Well, I always sang but I used to do it when everybody would leave my house. The only thing I had was my parents’ records, so I did all the show tunes. I would wait for everyone to leave at night and learn all these songs. When I was a little kid, I used to charge money, up on my sundeck on the side of the house. I was taking ballet at the time, and there were these twins that lived across the street, and I thought I’d have a twin on each side, and I’d be in the middle. I was 10. I would make the neighbours come, would charge 30-cents, and we would do a couple of ballet numbers and then we’d sing, and we’d do all these stupid little shows. And that’s kind where it started.
There were five rooms, each band had a room, and we would rehearse. I had a rock band called “Hostage”. Don Peterson and I played together that long ago, that’s how long we’ve been friends. I did a little bit of playing here and there, and then I got married and I kind of got out of it for a while.
There was a blues jam at Hermann’s on a Tuesday night, “Bluesy Tuesday”, and I used to phone them up because I didn’t know you just go down and sign up. I sang “Stormy Monday” until everyone got quite sick of it, but that’s how it started.
It was always my love, but it was secret. There’s people my work life who would be absolutely shocked that I played music.
I thought now it’s my chance, I can do what I want to do, when I couldn’t when I had to make a living. I started to record a couple songs and then David Vest, who you all know, said to me that it would be a game changer if I could write the music. I ended up writing or co-writing half a dozen songs on the album and that changed everything because all of a sudden, it was original music. I had some wonderful co- writers like Bill Johnson. It felt really good, and I realized that that’s what I should have been doing all along.
We thought we’d just have one night of dancing and fun and drinking and carrying on and entertainment. We’d get the all the women singers we knew to get up and sing and we’ll raise money and put it back into the community into these women’s serving organizations. So that’s kind of how it started. The first one was, small and then it got bigger and bigger and bigger and, we’ve had a little break because of COVID, but we want to get back into it and raise some more money.
Each level that I got deeper into blues music, the more I appreciated it, and the more I understood what it meant. I remember going to a gospel brunch in the middle of the Caribbean and someone getting up on stage and singing and to see this, it was just so powerful and so wonderful. Each of those things contributed to loving it more and more. It’s been a labor of love ever since.
I’ve always found that there’s a great capacity in the community with people that we know to get things done. People are very giving, and kind and they’re always happy to work on things and help out and, and nothing is achievable without a wonderful team of people around you, so we would always would put some great people together just to get stuff done.
The blues is about getting through things and, rising up. It came from the cotton fields in Mississippi, that’s what it was all about. It is as much about sadness, as it is about new beginnings and joy and when I realized that, that’s when everything changed for me.
Music is healing. Music brings people together. Music brings joy. There isn’t anybody who doesn’t listen to an old song, and have it bring you right back to that certain person or a certain place or a memory. That’s the beauty of it. It’s emotional, it makes you feel sometimes really, really sad or sometimes really, really happy. It’s such a big part of my life, it’s given me more joy than anything else, that’s for sure. That’s the big thing about music, there’s something for everybody. There’s a song you will hear, a lyric, that’s going to resonate with you, and it’s going to make you feel emotional, and I think that’s incredibly powerful.