Dirty Dozen: Heidi Talbot

Heidi Talbot, 2016Traversing oceans and musical styles – from folk, through Americana, to classic pop, and back again, the Co Kildare singer-songwriter Heidi Talbot, has so far gained plaudits from the likes of The Guardian and The Sunday Times (with the latter calling her ‘simply vocal heaven’) and is joined by a host of musicians and co-writers on this fifth album, including husband John McCusker and Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow).

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?

My name is Heidi Talbot. I’m from a small village in Co. Kildare in Ireland. I left school when I was 18 and moved to New York, became a wedding singer, later joined Cherish the ladies and toured the world. I moved to Scotland in 2007 and met and married John McCusker. We now have two children. Over the last two years we built a state of the art recording studio. I now make records and I still tour the world as Heidi Talbot.

How would you describe your music?

I always try hard not to describe my music as I think what comes out when I sing, play the guitar or write a song is an amalgamation of the music I grew up with and everyone and everything that’s influenced me since then – very hard to describe.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?

I grew up listening to what my parents and brothers and sisters were listening to – a bit of everything, from the Dubliners to Guns n Roses. My parents loved folk music and I was most drawn to records like the Fureys, Mary Black, and Maura O’Connell when I was growing up. Certain bands and singers have had a huge effect on me my whole life and I always fall back on them – Joni Mitchell, The Pogues, Tom Waits, Otis Redding…

What are you currently promoting?

I have a new record coming out on September 23rd called Here We Go 1, 2, 3 and I’m touring the UK and Europe in October/November.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?

There’s no particular song that defines me. I love a song on my record called A Song For Rose, I’m really proud that my daughter sings with me on this song.

What are you currently listening to?

Dirk Powell, Adam Holmes, and Imelda May

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?

There’s so many – if I had to name one it would be Tom Waits – Closing Time.

What are your hopes for your future career?

I’ve never had a master plan. I’ll be very happy if i always get to make records and play music with the wonderful musicians i get to play with.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?

If money were no object I  would make my next record with an orchestra. With very special guests Bono, Katy Perry and Shane McGowan!

What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Seeing what the rider is going to be! Oh and getting to sing and play the music I love with brilliant musicians

And the worst?

Finding out what the rider is and traffic jams.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?

I hope you’re all doing very well. My website is www.heiditalbot.com if you want to check out music and videos. I’d love to see you at a show sometime.

Author: Rudie Humphrey

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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