The Honey V's (Vicky Reardon, Lili McGovern)
"Genuine & Priceless"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
IMD I really enjoyed your latest CD “In the Garden & Dancing.”
LILI Thanks for your time today! We appreciate your enthusiasm & we’re so happy you enjoyed the CD! Vicky Thanks Michael.
IMD It’s almost like you gals are sisters?
VICKY From the moment I met Lili, she’s such an open and generous soul, I felt right away like she could be my sister. LILI Wow, I feel exactly the same way about Vicky. She’s an identical twin & I never had any sisters, so I think it was natural for us to develop a close relationship. Nothing is off-limits with Vicky, she talks about everything & anything & it always blows my mind! Stuff I don’t even let myself think about, comes out of her mouth so easily - I admire that she’s so comfortable with herself & her identity. VICKY I admire that you don’t get easily offended. (hee hee) LILI laughter)
IMD How did you two meet anyway, how long ago?
VICKY Peggy, our mentor & vocal coach, Peggy Monaghan. LILI Yes, we met while singing with the a Cappella group that Peggy founded named the Derry Aires. Actually, didn’t we meet for the very first time at an “Afternoon in Ireland” Production? VICKY Yeah, I think so...but we didn’t really get to know each other until I joined the Derry Aires shortly after that. LILI What year was it? VICKY I think it was 2002, you sure we didn’t meet before that? LILI I don’t think so, but I did hear your name mentioned quite a few times from Peggy, crowing about your beautiful voice. VICKY Ah, that’s so sweet. (laughter from both)
IMD When did you realize there might be something magical between you two musically?
LILI Hmm, that’s a good question. VICKY That is a good question. I think it was at the Alaska Midnight Sun songwriting Camp because you were singing “In The Garden and Dancing” and it was so beautiful & then you asked me to sing backup! LILI When was that? 2002? No, because 2002 was when I met Dave Carter who was teaching at the Alaska Midnight Sun Songwriting Camp so it must have been the next year. VICKY Yeah, I wish I would’ve been able to meet Dave! But we did get to meet Amy Rigby who’s song “Don’t Ever Change” is on our CD, & it’s one of our favorite songs. We met Steve Seskin, too, who is an amazing songwriter. LILI Also, we used to drive into the Derry Aires rehearsals together twice weekly, because we lived in Eagle River, a 30-minute commute from Anchorage, & we always had fun and laughed a lot & talked & dreamed the whole way (laughter) VICKY Yes! Absolutely! Hmmm, I don’t think we can get through one question without laughing. (laughter)
"we sing with a lot of heart & passion..."
IMD What was the first song you gals wrote together?
VICKY Okay, I want to see what you say - I know what it is. LILI Wasn’t it Big, Ample”? VICKY No, it was “Candy” because we worked on that when we took that family trip to Cannon Beach, OR. LILI Wasn’t that Christmas 2006? But we started Big, Ample before you moved here, right, which would’ve been 2004? VICKY Oh yes, you’re right (reluctantly) LILI We started Big, Ample in Eagle River, AK, right before I moved to Bellingham in 2006, I can visualize myself working on my computer at home. Then after you moved to Bellingham six months later, you brought Candy to me asking for help with the chorus. It sure takes us a long time to finish songs, doesn’t it? VICKY Seriously the whole finishing something is really hard. LILI Yes, that’s our biggest challenge! VICKY But worth it! (laughter)
IMD Who are some of you top musical influences both artists, bands, singers?
VICKY Of course the Indigo Girls, Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin, Steve Seskin &, of course, the Dixie Chicks. LILI What about Antje Duvekot!? She’s awesome!!! We loved “:Big Dream Boulevard!” But that’s a more recent development. VICKY Yes, & Dar Williams who Lili opened for in 2003. LILI Yes, but, Ellis Paul has had a huge influence on me both personally and in my songwriting career - he was at my first Alaska Midnight Sun Songwriting Camp and his command of the guitar and his songwriting skills amazed me. In fact, all the Boston singer/songwriters like Kris Delmhorst, Peter Mulvey, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer, & Dar Williams all toured in Alaska and many taught at the Alaska Midnight Sun Songwriting Camps & still do. We actually dedicated our album to Dave Carter because he means so much to me. I met him at the Alaska Midnight Sun Songwriting Camp and he totally transformed my perception of writing music. He passed away in 2002, the summer after we met, & I vowed to dedicate an album to him at that time. Vicky ever gracious, agreed. We also covered one of his songs, “Any Way I Do” on the album -it's one of our favorites that totally captures the sacred spirit we both believe in. VICKY Yeah we’re mostly attracted to folk singer/songwriter types LILI Oh! I remember sitting at my first “folk” concert in the Wendy Williamson auditorium and Cattie Curtis totally rocked my world - it was my first taste of the folk world and I loved it. I no longer wanted to be a rock star; I wanted to be Cattie - it was such an intimate moment of connection for me. Then, of course, there’s the Alaska Folk Festival which happens every year - anybody can get 15 minutes on stage. I remember watching my best friend & fellow singer/songwriter, Shawn Zuke perform, & I was blown away that she was so comfortable up on stage and her songs were incredible. I determined to stand on that stage the next year & I did and I performed every year after that until we moved in 2006. VICKY Yeah I remember watching you on stage - it was enjoyable.
