SA Roots 'n Blues catches up with
Corrina Steele and asks her about her enthralling debut album.
Lony Tony Joe's Review of "Wayward"
SA Roots 'n Blues features track 1 "Blessed Child" in its "Audio Clips" page. Have a listen ...like Lone Tony Joe and myself you will be enthralled!
"WAYWARD" with CORRINA STEELE!|
SARB: Congratulations on "Wayward". For a debut album it is surprisingly "mature" and well crafted! I say "surprising" because "Wayward" seems to have hit us "out of the blue"! It's a pleasure to see such a wealth of creative song writing ...these songs been incubating for awhile? ...care to give us a bit of background into some of them?
Corrina: Most of the songs were written in the twelve months leading up to the recording. The co-writers on the album are Jeremy Edwards, Steve Wood and Bill Chambers. They are all good friends of mine so it seems very natural to write with them. I could never co-write with someone I didn't know well. Bill and I wrote 'Paradise Lost' about a week before going into the studio. The rest of the songs I wrote myself, most of them came about when I was staying on a farm in Northern New South Wales. I find the isolation is good for my songwriting.....you dont have to worry about what the neighbours are thinking of you new tune.
SARB: Great slide playing throughout the CD. I particularly enjoyed the presence of the fiddle in tracks like "Western Star". Tell us about the accompanying musicians.
Corrina: I'm really lucky to have so many talented friends who were willing to contribute, like Bill Chambers, who is The Master, and such a great man. Jeremy Edwards, who can cut so many different styles...such a blessing to have him on board. Angus Diggs is on the drums. He is my musical soul-brother.
Mick Albeck plays the fiddle on a couple of songs. He was the only 'session player' on the album. The best few hundred bucks I've spent in my life. And to watch him record was amazing. He got in the first take, after never having heard the songs.
SARB: A haunting and well produced sound. "Roots" country rather than "Tamworth" country! Someone been taking lessons from Daniel Lanois?
Corrina: I've never been into the sound that is so popular in Tamworth. It just doesnt move me. I like big warm sounds and I knew that with Chris Townend at Bigjesusburger in Sydney recording, the band tracks were never going to sound thin. Chris has plenty of old recording gear and many great recording tecniques. We did listen to Bob Dylan's 'Time out of Mind' which was produced by Daniel Lanois, a lot when we were in the studio. He creates such an organic timeless sound.
We wanted something that wasn't going to sound dated in 10 years...so I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
SARB: Emmylou Harris seems to have been an influence? Care to tell us who has inspired and influenced your music?
Corrina: Since I was a kid, Linda Ronstadt has been my favourite singer. She has such killer tone. And I love the purity of Emmylou's voice. Neil Young has been a major influence, how his music goes from sounding so fragile to such a wild beast. I love that!
SARB: There is some "blues" in your musical background. You have referred to John Lee Hooker as a "life changer" for you!?
Corrina: Because I grew up on country music, hearing the old blues guys, for me, put together the pieces of how Rock n Roll came about.
The way John Lee bends notes...I could listen to that all night long.
SARB: You lived in Memphis for awhile. I found it a fascinating city ... Gibson guitars ...Sun Studios ...Beale Street ...Memphis in May ...What took you there?
Corrina: To soak it all up. Because Im not black and I didn't grow up in poverty, I have always felt like a bit of a fake when it comes to playing blues. So I had to emerse myself in it for a while. It is a fasinating City. You stumble on the history everywhere. Like going into an old cafe for a coffee and you look down and see a plaque that says "this is where Elvis used to sit". You cant help but get a kick out of that. But for me going out to the backwoods of North Mississippi to the juke joints was the best. The music is so raw and real. And at times a little scary.
SARB: "Ohio" ...as equally as enthralling as Neil Young's! There seems to be a strong Americana/USA flavour to many songs ...River Gambler ...Western Star ... Ohio ...What about Australian people, places and spaces?
Corrina: 'Ohio' was actually the name of a race horse. My boyfriend does't mind a bit of a punt, and if Im with him I entertain myself by writting song lyrics. We were at a classic Aussie pub in the middle of the no- where when that song came to me. It was written on the back of a TAB ticket. 'Western Star' is about growing up in a small country town and hearing the trucks in the distance at night, carting coal off to the coast. So to me, the people and places are very much Australian. I didn't set out to make it sound american, I just do what feels right at the time.
... Your web site is very impressive. I just stumbled upon 'The Jessie Mae Foundation'. I had no idea it existed. Good on you for supporting her....she is such a special she-wolf.
SA Roots 'n Blues features:
track 1 "Blessed Child"
in its Audio Clips page.
Have a listen ...like Lone Tony Joe and myself
you will be enthralled!