Singer and song writer Lee Lindsey has been doing what she does best for the last 20 years and never fails to impress her audience with her heart felt tunes and stage presence. I wanted to find out more about this musicians craft and her view on what it takes to be a song writer….
What made you want to be a singer, and of that particular genre?
I’ve been singing since I could talk, my whole family sings. My dad was a singer and played the drums. My sisters sang all the time so it wasn’t like I wanted to be a singer, like I just sang and I learned to play guitar and also wrote songs when I was twelve. Also, it wasn’t a genre, it was whatever came out. It happens how I present my songs when I sing them the way I do. In terms of classing myself as a country-western singer, there’s no such thing anymore as country-western. The word doesn’t even exist. That would be someone like Johnny Cash, nobody sings like that anymore. It’s not my style because I don’t have that accent. You really have to have that real strong accent, and the songs have to be old school, mine aren’t like that at all.
Your children, Sam and Grace, are also singers. What advice have you given to them that you can share?
To be real. As soon as I find them writing about something that doesn’t mean anything to them, it never comes out as good. And without mentioning names, a lot of their friends write something that they have never experienced and it’s like, what does that even mean? It’s just a copycat of someone else’s style. Just write about something that really means something to you, and you don’t have to tell people as it’s quite exposing and people wonder, ‘oh I wonder who that’s about?’ Or it can be about experiences that they have seen in other people (hurt). Just make it real.
What is the process like for song-writing?
For me personally, I am a song-writer and have been so for twenty years as far as a professional, not the ones I wrote as a kid. So, I don’t have thirteen new songs when I do an album. I might have six and I’ll pull six from songs I have written before that mean something to me now and have always meant something. As a song-writer I have worked with different people in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, London and Canada. So you know, sometimes a song doesn’t have an outlet and suddenly ten years later you think, I can play that song on the album. But I still try and put them in an order of some kind of message – even if the song is fifteen years old. Because, a song that is older can come back into your life, and with the situation you’re experiencing now, it means something.- it has a new birth for now.
Who do you admire as a singer? And is there anybody who would be a dream duet for you?
No, there’s no one I want to do a duet with. Maybe Sam and Grace, because I like singing with them. I consider myself a person who writes songs and performs them. I don’t get off on doing mad runs with some person on stage, it doesn’t interest me, I just panic. With regards to duets, in my world I loved when Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock did that song ‘Picture’, or that song by Bryan Adams and Mel C, ‘When You’re Gone’.
Growing up, who was your favourite singer?
I like James Taylor and folk singers such as Carole King and The Eagles. I love The Eagles, they’re my heroes. I also like Marvin Gaye… just a variety of different things.
How does it make you feel when performing at shows on stage with Sam and Grace?
Oh I love it, it’s a dream – so great. Sam is so funny and Grace is so cute. She’s evolved so much, she is so happy on stage. Sam is such a pro now, and when we all play together there are just some songs that they have known and other bands have covered but never made it to the radio, and so Sam remembers the way that they sang it and when we all sing together he throws in a bit of that. Maybe the audience doesn’t know, but Grace and I laugh our heads off. I mean I think we can be goofy, but not uncool.
Living and performing a lot in Vancouver, do you feel that the atmosphere is different there compared to those in London?
It’s hard for me to gauge that. Sometimes the people in Vancouver think they’re too cool for school and I look out and think ‘you’re not cool buddy!” That’s me being snobby. I go by ‘Tall Poppy Presents’, so it’s not just for me. When I put those shows on, it brings on a whole range of people, so it’s different. But then I go out to London, all of Sam and Grace’s friends and family come so I can’t really compare. I don’t really go and see random bands, the only time I do is when Marcus (Foster) or Bobby (Long) are in town. It doesn’t interest me to go to someone else’s show, that’s probably because I am getting comfortable.
If you were trapped on a desert island, what 3 items would you have and why?
My guitar, a tent and given that we have food – a barbecue!
Name a country you would love to travel to and perform at if you have the opportunity to?
For travelling, well I’ve been to India and have been there on business with my ex-husband in the early days, so I’d like to go back to India on a quest. Performing-wise, I am already doing it. I am travelling all over Canada, going to small towns, and America too. I want to do that in Germany as well since I have some fans there, and the rest of Europe.
Lee has just completed a tour of 15 dates around Canada and America!
You can see her next at the Dundarave Festival of Lights, on Saturday December 21st!! Join the event page, link here:
Check out her performance of ‘Flowers’