IMD Who gets to be your favorite band or artist overall. Vicky? Lili?
VICKY Indigo Girls, no hesitation. LILI Tom McRae; I’ve had his CD’s in my car for the past 4 years. I listen to him more than anybody else, on a daily basis, even more than the honey V’s! It’s been interesting & educational to study & watch his career evolve through his albums. I think he’s one of the finest singer/songwriters alive today and very much underrated.
IMD I hear a little Heart & Joni Mitchell in your music, am I off the mark there?
VICKY I think we sing with a lot of heart & passion like both of those groups. LILI Of course, Joni Mitchell is a hug idol & influence - we still perform “Big Yellow Taxi” at gigs. VICKY and my maiden name is Mitchell, so we may be related. I wish! LILI Heart is huge and I love that band, too; All of the 80’s rock bands are deeply ingrained in my psyche. BTW, we’re very flattered that you would reference them in relation to our music and sound! VICKY That was really nice!
IMD What was the best concert you’ve ever been to? Vicky? Lili?
VICKY Probably, the Indigo Girls in Portland LILI big surprise. VICKY Everyone is standing up screaming and dancing and loving it, completely enveloped in the music. LILI I think the Brandi Carlile concert was the best I’ve seen in years, at the Mt. Baker Theater last year. I’d never heard of her before but she put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Mixing it up with her “twins” and a couple guest musicians, playing both piano & guitar (an Elton John song - one of my favorite artists growing up) and playing off-mike as well. VICKY Yeah, that was AWESOME! We went together! LILI One of my girlfriends told me she cried throughout the entire performance she was so moved. I want to be able to move our audience in a similar fashion.
IMD What do you like most about performing live?
VICKY Sweating, no, I’m kidding (laughter) LILI Let’s see. VICKY Touching people with our music. LILI Yeah! It has to be those moments when
we really connect with another human being in the audience - when they laugh, clap, heckle us, hold up their lighters and start to sway - it’s all
IMD I thought the cover art was fantastic, can you tell us more about it?
LILI The cover art is called “Silken Spells” by a UK artist named Josephine Wall. I had a greeting card with her artwork on it, actually several of them taped around my computer & I decided to see if I could by license her artwork for my solo CD, a bare calliope. I did and I wanted to include her artwork on this CD, as well. She captures the spirit of the magic of music perfectly for me. VICKY I just thought it was pretty! LILI Vicky’s been great about not only listening to all my wild fantasies for the CD but going along with just about all of them. VICKY: Hey, it’s a fun ride!
IMD What inspired the song “Athena.”
VICKY I think I was playing a basketball game. LILI Really!? VICKY with my brother-in-law and he kept treating me like I was this helpless girl. LILI Uh-oh! VICKY He kept saying stuff like, “Oh, come a little closer” & “You can take a few more steps in,” and I was just pissed! LILI (laughter) Here it comes. VICKY So the military warrior girl in me came out & I wrote Athena. LILI Now that’s a compassionate and value-creating way of handling your anger! I just have to let you know, Vicky can kick anybody’s ass & she can kill a man with her bare hands. VICKY I can’t kill him but I can blind him - Don’t scare people! LILI But it’s the truth!!! I always feel safe with Vicky when we’re out late at night, alone together, walking the rough, darkened streets of Bellingham. VICKY ’Cause they’re so dangerous. (laughter)
IMD Tell us a bit about “Vegetarian”; I had to pull over to the side of the road for that one?
VICKY Wow, what a compliment! it’s exactly what we were going for. LILI Vicky brought the chorus to me one day and I loved it - I was singing it for days afterwards. It was just too catchy to pass up. VICKY Yeah I was running through the park one day and I saw this really healthy, “crunchy.” LILI granola VICKY couple & they were casually walking along, just enjoying the day. I however was out running, sweating & working really hard to stay thin. LILI & beautiful. VICKY (laughter) & I remember thinking, “I bet they’re vegetarians!” Then I started thinking, “Man, I wish I was a Vegetarian!” & being the songwriter I am, the melody came right away to go along with those words. LILI Wow! It was just waiting in the ethers for you to call it’s name! VICKY Yep! But the bridge was really challenging & Lili brought a lot of creative stuff to the bridge, plus her cooking expertise helped. LILI Yeah, everything I know I learned on the Cooking Channel. And my mom, of course. Thanks Rachael Ray, Tyler Florence, Paula Deen, & mom! VICKY But that bridge was so fun and creative! LILI Well, we have to credit Masterwriter, too. It helped out with that bridge. VICKY Yeah, the rhymes for “cordon bleu” all came from Masterwriter LILI But we had to pull it together in a creative way &. Vicky of course, our combined AK experience came together with our caribou rhyme. LILI Plus our combined feelings about Sarah Palin. VICKY hat she should focus more on cooking? LILI Yeah! that’s it! You always know what to say! (laughter) LILI We’re so bad. VICKY I like it! (laughter)
IMD What’s next for the Honey V’s?
pregnant pause with laughter.) VICKY We still have so much more to say & we’re not easily shut-up so there are a lot more songs to be written LILI I’d like to keep performing when we can and writing as much as possible. Of course, in the meantime, we’ll be enjoying gourmet food (meat included) and imbibing in fine wine. VICKY Hell yeah!
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
Copyright © 2010
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