Today’s feature, Miranda Russell, is special because she’s just a hop, skip and a jump from our beloved Rockport, MA. I first heard her on a YouTube video. That’s all it took. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to hear her live. I was just searching for musicians to introduce to M.L. Gardner’s readers and found Miranda. Watch the video yourself below; her voice is haunting, it’s powerful, it’s solid. She captivates her audience and embraces several musical genres interpreting them in her own unique way. Buy her CD’s here. Did I mention that she also runs an orchard with her husband? Visit them here.
What is your name?
Describe your music style to our readers.
My style is very hard to define. I sing the music of great songwriters, be it the jazz greats from the 20’s and 30’s, the British folk rock of the 60s, or the the popular music of the last 50 years. My focus is always on telling a story and making it personal, making it connect with the listener. I sing music that moves me and that I feel can deliver something new to my audience. As a live performer, the common thread with my musical choices is that I am emotionally invested in it and my audience can feel that.
How and why did you become a musician? Are you full-time?
I became a musician after trying hard to not be a musician. My mother is a folk singer and is very identified with the folk music world. Growing up, I had always wanted to be an actress. I sang solos in choral groups in high school and sang jazz for fun, but I thought when I went to college for acting that I would follow through with that dream. After working as a performer I began to be identified as “the singer” among my group of acting friends and associates. I guess I came around to it eventually! My full-time job now and for the past 10 years has been to run the various aspects of the business at Russell Orchards, which my husband and I own.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by other musicians, by great pieces of music. Sometimes a note or phrase or musical expression will haunt me for a long time.
Describe a typical day.
I’m a mother, so a typical day starts with getting our two middle school age children out the door: breakfast, backpacks, and the bus (or a drive to school). Then I usually head to work at the farm. If it’s our busy season I will stay at work most of the day; sometimes into the evening. Then the home routine continues: kids homework, make dinner, bed! If I’m prepping for a concert, things are very different for me. I will practice (doing the old vocal exercises!) early before work and throughout the day as needed. I may have a rehearsal in the evening or spend time writing program notes or listening to rehearsal tapes and making adjustments for the next rehearsal.
What are your fondest musical memories?
I remember once as a teenager playing folk songs in the subway station with a friend. She had her guitar and I had my flute and we both sang, improvising harmonies. It was a great time until we were informed that a permit was in fact required to play music in the subway station. Another fond and more recent memory was the from the first night I played at the Shalin Liu in Rockport. The audience burst into scattered applause and audible sighs when I sang the first refrain to La Vie en Rose. It really took me by surprise how excited people were to hear that song.
What advice would you give to other musicians?
Leave it all on the floor. Don’t hold back.
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