Monday, July 27, 2009

Pheaturing Patty LeMay From Spiritual Family Reunion


Hello, and welcome to the Phile for another Monday. The Phile is a proud sponsor of and Austism is reversible. It’s hot, and the power companies are asking us to conserve energy. I’ve never understood this since they’re in the business of selling energy. It’s like McDonald’s asking you to slow down on the burgers or something. They’re worried about power outages. They’re saying that if everyone just puts their thermostats a few degrees higher... like 74 instead of 71, we’d be fine. I’ll do that in October when it isn’t so hot. President Obama found himself defending the jeans he wore to the All-Star Game. Meredith Vieira asked him about them. He said, “For those of you who want their president in tight jeans, that’s not me.” We don’t want tight jeans, we just want him to buy them in the men’s section. President Obama held another press conference last week, pre-empting all the major networks. He does this every week now — it’s time for Oprah to give him a show. The White House actually rescheduled the president; they moved him up an hour because NBC complained it would interfere with “America’s Got Talent.” So the president moved his press conference because of a show David Hasselhoff is on. The focus was on the national healthcare plan working its way through Congress. He needed to make a strong case for because polls show Americans are pretty much evenly divided on universal healthcare. Fifty percent are for it and the other 50 percent have health insurance already. Republicans are strongly against it, but the president has a unique way of reaching out to them — he has offered a key provision that would provide breast implants for their girlfriends. There’s a group of people who do not believe Barack Obama was born in the United States, and therefore should not be president. They’re called “birthers.” Are they aware that Joe Biden would be the president if Obama steps down? They believe he was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii. I always thought he was born in a manger in Jerusalem. This makes no sense. If Barack Obama was born in Kenya, Madonna would have adopted him by now. So, Comic Con is going on in San Diego where a lot of movie companies are pushing their future films like Iron Man 2, and this one, which comes out in April. I think this is kinda odd.

The fight for custard begins. I'll think I;ll skip this one. I have been informing you readers of the Phile about some major companies changing their logos and even their names because of the economy. Apple didn't change their name, but they did slightly change their Apple logo. Take a look.
See what I mean? There's a little less apple. The Patty LeMay interview is coming up, but first...

At the Chateau d'Auvers, Vincent van Gogh presses a revolver to his chest and pulls the trigger. Somehow the bullet misses the vital organs, and the painter manages to stumble over to a friend's house. The following night, Van Gogh dies of an infection in the arms of his brother Theo.
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the exiled Shah of Iran, dies of lymphatic cancer in Cairo.
During a celebration for the Atlanta Olympics, overfed security guard Richard Jewell notices a suspicious green knapsack in Centennial Park. He immediately alerts police and helps to clear people from the area shortly before the pipe bomb explodes. For his trouble, Jewell becomes the FBI's preliminary suspect and news organizations run wild with the story. Because he didn't do it, numerous media outlets end up paying him large undisclosed settlements. Also, the FBI uses the event as an excuse to lobby for further clampdowns on civil liberties.
A Sukhoi SU-27 fighter crashes and explodes at an air show in the Ukraine, killing 78 and injuring more than 100 others. It is the worst airshow crash in history. The two pilots ejected and survived.

Today's guest is the lead singer and piano player for the Nashville based band Spiritual Family Reunion whose album "Goodbye Ceremony" is available on iTunes as we speak. This is her first ever interview, and you always remember your first. Please welcome to the Phile... Patty LeMay.

Me: Hello, Patty, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Patty: Quite well, thanks!

Me: So, where are you from?

Patty: I'm from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It's a college town Southeast of Nashville. Lots of people move there to go to school, but I'm from there.

Me: You have an amazing voice. Have you been singing all your life?

Patty: Thank you, and yes. I started singing at about 4 years old, to my mother's old records, and later, to my sister's old records! I loved "Ode to Billy Joe", "Angel of the Morning" "King of the Road" "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I started singing rock with the Neil Young recording "After the Gold Rush." I loved to sing "When you dance, oooo I can really love!!" And of course any soul recordings from the 70's.

Me: The band is based in Nashville, right?

Patty: Yes - anyone I play with pretty much lives here.

