By Rosine Alleva, Journalist/Photographer – Rock At Night France, Switzerland
I was extremely touched to meet COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS on her European Tour, in Leeds, UK. It was last April 18, the same day as the MARON STILLS photography opening exhibition. And what an amazing day! A few hours after the interview with the rock photographer, and direct to the Brudenell Social Club to interview and assist with the concert of the ‘Best International Artist of the year’ at the Americana UK awards!
She already gave us a beautiful moment singing two acoustic songs in the afternoon at the Gallery At 164.
The Brudenell Social Club is the perfect venue for the intimate atmosphere Courtney Marie Andrews and her musicians shared with the audience. Her crystal-clear voice made every song a special moment. An invitation to suspend the time and the best end to this beautiful sunny afternoon.
Dillon Warneck – Electric guitar | Alex Sabel – Bass
William Mapp – Drums | Daniel Walter – Keyboards
RAN– When did you realize singing and writing was what you wanted in life?
COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS– I was very young and I loved to sing since I could talk. I also liked to read poetry and when I realized this could be one, I sort of realized, by maybe 12 that I wanted to be a songwriter.
RAN– Tell me about this period you lived in Brussels and sang with Milow? How special was it to play at the AB on Monday?Is it special each time you perform in Brussels ?
CMA– It was great! I lived in Leuven, like right near to Brussels. That was a really nice experience.
I was going through a pretty hard time though. I was going through a break up while I was going there so I was very sad. But I was writing a lot of music, I almost wrote my entire record HONEST LIFE while I was in Leuven.
RAN– Last February, you were named Best International Artist at the UK Americana awards, sharing a stage with artists like Robert Plant and Imelda May. How does it feel in these moments?
CMA– I was incredibly grateful for the honor and to be awarded for that. It was my first award, I was of course incredibly honored, I definitely feel that I worked for it. Yeah, I’m really happy and honored to be.
RAN– What’s the music you listen to when you’re home or touring?
CMA– At the moment I’m listening to a lot of LITTLE FEAT. Yeah, that’s kind of my favorite band right now.
RAN– Great! I saw them in London when I was 18…
CMA– Wow, I bet it must have been amazing!
RAN– Oh yeah, one of my best concerts ever!
Can you explain the title of you last album MAY YOUR KINDNESS REMAIN?
CMA– It’s about getting back to the gospel of kindness cause I feel like it takes a lot of effort to be kind and also it makes you feel better, it makes the world feel better. Whether you have nothing, or you have everything, may the one thing that’s in your control stay there which is kindness.
RAN– Beautiful and so true!
The album has been produced by Mark Howard (Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits) and recorded in Los Angeles at a rented house-turned-studio. How was your feeling during the recording?
CMA– Well, I love to make the vibe of the place fit the music so you can feel the music as much as possible and Mark Howard has a similar view point. He always records in houses and he calls it “living in records”. So we sort of recorded with the sun… In the mornings, we did the rock songs, and then in the evenings, when the sun was going down, when it was very cozy, and quiet you could see the sun over the hills we did the ballads.
So, it was about creating a space to make that feeling come alive cause I think it translates on records. You can create a feeling within a space and then when you record it, it’s palpable, and people can feel it. That was the goal!…
RAN– If you would write a song here now, what would you write about?
CMA– Actually, I just started writing a song today about when the sun comes out in London. It makes everyone wanna’ stay. I thought about the difference on people faces and their reactions to life are so different here when the sun is out.
RAN– You began to perform very young, so I may ask you what are your best memories?
CMA– I have some incredible memories of going up, when I was very free and I played, on a coast, basking with my friends and staying in tents and everything. And I think those years are sort of golden years in a certain way cause we were so free, we were playing whenever we wanted, wherever we wanted for no money, just for tips on the street. Yeah, I look very fondly to those years for that.
RAN– When I discovered you I’ve been deeply touched, wondering is you could become the new girl JACKSON BROWN is talking about in his song “That girl could sing“. This song was actually written for VALERIE CARTER…my favorite singer. You have many similarities with her, in many ways.
CMA– Well, I don’t know…I guess it has to be up to Jackson Brown! (Laughs). But I have to listen to Valerie Carter, it’s a great recommandation.
RAN– Rock At Night’s homebase is in America. Anything you would like to say to your American fans? To America?
CMA– Well…I love your home!
RAN– Thank you so much for having shared these few moments just before the show.
Many thanks to Etjen Vd Vliet – Just like your mom.
Follow Courtney Marie Andrews
From Belgian and Italian parents, I grew up with music, dance and big fun! I love singing since I'm a little girl, I still am, haha. When I was 14, I saw my first concert: T-Rex. Later it was FrankZappa, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Fela, Canned Heat, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Earth, Wind and Fire ....
I dreamed to have a chat with each of them 😀 Before interviewing bands, I used to sing (and still do) and met lots of great musicians. I had the chance to be the support band to Joe Cocker in 2007. I love to communicate and meet people (Italian blood).
Working for magazine, a few years ago, l met José Oliveira! We were working at the same festival in Colmar. 2 people from the South with the same passion just recognized each other...and we stayed in contact since then. Here I am! Enjoying concerts, covering interviews and articles with José for Rock at Night!!