Rapid Fire Questions
The Winnie Blues
The Winnie Blues released their debut album ‘Half Wide Awake, but Dreaming’ (July 16th, 2021) on Two Hands Records.
Recorded live at Dog House Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, this album is a collection of harmonically-intricate stories capturing a shared essence of middle America mixed with outback and urban Australia. Stories of being apart from the ones you love and an uprising of yourself in a world that wants to hold you back.
‘Half Wide Awake, but Dreaming’ flirts with the Americana-genre, by gently caressing parts of its main domains- country, singer-songwriter, folk and sexy pop (what?).
In making the record, The Winnie Blues worked with Producer/Mixer Nick Bullock and built a band of world-class musicians to capture their sound. With Ryan Brewer (drums & piano), Cam Carrus (bass), Chris Lippincott (pedal steel) and Joanna Sugermeli (strings), ‘Half Wide Awake, but Dreaming’ is at times lush, uplifting and sprawling, and at other times sparse, intimate, and devastating.
The band’s core is made up of Alice Beatty and Cameron Potts. If you know them, you know their accents are not from ‘round here. The meeting of the pair could surely one day be written into a screenplay. Both are originally from Australia, however despite their common home ground, that is not where they met.
In the Spring of 2016, Potts (who had lived in NYC for some years) was at Rockwood Music Hall to see a Ruby Boots show. Little did he know at the time, he was standing shoulder to shoulder with Beatty, who had just moved to the city 1 week prior. The pair heard each other’s Australian accents and bonded over a beer. They went their separate ways that evening and did not encounter each other again until a serendipitous meeting 8 months later at Mickey’s Tavern in Nashville, TN. Unbeknownst to either of them, they had both separately moved south and were living in the same neighbourhood.
Starting their writing partnership shortly after that second meeting, Beatty describes it as “like breathing properly for the first time. Sitting in that room with Cam, generally speaking, there is such an ease in his disposition. I remember thinking how musically talented he was, but there was an absence of ego. I was also caught off guard by his ability to actively listen and seek to understand without judgement. No idea was too small or too silly. That all happened in the first 5 mins of our co-write, so with this level of comfort and confidence in each other- the songs just started tumbling out of us.”
From there, the two began compiling and creating a collection of songs and stories. Some personal, some written from a social commentary perspective. But retrospectively, listening to the songs on the album, it could seem that their art became the biggest predictor of their story as a pair.
The Winnie Blues draw on inspiration from some of the most influential duo’s in music history. From Johnny & June, to Nick & Kylie, and Emmylou & Gram to place their unique stamp on the Americana music scene.
When The Winnie Blues step on to the stage they bring with them a mix of established artistry and raw sincerity. Having toured for some 12 years, Writer/Vocalist/Guitarist Cameron Potts established himself through his work with Dead Letter Chorus, bringing a depth of knowledge and experience with authentic, dark and dynamic songwriting. Beatty carries with her a youthful ambition and a voice that is so unique and honest, you’d be forgiven for thinking she herself had years of world class touring under her belt.
At the end 2019, they had finished tracking their debut album with the grand plans of a 2020 extensive tour through the south-east of the US to promote their album release.
2020 had other plans- but you know this. It’s been an incredibly difficult year for everyone.
With their eyes cast to the future, The Winnie Blues have released their debut album to the world.
We asked The Winnie Blues some Rapid Fire questions below...
1. What's Your Favourite Breakfast Meal ?
Cam: Breakfast Burrito, hands down.
Alice: Avo on Toast. We like to claim this as an Australian creation- but it’s probably not!
2. Dog or Cat ?
Cam: Dogs are the best people. Cats give me the worst allergies.
Alice: Dogs. I’ve grown up with dogs, but all animals are ok in my books.
3. What’s Your Favourite Touring Destination ?
Australia! Being able to see our families, and play music at the same time is pretty magical, and also swimming in the ocean every day.
4. What Are Your Hobbies Outside Of Music ?
Cam: I direct and produce audiobooks which keeps me pretty busy, and I occasionally run around a basketball court missing a good 80% of the shots I take.
Alice: I love drawing, sketching and creating. The Two Hands Records logo is mostly a sketch I did of Cam’s hands holding a record. Anything outdoors, gardening, walking, swimming.
5. What's Your Ideal Holiday Destination ?
Cam: South America or northern Asia would be high on my list as I haven’t been there. Basically any place I haven’t been to before would be ideal.
Alice: Scotland. I visited in 2010, there was something very familiar and yet exciting. My family’s heritage stems from there, and I loved driving down cobblestone roads through the paddocks and rolling hills to discover a small town with thatched roofs that was steeped in history. The countryside, the pubs, the people.
6. Beer, Wine, Liquor, Non-Alcoholic ?
Cam: Scotch Whiskey or Mezcal, anything with a smoky flavour.
Alice: Beer and Whiskey.
7. Do You Prefer a Festival Stage to Perform or a Small Intimate Venue ?
Cam: both have their perks. I think it’s easier to connect with people at smaller shows, but I love the pageantry of a big stage.
Alice: Small Venues. Our passion for storytelling really relates in intimate settings.
8. What Made You Want To Become an Artist ?
Cam: I wasn’t really good at anything else, but I could remember lyrics to all my favourite songs almost immediately, and so I pursued that. I always wanted to leave something behind that would exist after I’ve left.
Alice: It stems from a want for being able to express myself in a form other than just talking or drawing. Continually trying to unlock parts of myself that make me a happier and more fulfilled person.
9. House or Apartment ?
Cam: A house, and doing all the little handy-person tasks around the house...except fixing a dishwasher...that is frustrating.
Alice: House. I need green space.
10. Do You Like a Live Performance or Doing Studio Work ?
Cam: Live performance, once you do something, then it’s gone forever (although everyone does love recording it on their phones I guess)
Alice: I love feeding off the energy of the audience and what’s happening on stage, trying the songs in a new way or just feeling a spark where the intensity lifts and big (or small) moments occur.
11. Do You Like to Write on Your Own or Collaborate with Others ?
We like collaborating with each other, mostly. We are still discovering who we are as artists, and like to keep our ideas within ourselves until they are more fully formed. At this stage we’d prefer to write the actual songs ourselves, and work with others on the arrangements. That doesn’t mean we’re not open to more collaboration in the future.
12. Are There Any Musicians who Inspire You ?
Alice: Guy Garvey, John Moreland, Brandi Carlisle, Patsy Cline.
Cam: Jeff Buckley, Elliot Smith, Gram Parsons. Basically, dead white dudes.
13. What's Your Favourite Meal ?
Alice: A home-cooked one.
Cam: Breakfast Burritos
14. Country or City Living ?
Our dream life would be having a house in the country, and an apartment in the city.
15. CD or Vinyl ?
Vinyl. The only caveat being that we can’t play vinyl when we’re in the car on the road, so getting a CD from another band we’re touring with is always welcome.
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