Sydney-based US singer/songwriter Jenny Queen recently released her new LP Small Town Misfits which we summarised in our review as “A very good album that proves how catchy melodies and astute, substantive songwriting can successfully coexist.” Queen was kind enough to answer our Six Strings Q&A and give us an insight into her musical world.
- Jenny Queen plays the Basement on July 4th with The McClymonts.
What was the album that first led you down the dusty path of Americana music?
I figure it was a mixtape given to me by an ex-boyfriend who happened to be a songwriter. Gram Parsons’ GP on side A and a mess of Wilco and Son Volt on side B. I was gone – hook, line and sinker.
What’s been the favourite or most memorable gig you’ve played?
I played a gig in rural Victoria about ten years ago, a pub in a one-light town with nothing more than the aforementioned pub and a post office. Everyone from miles around showed up for the gig, brought their kids. It was packed to the rafters. Everyone had such a great time, just being there and singing and dancing. Definitely memorable.
How did you learn to play your instrument?
I can’t say I ever did learn! I still don’t play piano or guitar well enough to accompany myself onstage. I can write okay, but I am a hopeless disaster as a functioning muso.
If you could sit-in with one other musician (living or dead) who would it be?
Oh that’s easy – Townes Van Zandt. In the early days.
Do you feel there is a good country/folk music community in Australia and how could it be strengthened?
I think there’s an amazing country/folk community in Australia. I can’t get over how supportive and kind the other musicians in my orbit are. There’s a real sense that we are all in it together. The only thing I would like to see is more chances for live jams and collaborative shows. The will is definitely there, we just need a few more venues.
What has been your favourite Americana release so far in 2014?
Band of Horses – Live at the Ryman. I’m pretty excited about Winterbourne’s new EP too.
What are your aspirations over the next 12 months?
I’m champing at the bit to get out and tour this record. I’m looking forward to the whole crazy mess. Can’t wait to get this show on the road – literally.