Miss Lucy Woodward speaks to the RSFC on the release of her new album
RSFC. Do you come from a musical family?
LUCY. My Mom was an opera singer/musicologist/school teacher and my dad was a conductor/composer. We played classical music in our house especially when
we lived with my grandparents when I was very young. My mother was also an incredible belly-dancer so I watched her practice to middle-eastern music constantly. I think this is why I have so many
songs in minor keys!
RSFC. Is it true that when you were young you used to lock yourself in your father’s study and listen to his jazz and old R&B records?
Lucy. That’s almost right - my dad lives in Holland and had a study behind his house that was an old barn/guest house. He had a grand piano in there, walls covered in sheet music and albums and a stereo. I would visit him in the summers and lock myself in that barn for 8 or 9 hours a day singing, writing lyrics and doing scales. I remember this from about 13 years old on. There definitely weren’t any R&B records in there! Les Misérables was about as contemporary as we got!
RSFC. When did you realize you had a talent for singing?
Lucy. I don’t know when I realized I had a talent for singing but I knew I looooved singing from about age 5. When I was 12 I knew it was my
RSFC. What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Lucy. I am a pop writer with lots of blues, soul and jazz influence.
RSFC. Who are your major influences?
Lucy. The list is too long but singers and songwriters that really moved me as an artist are Etta James, Beatles, Aretha, Sheryl Crow, Ella
Fitzgerald, Chopin, Bjork, Radiohead, Nina Simone…so many.
RSFC. Do you play any musical instruments?
Lucy. I played flute and piano as a child and later picked up the guitar to write songs but I would never call myself a player. I am terrible. I
mainly write with people who play so I can focus on what I do best.
RSFC. What are your musical aspirations? (Ian Roberts)
Lucy. To sing and write and make music until I don’t know want to do it anymore. Then I will open a salsa dancing school. :)
RSFC. Why did you stop working with Tony Visconti? (Gary Jones)
Lucy. I love Tony and I learned so much from him. He produced most of my 2010 release “Hooked!” on Verve Records. I have worked with a ton of
different producers so it’s not like we just “stopped” - our timing was pretty magical to come together at that time because we banged out that record in about 2-3 weeks!
RSFC. Using trusted friends to work on the new album must have felt very comfortable, but is there not also a case for using "outsiders" that might have brought something different to the table and pushed you even further? (Gary Jones)
Lucy. Good question. I have worked with many producers and musicians who weren’t necessarily “friends” beforehand. That is always exciting because
you a new “element” is bringing something unfamiliar to the table. But I think working with friends, in particular these friends (Henry Hey, Michael League) was different because they knew very well
what I could do so they knew exactly how to push me more. They were raising bars all the time.
RSFC. What is your favourite colour of lipstick ?
RSFC. How does it feel to know you have a huge fan base through the Rod Stewart fans from the RSFC ?
Lucy. Sooooo supported! It’s very unexpected and I am super grateful! I can’t even tell you how much.
RSFC. This will be your fourth album is it different in style to the others ?
Lucy. Til They Bang On The Door has a rawer and crunchier element that the other albums didn’t have. All of my albums are very different actually
depending what I’m going through but my voice is the thread to that ties them together. I’m also a very bluesy singer and I think it’s the first album that captured that a lot more, without actually
singing the blues
RSFC. When recording this album what were the rehearsals generally like?
Lucy. We had one rehearsal to make sure our rhythm section was tight because we knew were going to go into The Magic Shop in NYC right away. Some songs we had played on the road prior to recording so we just fine tuned those. Others, we thought “let’s go here and do this…” That band was Henry Hey on piano (co-producer), Michael League on bass (co-producer), Brian Delaney on drums, Chris McQueen on guitar and Cory Henry on organ. Half of these guys are in Snarky Puppy and that was a strong element. Henry Hey and Brian and I have been playing together for about 15 years in some form.
