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 calling though.
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 ?
Lucy.   Fuchsia!
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?
Lucy.    www.lucywoodward.com
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

Lucy Woodward

Lucy has been singing backing vocals live for Rod Stewart since january 2012, also contributed with backing vocals for Merry Christmas Baby, Time and Another Country.


She have a very busy career plenty of proyects: solo recordings, contributions with a vast variety of bands and a girlie' vocal band.

First ever gig with Rod Stewart at a private concert in Paris France, on January 23rd 2012.

"Be my husband" promo clip.

"I'm so happy that is you" promo clip by The Goods - buy the album here: https://thegoodsmusic.bandcamp.com/track/im-so-happy-that-its-you

Snarky Puppy feat. Lucy Woodward - Too Hot To Last (Family Dinner - Volume One)

"Too Hot To Last"
from Snarky Puppy's live DVD/CD - "Family Dinner - Volume One"
(available at

Lucy doing backing vocals at various promo gigs for Rod Stewart' "Time" album.

Here is the most up to date interview (july 22nd 2015), published at http://www.downtownmagazinenyc.com/really-busy-people-lucy-woodward/

Really Busy People: Lucy Woodward

Darren Paltrowitz


is one of those artists that five people may recognize from five different projects. A lot of people would know her for her major label career, having released albums on Atlantic and Verve, which led to appearances on TV shows and concerts stages around the world; one of her singles on Atlantic became a major global hit for Stacie Orrico. Many people are familiar for her work supporting other artists, touring as a vocalist with artists as diverse as Pink Martini, Snarky Puppy and Rod Stewart. Some people would know her as a top jingle singer. However they know Lucy Woodward, that singing voice is powerful and distinct.

While Lucy is based in Los Angeles, she is a native New Yorker with a number of New York-based projects going on at the moment. Currently on tour with Rod Stewart, she is in the midst of finishing her follow-up album to 2010’s Hooked!. Lucy went into more depth about some of these projects within our conversation, also describing how she manages to stay productive amongst the busyness.


When was it that you knew that you were going to be a lifer as a musician?


Lucy Woodward: My parents were both musicians, so all of my childhood I was music-making and creating. Ballet, drawing, playing instruments, harmonizing in the house all the time. When I was eight years old, I wrote stories obsessively. My grandmother noticed the the “writer’s bump” on my third finger, and while I was embarrassed about it, she was proud. I knew I was a lifer at “creating” things very young. My first concert was Debbie Gibson at Radio City [Music Hall]. I cried all the way home because I so deeply wanted to sing with a band. Saw Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour that same year and also sobbed all the way home. I felt spiritually connected — not only to Madonna but just to “it.”


When someone finds out that you’re a musician and asks you if they’ve heard anything that you’ve worked on, do you have a stock response? Or credits you’re more likely to tell them?


L: Oh, the secrets! I’d rather talk about them! I guess it depends how on deeply they want to go into the conversation. You can usually tell very early on what they really are interested in. Sometimes they just want to know what famous people you’ve sung with. Sometimes they want to talk about the music business, or what inspires writing a song and I’m all about that. If I don’t feel like being chatty — plane rides — I say I sing jingles because it’s a very finite conversation!


Although you’d identify as a musician, you do a lot of different things between jingles and session work, recording and touring as a singer/songwriter, performing as a sideman — for a lack of a better term — with Rod Stewart and Snarky Puppy, and doing side projects like The Goods and The Joshua Shneider Love Speaks Orchestra. Did I miss any titles or roles there?


L: For as long as I can remember, I have always had different projects happening simultaneously to get all the creative kinks out. I need that fuel to feed that fire! Some projects pay the rent, but some don’t and that’s totally cool. A few years ago, I toured on and off with Pink Martini and had to learn a whole bunch of languages in a five days because I was filling in for China Forbes, their singer who had to go on immediate vocal rest. Most challenging gig I have ever had — fun. I have a little bluegrass band with friends in NYC I jam with when we can all get together. I’m also developing a show with some other friends in NYC about girl groups in the ’60s and I’m tinkling with a Peggy Lee covers record and an ’80s EP. I also sing with The David Ricard Big Band in L.A. and we’ve been recording all year. I love the energy of working with loads of different people. That in of itself, inspires the hell out of me.


How is it that you’re able to juggle so many projects at once? Is there a specific app or tool you use? Do you live in iCal or Google Calendar?


L: When I get the stomach virus, I know I’ve taken on too much! I live in iCal. I stare at it throughout the day, and look at those little rectangle events like it’s a goddamn game of Tetris. It’s horrible. I wish I was kidding.


How does life compare for you on-stage and in the studio versus off-stage and just being a regular person?


