Toronto-based trio The Good Lovelies comes to Beaver Creek, Jan. 13
If you go …
What: The Good Lovelies.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.
More information: Tickets are available now at the VPAC box office, by calling 970-845-8497 or at http://www.vilarpac.org.
The Vilar Performing Arts Center will welcome Toronto-based folk-roots trio The Good Lovelies to Beaver Creek today at 7:30 p.m. Part folk-roots, part Western swing, the trio relies on three-part vocal harmonies, clever songs and on-stage, funny repartee drawn from a succession of comedic adventures on the road.
The Vilar Performing Arts Center caught up with the three members of the band — Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore — to talk about their musical influences and keeping a sense of humor amidst the grind of touring with their small children.
1. VILAR PERFORMING ARTS CENTER: How and when did the three of you meet?
THE GOOD LOVELIES: Kerri and Sue met in a grade two-three split class. Caroline and Sue met many years later at a New Year’s Eve party in university (though they don’t really remember much about that night). Caroline and Kerri met through Sue and became fast friends. That’s the short version.
2. VPAC: Who are some of your biggest influences musically?
LOVELIES: Early on, Sue was influenced by the jazz greats — folks like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and so on. Kerri’s love affair with music has been steadily based in the pop world, from the Mini Pops early on to the sweeping, layered harmonies and melodies of Bon Iver. Caroline grew up (with) and maintains a love of folky music, from Paul Simon to Case/lang/Veirs and Anais Mitchell.
3. VPAC: What are your biggest inspirations behind your music?
LOVELIES: Everything, nothing — the big things, the little things. Life.
4. VPAC: Being based in Toronto, where did you pick up folk and Western swing?
LOVELIES: There is a strong folk tradition in Toronto — lots of great artists here who write in that vein. The Western swing thing came about as a byproduct of the way our voices sound together; our harmonies have a natural “old-timey” quality to them. A local producer named Les Cooper helped solidify that sound with us on our first full-length album. Though we have drifted away from the Western swing sound recently, it’s still a lot of fun to flirt with.
5. VPAC: We hear you are all quite funny. How do you keep it light and fun when on the road?
LOVELIES: Without a sense of humor, life on the road would be pretty, well, crappy. We are often in ridiculous, weird, annoying situations that could put a damper on an entire tour. Most of the time, though, they just make for good banter onstage later on that night. It sure helps that we have each other to laugh it off with.
Having little babies and a kiddo on the road also helps us to maintain a lightness. It’s hard to be serious and irritable on a long drive when a baby blows a giant fart in the back seat. Except if that fart means you’re going to have to change that baby’s diaper by the side of the road. Ah, #tourlife!
6. VPAC: What is your best #tourlife moment?
LOVELIES: What, aside from changing diapers by the side of the road? Well … after 10 years of touring, that’s a tough one to answer. Here are a few: A treetop walk in an Australian rainforest; singing onstage with one of our childhood heroes, Fred Penner; ice fishing in Northern Manitoba; taking a whale watching boat; a mountain walk in Kitzbuhl, Austria; surfing in California; fresh lobster in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; walking through Moab National Park; sipping whiskey with the Vinyl Cafe crew. Oh man, there are too many.
7. VPAC: Have you toured around the United States much — and if so, what’s been your favorite stop thus far?
LOVELIES: We have spent a lot of time in the U-S-of-A. It’s hard to pinpoint one favorite stop, but we always enjoy the food, the weather and people of California. It’s a “trip” driving south toward Los Angeles from the north end of the state and to watch the change in topography from trees to deserts to beach towns. And, as Canadians, the sight of citrus on trees is kind of like seeing a unicorn. It just doesn’t seem real. (Those things belong in grocery store aisles, right?)
8. VPAC: Between the three of you there is a banjo, keyboard and mandolin — which one is boss? And do they have names?
LOVELIES: Ha! Right now, the nameless keyboard is dominating. It’s a Nord. We shall henceforth call her Nancy. Or Nora. Yeah. Nora.
9. VPAC: What is your favorite song to perform?
LOVELIES: There’s no such thing. We love all the songs, every one of them.
10. VPAC: What does the song-writing process typically look like for The Good Lovelies?
LOVELIES: Typically, each of us brings a near-completed song to the table and presents it to the band. Then together, we work out any lyrics or melodies that need work and work on whatever harmonies haven’t been already chosen. Sometimes a song comes to the table finished and all we have to do is learn it for stage. Sometimes the songs take waaaaayyyy longer to work through. The creative process is different for each of us, but it’s not a Good Lovelies song until we’ve all had our fingers in it.
11. VPAC: What have been some of your most memorable interactions with fans?
LOVELIES: Some of the best interactions come after shows, when folks tell us how our music has been a part of their lives. Recently, a young woman told us that she and her mother had been to many of our shows over the last decade and that our music had been the soundtrack to big moments in her life — graduation, moving, a new job. Just before Christmas, she and her very sick mama came to see us one last time together. It was hard to hear that one, but also very moving.
12. VPAC: There are a lot of babies between the three of you. How has motherhood changed your music or your story as a band?
LOVELIES: Babies! BABIES EVERYWHERE! Having them around has definitely changed our approach to touring. As in, we don’t generally sleep on people’s couches anymore. We also have to time the drives to coincide with naps. In some ways, they have helped us pace ourselves, to make sure we don’t overdo it or don’t take gigs just because they’re offered to us. That being said, we are still tired. Ha.
Our music hasn’t changed, per say, but having the babies has added a richness to our life experience (not a financial richness, oh no, babies don’t make you rich). That richness ultimately influences our music through songwriting and playing.
Having the babies on tour with us has also become a big part of our narrative. It has helped us connect with other working moms and touring parents. It’s gratifying to see what we can accomplish even with these little freeloaders in tow.
13. VPAC: You’ve appeared with Broken Social Scene … wow, how was that?
LOVELIES: A couple of us had the privilege of singing with Broken Social Scene a few years ago in Toronto. It was exciting, both personally and professionally, to perform with such legendary folks, great songwriters and all-round awesome humans.
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