I had difficulty choosing which unlikely influence to showcase for this post. Since most of my unlikely influences require me to buckle down and practice the instrumentation for a few hours, I’m settling on this one for now (we’ll post additional unlikely influence entries in the future). When I was around 13 years old, I bought a Janis Joplin album because a) I liked the cover and b) I liked the Janis Joplin t-shirts I kept seeing in the stores where I bought incense. As it turns out, I really loved the album. I still really love to listen to Janis Joplin. I’m not sure she’s that unlikely an influence on me if you know me now, but back in the day (when I bought the album), Joplin was a far cry from what I’d been singing and playing all my life. Up until I was 13, I devoted my ears to the likes of Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, The Everly Brothers, and Elvis Presley. As much as I wanted to cover “Summertime” for y’all, I covered my all-time favourite Janis Joplin tune, “Mercedez Benz”. Enjoy! -Alexis
Something you probably didn’t know about me: Amy Winehouse is one of my favorite singers ever. I think she did such a good job of taking very classic styles of jazz, blues, and pop vocals and making them her own, and making these styles relevant to a modern audience. I love the brassy quality she often gets with her voice, and the first time I ever heard the term “contralto,” it was in regards to Amy. So, here’s my unlikely influence, paired with my fingerpicking guitar journey– you can listen for the kazoo solo if nothing else!