RSFC. What type of recording process did you use? Who produced your recording?
Lucy. Henry Hey and Michael League produced/arranged that album. Henry used to play in Rod’s band back in the songbook days. He has also worked
very closely with David Bowie and George Michael. Michael League is the bass player/bandleader of Snarky Puppy. Phenomenal talents.
RSFC. What is your favourite song on your album and what inspired its title?
Lucy. Too Hot To Last had a cool process. Michael had this very special song for me that I helped him finish. I sang it on a Snarky Puppy album in
2013 which got over a half million hits. It was centered around a baritone guitar but I wanted to put it on this album and record it differently. Henry brought us this dark and beautiful horn
arrangement to sing over instead. He said, “try this!”. I had never sung over something so dark and it was a turning point for me on the record. I feel this record has some haunting elements. I was
going through some tough times for a bit but was working it out through the music.
RSFC. You cover Ruth Brown, Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone songs on this album, any particular reason for this?
Lucy. These are legendary voices that I’ve always admired on a many deep levels. There are a million Nina songs I want to do. No one sings like
Frank. He can hold out a note on a the letter “n” so uniquely. “I’ve got you under my skinnnn….”. He can draw out a word and make you hang onto it with him luring you in.
RSFC. Do you think singer/songwriters are the best interpreters of their own work or do you believe some cover versions can be better then the original?
Lucy. It’s definitely possible to beat the original but it better be good! I heard Madeleine Peyroux’s cover of “Dance Me to the end of Love” in a coffee shop in Barcelona the other day and it made me completely forget Leonard Cohen wrote it. And look at every Rod Stewart cover! He kicks those cover songs in the bum like soccer balls! He truly makes them his own.
RSFC. How much fun did you have while making this album?
Lucy. FUN IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. I actually hate the final days of recording because I never want it to end.
RSFC. What makes your music unique?
Lucy. I don’t know, tough to answer that myself! I guess no matter what the backdrop of the album is, my voice is the thread. I think this album
is a bit unique because of the feminine vocals I laid over these heavy masculine horn arrangements. I still have so much music to make and learn, I do know that. I always hope I feel that.
RSFC. What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
Lucy. It’s a horrible industry! Ha! Making music can be a very spiritual thing. It’s something a musician just has to do, there is no other choice. If I go too long without making it, I can get depressed. So when the music “industry” comes along skipping merrily into your life, it opens doors to a whole other side of things and you just have to sort of be ready for it ‘cause it can test you in many unexpected ways. I feel you have to have sensitive, thin skin to create music but need to have thick skin to be in the actual music industry. One thing I would change is how easy it is for people to download music and not pay for it. Songwriters can’t get paid that way. Artists can’t survive on it.
RSFC. Share with us your proudest moment in your career so far?
Lucy. So many. I sang with Pink Martini in Croatian and Japanese with the San Francisco Symphony a few years ago. Mind blowing experience. Also when Rod is screaming out “yeah, girl!” while you’re singing is always quite an encouraging, magical moment.
RSFC. How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Where can fans purchase your new Album ?
Lucy. iTunes and Amazon or www.lucywoodward.com.. I just found out I can send you a signed copy too! Right here:
RSFC. Do you have a website?
RSFC. Do you like Marmite?
Lucy. Working on it. Might be a Vegemite girl but that’s a stretch too. Nutella is more my bag.
RSFC. Last one.... Would you ever consider singing for us at the RSFC Big Weekend?
Lucy. Of course!
RSFC. Thank you for taking time to answer these questions, Lucy you have an amazing singing voice and we at the RSFC wish you all the best with your new album.
Lucy. You all have been so incredibly amazing. The band knows it. Rod knows it. I know it. Some of you have even showed up to my shows in small towns around the world and I can’t tell how much that means to me. I hope to see you out there soon! xx Lucy
To purchase a copy please click here http://store.groundupmusic.net/products/til-they-bang-on-the-door?variant=1760907315