L: An ex-boyfriend told me once that he wished I was a normal girlfriend. I cried, of course, and we broke up.  I “normalize” myself when I get off the road by baking — I’m not that great. I get super-domesticated. On the road, everything is in Ziploc bags, so it’s fun for me to take a tea bag out of an actual box of tea from a cupboard. I appreciate those cupboards very, very much.


What’s looking ahead for you at the moment in your solo career?


L: I have just spent the last year and a half jumping on and off the road to work on my next — and fourth! — record with Henry Hey and Michael League in NYC. We have done a lot of playing together over many years, and it was really exciting to make something together simply because we trust and like each other so much. It’s made up of heavy masculine horn arrangements and feminine vocals, and I think that dichotomy really embodies who I am as a singer. Nic Hard mixed it and added some amazing “left” vibes to it. It was a real love project and I can’t wait to perform it. We are mastering it now and I’ll be putting it out in early 2016. In the meantime, I’m going to sign to GroundUp Music, Michael League’s label, and work on some mini-releases for the rest of this year. I am really pumped about it all…


You’ve played the major label game for a good chunk of your career. Looking back, are you nostalgic for that in any way? Or is it more preferable to be able to pick and choose what you work on?


L: I have always been able to pick and choose what I want to work on, but of course on a label, something always has to get approved by someone, and it’s a boring wait of a game. I won’t lie, I do get nostalgic for the old school budgets that were put into making records — but who doesn’t? I still get statements from my first record deal saying I now only owe -$1,000,000 something dollars. I laugh and want to post the statement every time! It’s a total joke how much money people used to put into breaking a new artist because they’d spend it on the wrong thing, like dinners, not artist development. It’s been an amazing experience working on this last record because Henry Hey, Mike League and I are all super close, and daily it would go something like: “That feel good to you? Yeah? Me too. Let’s move on…” We wanted each other’s approval and didn’t have to wait for anyone else’s.


If all went as planned for you, how would you be spending most of your time? Would you be touring? Doing more recording than touring? Focusing on writing?


L: I feel I never have enough time to write when I’m on the road. It’s just a different brain. But lately, I find myself committing to finishing lyrics on short plane rides because I know we have to land at some point and it’s a good, short concentrated “push” for myself; I totally sound like my mother right now. I love, love, love touring, though, when the project/people are awesome. Rod’s band is super family [oriented] and so is Snarky Puppy. Whether it’s a stinky tour van or a private jet, it’s all in the hang. I love the studio because it’s a laboratory and everyone is just a bunch of chemists making cool, new shit. I fall into a deep, happy groove with both the studio and touring.


What was the “big break” that led you getting your first record deal?


L: I was rejected all the time for a long while playing Bleecker Street [venues] and singing for executives in their offices. I really don’t know how I stayed so positive hearing “she’s not ready yet” all the time. But it was true. I wasn’t ready. My songs weren’t that strong yet and I had to work on my stage presence. I just needed to sing more. So I did all that: wrote more, collaborated more, gigged more. Judy Stakee at Warner/Chappell signed me and she took me under her wing and developed the heck out of me — hooking me up with other writers like Jamie Houston, Kevin Kadish and John Shanks. Vini Poncia, my manager at the time, started this idea called “Dumb Girls” and Kevin Kadish and I finished it, and Kevin did an amazing track. Ron Shapiro, who was president of Atlantic [Records] in 2002, fell in love with the song when I sang it live in his office one night. He took me up to Ahmet Ertegun’s office and said “listen to this voice.” Ahmet kissed me on my cheek and gave me his blessing. All that happened very, very fast. Made the record, video, radio tour, Jay Leno, Japan and.scene! It was over! But that was basically the journey leading up to my first release. Tommy Mottola signed me to Epic [Records] a couple of years before that but that record never happened — thank god!. I wouldn’t change any of this “up and down” record label heartache for a second, though.


Given your more DIY-oriented career path coming out of years of playing the game, what advice would you have for an artist that’s just starting out now?


L: You have to love what you do so much. You have to sacrifice sometimes, run out of money sometimes, end romantic relationships sometimes. It’s all worth it when you love what you do. It’s your name on that record — no one else’s.


Do you still get star-struck? Are there any artists you’re still hoping to collaborate with “one day?”


L: I’d love to do a duet with Tony Bennett or Trent Reznor or Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes. I’d sing backup for Bjork for free. In fact, I’d pay her to have me sing backup for her! I can’t remember the last time I got star-struck. Sometimes I just worship my friends if they’ve just shared a new film or song with me that they’ve just completed.


Finally, Lucy, any last words for the kids?


L: Get off Facebook and start engaging in the world a bit more! I love me some Facebook but when I realize I have been only reading the news on Facebook, I think, “go outside and play, Lucy.”

-by Darren Paltrowitz




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