How did this new album and overall concept for it come about?
The concept was to record a very personal and evocative sounding set of songs. I had about a dozen waiting to be born into the world. The only cover song was Jake Dylan’s “6th Avenue Heartache” that a MySpace fan insist I consider recording. These singer songwriter offerings would become “Glide”, the follow-up album to “Wild Blue” released a couple of years earlier on Eva Cassidy’s label, Blix Street Records. Much like the recording process that I have always done on the instrumental albums, this time I wanted to record everything “live”. I have always brought the rhythm section together and tracked the songs for each album that way, then overdubbed vocals, percussion, horns, woodwinds, and/or guitars. This enables the drums, bass, and piano/keyboard to make music without thinking too much; fun, fresh, spontaneous, and raw. When Russ Kunkel (drummer) wanted to join my long time bassist Matt McKenzie and guitarist Mike Miller and I to record “Glide”, it became an easy decision to not only play live together in the studio, but also for me to sing at the same time. Of course, a daring move for the fragile psyche of the singer because the acoustic piano bleeds into the vocal mic while recording and not much can be “fixed” later. Yikes! But I felt confident. With the support of the musical gurus around me and Don Murray engineering the sessions, I knew I could trust myself to sing well at that level of emotionalism.
Who would you say has been the single biggest influence in your life in getting you to where you are now in your career?
There is simply not just one. There have been a few influences in my life that definitely were key in “getting me to where I am now”: my amazing mother and most devoted fan; my husband who is also my business manager and best friend; my precious son; and my longtime piano teacher Dr. Wallace Hornibrook who recently passed away on my birthday. But, I would also like to point out that sometimes it is the person that takes on the role of the devil’s advocate that spurs you on to “prove myself”. And they are not always very kind about it. (I’m smiling)
Going back in your life as far as you can remember, what song or performance is the first you recall hearing and being affected by?
I like this question because I think it is important for me to be able to recall how I was affected by certain songs at times in my life, especially when I begin a songwriting project, film score, television cue, etc. Then, I try to go deeper and integrate those visceral elements into the music I am working on. Here is an example of an experience I will never forget. I was in college studying for my Bachelor of Music Piano Performance degree. I had to take two years of music theory. It was the first semester of second year theory and the brilliant but quirky Dr. Cohen was my professor. I walked into class at 7:30 that morning to the sound of Richard Wagner’s Prelude to Tristan und Isolde playing on Dr, Cohen’s turntable. Class had not officially started and all the students were talking and milling around. But I sat at my desk spellbound. Tears gathered in my eyes and rolled slowly down my cheeks. Of all the classical, pop, and church music I had heard at 17 years of age, it seemed to be the most beautiful.
Outside of your musical career, what else in your life gets you excited and fulfilled?
Ashtanga Yoga, the Royal Yoga, is the core of my physical, mental, and spiritual existence. I have been practicing this traditional original yoga for almost ten years. It is said to have eight limbs. It has certainly reached into and lovingly touched all levels of my being. Ashtanga Yoga is neither a religion nor a sport as some theorists may speculate. It is 99 per cent practice and 1 per cent theory. It has been an evolving lifestyle for me that wholly compliments the study, practice and performance of music.
What in your life outside of your music drives you in a creative sense?
Painting…the visual openness of emotion and improvisation manifested through color and shape. It is so abstract and free. Often, a painting project will follow weeks or months of concentrating on writing songs and recording them. I have always faux painted walls (French washing, lime washing, color washing) until recently. I have now finally started to play on the canvas.
Of your touring and gigs so far in your career, do any stand out as being particularly memorable or defining moments?
Among the top gigs are the pair of Winter Park Jazz Festivals (Colorado & Florida) because they are two of the largest venues and they were both sold out. Happy people everywhere!