MY CURRENT STATUS: I am, unfortunately, unable to play shows now or sing due to I am TERMINALLY ill with a progressive crippling and devastating neurological/brain disease called "Multiple System Atrophy" which has robbed me of my singing voice and is making me become paralyzed. Currently, conventional medicine offers no treatment or cure and so....I pray and try to find healing through Holistic treatments.
How long have you been playing?
As a little girl, my father sometimes played guitar and sang Elvis Presley songs to me and this left a huge impression on me musically. Very shy as a young girl, I kept mostly to myself sometimes singing gospel in the church with the church choir but as I approached High School I slowly broke from my shell and became star soloist in my schools Ensemble and Chorus groups and won 1st place in my High School talent show. After High School I went straight in the Army but once I returned from training, I joined a local band as a back up singer but it did not take long before I became lead singer and it remained this way ever since. I have performed in numerous bands since this day ranging in styles from Soul, Old school Funk, R&B, Jazz, Folk, Pop, Rock, Country, New Age, even Metal. I have recorded covers and originals for numerous artists and friends as well as written and co-written 2 original CD's. I have had a love affair with music since the day I first heard my Daddy sing to me as a little girl though I never thought of making it a career until my mid 20's. Instead my other love and dream was to compete in the olympics as a gymnast. My love for music won out in the end and the rest is history.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Blood Sweat & Tears in the 70's. It was in Raleigh North Carolina and I was living in a Orphanage/Children's Home at the time and went with a group of my friends that lived with me from the home. I was mesmerized by the band....especially the horn section and the light show.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
I was especially drawn to Motown, Blues and funk as a kid. I LOVED to dance and watched Soul Train and American Band Stand regularly. I think this is where the funk came in the scene for me...it was in my blood it seemed. It all seemed to come so naturally for me. I would have to say that Elvis was my first Blues influence, As far as Motown I seemed to be drawn initially to Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin. Of course, the more I listened....more influences came into the picture but these artists were how it all began. Cameo, Isley Brothers, James Brown....are just a few that come to mind... I love old school Funk! This will never change.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
I've usually played for smaller more intimate crowds in small clubs and work or family gatherings but every so often I played festivals & fairs. I guess I'd have say the festivals and fairs drew the biggest crowds and though this was nice...I still liked being more one on one in a smaller group setting... I especially liked playing the coffee shops and farmers market settings.
My most memorable gig? Hard to remember them all as they each brought something special but one show comes to mind...I performed outdoors in the back of an italian eatery in San Luis Obispo, California and we filled the tables outside and even had people standing to listen. I was performing with an eclectic trio called "Unseen Rain" and we made lots of people happy this bright and sunny day..made a big jar full of tips...little kids were bringing up dollar bills and putting it in the jar....it was the cutest thing and some were trying to dance... We were getting lots of requests for songs not on our list but we tried to honor the request as best we could...making apologies along the way if the words did not come out right or the music slipped up. All in all no one seemed to care...we were trying to please them and that was all they really wanted in the end. We gained a great number of fans and followers this day...fans who actually sat down and listened and appreciated our talent...without the need for drugs or alcohol to get them pumped up...and THIS was a refreshing change from the usual club scene with the added plus of a non-smoking environment
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Stevie Wonder's songs from "The Key of Life" album most definitely. He was maybe....in the end...one of my biggest influences. I used to listen to his 8 track over and over again when I was a teenager...while sitting alone in my stepfathers car parked by the intracoastal as my step father would go fishing at night. It was my tranquil get away and I gained a lot of my style and technique from Stevie
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
I would love to sing a duet show with a great old time Jazz singer for starters...Tony Bennett comes to mind or some edgy and intricate Jazz with Sting. Maybe sing the Blues with BB King. Perhaps perform a show along side KD Lang blending melodic harmonies or throwing down some hard core funk with Prince himself or the Isley Brothers