Music Interview: Peggy James ‘Hard Times’ Out Now

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Peggy James

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We caught up with musician Peggy James, following the release of her excellent single ‘Hard Times’. Read our in depth interview now!

What is the first song that captured your attention as a youngster?

‘Here Comes the Sun’ – by The Beatles.

Who influenced your latest release ‘Hard Times’?

I wanted to write about the feeling in my country (U.S.A.) during the present time. There is a lot of pain and anxiety concerning the pandemic, lawlessness, racial unrest, fires out west, hurricanes, and political division among our people.

All of these matters are a large pill to swallow, especially in one year. It’s been a long year. I wanted to remind us that we are the “United” States of America and not to forget that and if we hold on through these hard times, we’ll make it through to the other side and maybe even be better as a nation.

You have released four albums previously, does this release follow on from them?

Yes and no. It follows in the sense that this new album has been built on the many things learned from each project before. Of course, the more you do something, the better you get at it. Doing this album, I felt like I had a more seasoned sense of what I was doing artistically.

From the writing process and vocal techniques to the recording process, I felt much more confident in the direction I wanted this album to go. On the other hand, I think this album really stands alone in its expression, delivery and creativity.

We see you have performed a lot in Nashville, Austin and Chicago, how do the music scenes differ from one another?

All of these places are great places for music, and I would play at any one of them again in a heartbeat when and if I have the chance to. But I would have to say that my favourite place to perform is in Austin.

It has a certain warm feeling to it, and the people there are very kind and supportive of original music. I also felt that my style of music was a better fit to the music scene in Austin.

You play a beautiful Gibson, what made you choose that guitar?

That Gibson Dove was given to me as a gift, and the moment I touched her, I knew she was a magical guitar. I named her ‘Red’ and she has been with me a very long time. She has given me many songs.

What motivates you to make music?

There is a difference between writing songs and being a songwriter. You may paint, but that doesn’t make you a painter. It seems like it’s not a matter of motivation. It’s something that is part of you, and you are constantly writing, no matter what happens around you.

I have to make music so that all the feelings and thoughts going through my head have an outlet and a place for expression. It makes me feel better and hopefully brings something beautiful to others to enjoy.

What are your other passions aside from music?

Nature, wildlife, gardening, travelling and Staffordshire pit bulls.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

I would change the way musicians and songwriters are undervalued, especially financially. In the streaming industry, it seems like everyone else is making money but the artists. It is difficult to make a living, and hence you have the term – starving artists.

What new music are you listening to at the moment?

Jeremy Messersmith. He is amazing. I opened a show for him once, and I was blown away. He has a very unique style, and his voice is beautiful.

What musical plans do you have for the next two years?

Hopefully, we will be over with this pandemic soon and the shut down it’s caused around the world. Right now, I plan on writing another album, and I’ve already started on it. Hope you are all well in the coming year and thank you for your interest in my music.

FV Music Blog November 2020

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