This Sunday sees the second ‘Belles and Gals’ showcase live event, an event highlighting some of the very best talent on the UK country scene! Tickets here – http://www.wegottickets.com/event/457748
The showcase takes place at the legendary Water Rats venue in London on Sunday evening and for four days we’ll be taking an in depth look at each of the four artists.
Today we feature Joey Clarkson, an artist who we first featured at the start of 2018 in a spotlight/interview piece (http://bellesandgals.com/2018/01/21/getting-to-know-joey-clarkson-by-lesley-hastings/). Joey is a Canadian artist who grew up in Vancouver Island (Grantham, just outside the Comox Valley), and now lives in London with her husband. We were lucky enough to premier the video for Joey’s fantastic single ‘Home’ (video below)
This week we caught up with Joey for a quick chat ahead of the Showcase gig at the weekend.
What was it that got you started in the music industry, and what is it about country music in particular that you are drawn to?
I grew up in a house where my mom and dad were always playing guitar and singing old folk songs together, and with visiting friends and family. I wasn’t particularly musically talented, until they put me in choir at the age of 5 to fix my speaking voice (I was a growly child) and I fell in love with singing. This kick started my love for music!
One of the first albums I ever bought on my own was a cassette tape of Dolly’s greatest hits. It was in the $7.99 bargain bin at Zellers – and it was the best $7.99 I’ve ever spent. I must have listened to this until the tape crackled out. While I found myself straying away from country in my later years, I have ultimately come round full circle and find myself completely enamoured by the genre in its entirety, all over again. It could be the memories I have of my Auntie Deen rocking a snug pair of high waisted blue jeans, t-shirt tucked in and belted, with a pair of good boots, sat in my family home watching the country music channel’s top 20, and gushing over her love for Shania – but something about Country music pulls at my heart and brings me straight back home. Country music is more than a genre to me, it is a feeling, and a place to belong to. I think that this is why it’s been having such a big influence in my music lately.
And Which artists have influenced you in your career, and who are you listening to right now?
So many artists have influenced me on this journey to who am today! Shania, Dolly, Joni Mitchell, Ani Difranco, Amy Winehouse, The Decemberists, Hush Sound, Spice Girls, Current Swell, Ward Thomas, Dixie Chicks, Hey Ocean, Fleetwood Mac, to name a few. I also look up greatly to the local scene(s) where I grew up, and drew a lot of my inspiration from some names that haven’t seen as much broad-spread recognition.
I’m sure you can notice a reoccurring theme to my answer to the first part of the question: I listen to a lot of female performers. This isn’t to prove a point (though, it does prove a mighty fine one), this is just genuinely just how it happens to be. Right now, I’m listening to a lot of: Wildwood Kin, Ward Thomas (Their new album is EVERYTHING to me), Two Ways Home, Backwoods Creek, Catherine McGrath, Frankie Davies, Liv Austen and Man the Lifeboat.
You’re hosting a fantasy dinner party. You can invite three famous people, alive or dead, who do you invite?
Robin Williams, Freddie Mercury and Amy Winehouse.
That was a hard question, so I went with my gut instinct and answered whomever came to my mind first!
The Belles and Gals Showcase features Becky Lawrence, Roisin O’Hagan and Shannon Hynes alongside Joey (tomorrow’s spotlight piece will feature Becky!)