Victoria Ginty & Ladyhawke
Victoria Ginty & Ladyhawke
How did you come up with your name?
VG: I’m going to let Mike answer this question. MI: Yeah, I came up with the name Ladyhawke, because she had recorded in Nashville under the name Victoria Hawkes and of the recent female fronts I had worked with she was the most lady-like. I hoped to catch a little momentum from those Nashville projects, but it never really materialized… VG: I may add thanks to my sister for allowing me to borrow her last name, “Hawkes”. The first Nashville manager I had at the time liked to choose names for people and some of them were terrible, so I had to jump on it before she gave me something awful and I had to live with it. My sister’s kids had a hard time understanding why I had their name also, (lol). It was time to let go of that name and go back to my married name.
What’s your favorite song to play live?
VG: That changes from show to show, and depends on the venue. I love it when I get to do a solo or a duet as a spotlight song at a special concert and really pour out the emotion, most recently, “When it Rains” (written by Bekka Bramlett) we performed with just myself and Jeff on Piano, 3 years after I first heard it and fell in love with the song. Kid wants to do this as a full band song, which will be interesting. It will be on my upcoming CD being recorded at Greaseland. Then another is a song I had “brewing” in me for a long time “Unfinished Business” which is a lot of fun when you’ve got a lot of ladies up front dancing. We’ve had a great response to that one. I wrote the Lyrics, Mike came up with the music on that one and the band really brought it to life.
Who are some of your influences?
VG: Hard for me to name just a few here, as I grew up there was always a huge variety thanks to my mom and older siblings, I was in choirs, also I was exposed to so much…. Motown living just outside of Detroit, loved the Temptations, the Supremes, and all the harmonies. The let loose soulful singing of Dorothy Moore and Gladys Knight and energy of Tina Turner on Stax. My first 2 bands were Americana although that name wasn’t coined yet. Women weren’t really accepted well in the genre, so there were only a few people to lean on as influences, I’d say Laurie Lewis was my favorite as she was a very talented and expressive singer-songwriter, and there were a few others. After playing a lot of festivals and still not feeling that it was the right fit for me musically, I started working on my writing to go somewhere musically, I studied and co-wrote with some great songwriters in Nashville, wrote an all original project and got signed by BMG Critique Records, I wrote as an adult in the somewhere “in between” areas of Americana and Soul and often I’d hear callbacks in the songs from the early days of the Motown stuff which was always full of that sort of thing. When I discovered the blues, it was all over however, all the background in Country and bluegrass was a preempt to the emotion and more openness I sought and found in modern blues and more traditional blues. So, I’d have to say my more recent influences are Nora Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Janiva Magness, and more recently Susan Tedeschi. As a band, we’ve tried to emulate the stylings of Tedeschi Trucks Band by having a great horn section and we bring a 7-9 piece big band to the events that will support it, as you just don’t see it that often and we’ve been blessed to have great horn players.
If you could tour with anyone who would it be?
VG: Joe Bonamassa, Tab Benoit, Rick Estrin, Victor Wainright…. Or if a female fronted band, Danielle Nichole as we could have some fun singing together!!
Describe your songwriting process.
It’s not always the same…. sometimes I kick a concept around for months, like in Water, a great idea, but which way to take it. That song came together when I sat down with Mike Ward, in a couple hours we dumped our newly met hearts all over the patio we sat on, collected our experiences and made magic out of heartache. It always starts with a hook or an idea for me, and then the song falls into place around it. They are inspired by stories of the lives of myself or people I know…. Some take days, weeks, or longer… some only hours. I have learned that 2 minds are usually better than one in writing, and that’s how it has worked out for the upcoming project. More of the songs I’ve written the lyrics and Mike has come up with the music or tweaked the “feel” to make the songs what they are.
How did you meet the members of your band?
MI: I was playing in a club in Victoria’s hometown, she walked in and asked if she could sing some harmony backup, it was late, so we said sure, she blew us away. Soon after, she took over the front and I’ve been with her since. VG: I was on my way home from a gig and stopped to have a drink and met this Blues Soul band in my neighborhood… I never venture into bars on my own, but I felt, it was a really nice place, and yes, I really thought that the singer needed some harmony behind her. The next thing I knew, I was with the band…that singer had some personal issues and had to resign, and Mike and I have been playing together since, almost 7 years now. We’ve searched and added one piece at a time and created and promoted this band together.
Who’s the dream producer you would like to work with?
? VG: Well, I have to say that I am really excited to be working with Kid Andersen at Greaseland. He is “THE” up and coming producer and a happening and talented producer as well as a fabulous current touring musician. He has ears and talent that far surpass his age as well as an incredible work ethic, so I’m excited about working with him. I’d also like to work with Dave Darling as I am really impressed with his work and productions and think he is really a creative genius as well.
What do you think musicians can do to make the world a better place?
? VG: I think that when we perform it gives people a place or an escape for a moment, it evokes emotion, romance, happiness, distraction, so many things. Musicians give, by sharing their gift with others, and often that music gives comfort. I’ve sang at weddings and funerals, and sometimes both for the same people, it’s wonderful to be able to share our gift whether paid or not. I also feel strongly that musicians should not be vocal about their political opinions, no one comes to see them to hear that. The one real statement song that still brings me to tears when I happen to run across it is “We are the World”. It unites all the so very different styles of musicians and different races, etc. It was probably the best uniting thing ever done through music. It would be great if someone could ever compose another song and event like that. MI: Share their experiences and emotions through their music so others can identify and not feel alone in those trying situations. We all are really members of a big fraternity and we should share our experiences to help others get through their tough times…
How has music made a difference in your life?
VG: It has been my escape, my passion, my relaxation and my adventure… Absolutely can’t imagine life without it! MI: It’s really been the soundtrack to life’s ups and downs for my entire lifetime. It comforts, it motivates, and it makes you feel not alone with whatever your emotional state may be…
What’s the one word to describe Jangling Sparrows?
MI: Driven. I’ve never met a woman, or person for that matter as driven to reach her goals as Victoria and you can’t help but get motivated yourself. VG: Well, lol…. Yes, I am a very driven person, if I get down, I pick myself up pretty quick and figure out plan B. I always have several “plates in the air”, I get a lot done that way and as to rest, well…. I figure that is for much later! Life is short, and I intend to fill as many pages in my book of life as I can.