Exclusive Interview with Claire Petrie
Why country music ?
~ I found a home in country music early in my career. As a singer, I was drawn to the powerful story lines and strong melodies. Lyrics are this singers best friend and country love songs just seemed to bring my emotions to the surface. I soon found that country music fit me in other ways too! The fun of it all, the people, the dancing, and the toe-tappin' music gets me smiling. Then, there's that lonesome free spirit that comes along with all the fun. Raised in a large musical family, both of my parents were musicians and singers. With 6 kids in the family, we were taught to appreciate all styles of music and still do. Although I have performed, written and enjoyed all styles of music over the years, country music is like a big mat at my front door that says, "Welcome Home Claire."
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ In my musical fantasy Merle Haggard starts with "Each night I leave the bar room when it's over Not feelin' any pain at closing time." (Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down). Then, Tammy Wynette comes in with "A bottle of wine and Patsy Cline, and everything's all right." (A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline). These two songs fit together musically and lyrically to blend as a duet!
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ An original song I wrote called Most. I wrote this song for my Dad, the year my Mom passed away. I sang it to him on Father's Day, a year later. They were married over 50 years. The song is simple, but I am proud of the completeness of what I tried to convey. I wrote it on my old Takamine acoustic guitar, played it on piano and sang it at my Dad's funeral at the request of my brothers and sisters 7 years later. Talk about a full circle moment.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Hugh Prestwood - The Song Remembers When is an all time favorite of mine.
What do you consider the most important change in country music during your life and what are your thoughts about it?
~ I would have learned earlier that no matter what our occupation is, our real job here is to help each other.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Why is music so universal? We all wish we had the gift to say how we feel in words or music. Music can surprise us. Most importantly, it can introduce us to new parts of ourselves.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ First, I am a coffee lover so there would be an indoor cafe area with big mugs and areas to relax, rewrite notes, etc. Singers and musicians appreciate coffee, tea and some comforts of home to greet them. I think instruments are a great touch an acoustic guitar waiting to be played and a mandolin. Also, a comfy outdoor area to breath and stretch and look at the sky for a few moments on long days. We all like friendly facilities. People really set the tone for any business experience. If I had a studio one day, I would invest in a few awesome souls who know how to keep good vibrations flowing! Some young, some old, just nice folks to make the experience memorable.
Johnny or June ?
~ Johnny the man in black!
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ Yes, I always want to give my best. I pray and try to stay in the moment! Life is not about perfection, and there will always be surprises. The performances I have loved seeing the most over the years are human, real and not white knuckle ones. I try to remember that!
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ My most memorable experience was most recently in the recording studio last December. I was with a wonderful producer and engineer and the musicians were incredibly talented. I was so honored to be with such collective talent. When you truly have a calling, you just have to answer it and go forward. It was the most memorable day because I heard the music and it felt like home! I just started to sing and gave it my best. The experience was a wonderful one and I am grateful for the opportunity.
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Answers given on March 3, 2015