Me: Tell me about the Spiritual Family Reunion... I think it's like a supergroup of some sort.

Patty: There are a lot of SUPER musician's & singers in it, if that's what you mean! I am lucky to have played with these people. And I'm lucky that they have supported my songwriting.
Here's a bio, if that helps - the line up changes quite a bit over time, but we are all family: Spiritual Family Reunion's first show was at the infamous Springwater Supper Club in Nashville, Tennessee on December 27th 2002. The line up included Patty LeMay, Paul Niehaus, Cassie Berman and William Tyler, Mason Vickery, Ben Smythe and Casey Sanders. David Berman closed the show with a rowdy performance of "Auld Lang Syne". Their first record, "Goodbye Ceremony", entitled by poet David Berman, did not appear until February of 2008. Originally working with producer Mark Nevers, the line up changes and new material were so prolific that they began new recordings three times before finishing the record. Principal songwriter and lead singer Patty LeMay is known for her heartfelt vocals, bottomline truth, and fascinating storytelling in song. Her musical origins stemmed from teaching herself the piano at age 14, and creating piano pieces not long after. The band plays with a freedom of feeling and records mostly live. The international distributed Tract Records in Columbus, Ohio is their label.

Me: Who else is in the band and what other bands are connected to the SFR?

Patty: In addition to the above, there's also family members Zach Setchfield, Greg Humphries, Loney Hutchins, Levon Emmons, Caitlin Rose, and Steve Poulton, and Jonathan Marx (plays clarinet on a song). I also sing in Tim Chad & Sherry, have sung duets with Justin Earle, and appeared on recordings with Calexico, St. Thomas (Norway), Thomas Belhom (France), and David Kilgour. Sang background with Vic Chestnutt, but that stuff hasn't been put out yet. I play piano in The Dark and the Beautiful. And I was the piano player for the very first Silver Jews live show in 03. Then pretty much everyone else has a band, Ole Mossy Face and The Country Music, Kids are Goats, and William Tyler has a recent release as The Paper Hats. I have played or sang with all of them except Paper Hats. Gee, I hope I didn't leave anyone out!

Me: How often do you guys play?

Patty: Not very. In Nashville, the whole booking shows/club owner/competing band thing is not really to my taste. I prefer to just be at friend's shows hollering for them. Also, I'm extremely shy. Now that the Silver Jews have quit, I fear we may not get to tour again, but it's whatever.

Me: Your new SFR album is called "Night of the Blackbirds". You love animals, don't you? Where was it recorded?

Patty: Um, the only release out so far is "Goodbye Ceremony". "Night of the Blackbirds" will be a live recording. It's indefinite at this point when it will come out. If I win the lottery this week, well it may be soon! I love animal imagery, and natural imagery for writing because it is something that will always exist. Nature is spiritually very important to my life. If 2000 years pass and someone digs up a copy and hears, then they will understand songs referring to the moon, and fields and blackbirds, etc. The record was recorded at a number of studios! Mostly through engineer Jesse Newport at 2 different studios and mastered at Lake Fever Productions, whom I still owe!

Me: Are you touring outside Tenn. with the album?

Patty: I did tour outside of Tennesse with the Silver Jews but may not again.

Me: You did a song on "A Tribute to Will Oldham". Tell the Phile readers who Will Oldham is or was.

Patty: I'm not sure if Will could tell you who he was, but I'm pretty sure he now thinks he's Bonny Prince Billy. I think he's a brilliant writer and singer and guitar picker! His music is sweet and dirty at the same time. He's a bit quiet, and very very beard-ful.

Me: Okay, Patty, do you know any good jokes?
You should ask David Berman for jokes, because he is really, really, really a superfunny machine.

Me: Thanks for doing tis interview... I wish you the best. Is there a website or anything you wanna plug?



There you have it. That was a pretty good interview considering that was her first. Thanks to Patty and Wikipedia of course. The Phile will be back on Friday with Kim Shattuck from The Muffs! Oh, yeah. And then in August it's Alumni Month with some of the pholks I interviewed once coming back for a second interview. Also in August I might be adding an extra entry on Wednesday's with some other interviews. This is a great summer for the Phile. So, have a good week, thanks for stopping by, and spread the word, not the turd.

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