Friday, March 27, 2009

Interview with Danielle French

Who: Danielle French
When: Friday, April 3rd 2009 at 8:30 p.m.
Where: Portneuf Valley Brewing, Pocatello ID - map
How Much: Free

Also at Vino Rosso, Idaho Falls ID - map - on Thursday, April 2nd at 7:30 p.m.

Photograph by Marc Rimmer

SLG: Describe your genre of music in as much detail as you like. Maybe list your three best crowd-pleasing songs? Can you explain in what way do you most appeal to your fans?

DF: Well, my music has been described as "beautiful strangeness", cruising through the ether as well as the underworld with artists such as Tori Amos and Tom Waits. When I record, my music is fully/professionally produced and I often bring in surprise guests such as Burton Cummings (from The Guess Who), but as an independent artist I do not always have the resources to tour with a band, so strip it down to the essence of the songs- sort of unplugged if you will- and perform solo/acoustic, just me and my beautiful 1935 Martin Archtop, Miss Kitty! [that's a sweet acoustic guitar, if you didn't know. -SLG]

One of my most recent songs that has become a real crowd pleaser is "Time to Kill" from my latest CD, Shadows. It's my Tom Waits-inspired song, and when I perform back home, I often have a trio with me that consists of accordion/violin and tuba! Kinda circus-y and strange.

In fact, this entire tour was instigated because of this song! Last year I received a grant to self-produce/direct a short film to this song and it was recently accepted into the Sedona International Film Festival in Arizona. I found out about this in early January and thought, maybe I can tour my way down? As I started booking, the tour took on a life of its own and in less than a month I had 35 dates in about 10 different states spanning over 2 1/2 months! And here I am!

SLG: Tell us where you're from and currently based in what town?

DF: I'm from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and currently based there as well. The tour I am currently on is 2 1/2 months long and will cover approx 10 states and 35 dates! And I can already name at least 3 places I'd love to move to if given the chance! (OK, I'll tell you where they are, Austin, TX, Sedona AZ, San Francisco, CA and maybe Santa Fe, NM).

SLG: Past shows or venues you'd like to brag about? Past or future shows in the Pocatello area?

DF: Hmmm, the big ones would be performing at the Calgary leg of Lilith Fair and being invited on the TV show Rita McNeil and Friends in Canada, but those were both many years ago. On this tour I had the pleasure of performing at the amazing Hotel Cafe in L.A. and Ben Stiller was there for a bit! That was cool.

And I got to do an unofficial showcase at this year's SXSW music festival in Austin for the first time! What an amazing weekend!

I did perform in Pocatello before a few times, years ago, at the First National Bar. The staff was always amazing and I remember one crazy night where my brother was on tour with me. It was 3am and the bar was closed, we were packing up. I went to the bathroom and when I came out the staff and my brother were are in fencing gear and dueling on the stage! Apparently they were all taking fencing classes and they would practice after the bar was closed. Very surreal! I'll never forget it!

SLG: What can people expect if they come to your show?

DF: There won't be any opening acts; these venues are restaurants ... [open to all ages -SLG]. No cover! People can expect a great atmosphere and some great music!

SLG: Any comments about the local live music scene, the music industry in general? What do you think is the best way to get your music out there?

DF: As for the music industry in general - it is really shifting quickly. The labels are going downhill and that means there are opportunities for independent musicians to carve out a niche, but you really have to have a DIY (do-it-yourself) mentality. You are running a business and have to treat it as such and be prepared to do your own marketing, bookings, publicity, fund raising, radio tracking, management, everything! I do all of these for myself and it's a lot of work and you need to be professional on all fronts!

But when you get on the road, and meet amazing people and get to see the country and share your music, it makes it all worthwhile.

SLG: Recordings? Will you have CD's or more for sale at the show?

DF: Yes indeed. I have 3 independent CD's out:
me, myself & i (1995)
Piece (2003)
Shadows (2007)
and a DVD of my short film Time to Kill. I also have download cards of my latest CD, Shadows. I will have all of these with me.


SLG: How can fans contact you? Myspace? or another website?

DF: Best place to reach me is through my website at I do have Myspace at And my music is available on iTunes and other digital distribution outlets.

I also recently acquired distribution through Dynasty Records as well, so selected stores will also have my product.

Music Video for singer/songwriter Danielle French, for her song WORTHY.
Directed by Clint Adam Smyth.

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