to do if you are meant to be a musician // That it’s the most challenging and simultaneously the most amazing decision anyone could ever make.