I knew going into this interview with singer/songwriter Foy Vance, that I was already at a disadvantage than previous journalists before me. This is simply because I was unable to plan accordingly by having a beer delivered to him while we discussed his new album, The Wild Swan and the North American Tour, currently underway. Vance did agree that I can reconcile the error while he is here in Louisville, KY on October 15, 2016, at http://headlinerslouisville.com/. So then the question becomes, do I buy him a beer or maybe some Kentucky Bourbon? Vance claims, when asked if he has a particular Kentucky Bourbon he likes over another, that "it has to be a pretty bad bourbon for me not to like it" However, I do not intend on testing that theory, well, at least not prior to his performance.
I originally met Vance back in 2015 during CMA Week, also known to many as Fan Fair, in Nashville, TN. We were staying at a hostel, which resulted in every evening turning into a global “jam session” in the community courtyard. Musicians, along with their friends and families, from every genre and every location around the globe, would gather, spread out blankets, grab a chair or find a place to stand and an instrument to play. Vance was, no pun intended, instrumental in the arranging of these "jam sessions" and it just felt that he was the “guy to be around”. It seemed as if he wanted to listen and learn from the array of people and different cultures that assembled each evening. As we have all heard, first impressions are important and you "never get a second chance" as they say, “to make a second first one.” Vance is one of those rare individuals that upon first impressions, one would never realize "who" he is and "what" he has done in his career that spans the past decade. In fact, what you do walk away with remembering about him would be things along the lines of the laughter he displays, the pure joy and love of music in general, not to mention his tremendous kindness to everyone around him, especially the relationship with his family. There is that one other, very noticeable attribute, his mustache, which just provides more character for the person underneath and an additional topic of conversation.
His first single was released in 2006 and since that time he has shared the stage and toured with some fairly familiar names, such as Sir Elton John, Ed Sheeran, and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few. He has had songs appearing in familiar shows such as "Sons of Anarchy" and "Grey's Anatomy" along with composing music for an award winning short-film and being offered a part in a full-length motion picture. As if his collaborations with all of the previously named artists were not enough, his newest album features a song titled "Coco", written by Vance. CoCo Arquette, daughter of Courtney Cox and David Arquette was the inspiration for this song, that to me personally, is reminiscent of a Van Morrison crossed with James Taylor feel, to some degree, with the smooth, yet sweet lyrics and delivery given by Vance. When asked how he came to write a song for Cox's daughter, he simply says, "My daughter and Coco were playing together and I was making up silly songs by the pool and "CoCo" was one of them and the difference was that one sort of struck me as having leg, you know having a little bit of DNA in it that I should finish it off." Vance further explained that "every record needs that very, very innocent sweet song I think." Cox directed the video that accompanies the song, and you can catch it here below the article.
The next song we discussed, titled “Burden”, has a special place in my heart and this one has touched my life in such a positive and meaningful way. I was curious to know if it was one of those songs that “just happens” or was there a particular inspiration behind it? Vance said that this is a song that was never intended to be on the album but, he explains that he “played it for a couple of the guys in the band and they were like 'you should at least give this a go and see if this works.' But it wasn't meant for the album, I just wrote it for my mate." It found a home as the sixth track on the new album. Vance did explain a little of the inspiration behind the song saying, "that again was another song that wasn't really meant to be on the record. I wrote it for a friend, you know, he's one of those boys that is forever carrying everyone else's burden and never talks about his own and I wrote it for him and sent it to him.” I am one person who is very thankful that it landed on the album as it is a song that needs to be heard. Music has a way of reaching a person and healing them when nothing else can. Vance said, “music is a universal language, it crosses all boundaries."
I could not let Vance out of this interview without telling him that he now has a song that can be added to the list of “songs with misheard lyrics”. That song is the third track on the album, titled “Upbeat Feelgood”. When I purchased this album weeks ago and began playing it, I have to admit that the lyrics “I” heard, were not the correct lyrics, as written. As I explained to Vance, “I thought you were saying ‘My Feet Feel Good’”, as we laughed about that, he admitted that this song has had a lot of misheard lyric moments, although Vance said “I think I may just sing it with ‘my feet’ from now on just for the crowd.” Either way, “feet” or “upbeat” the song is an amazing addition, and I will absolutely always sing it the way I first heard it, smiling because I know the words are wrong, however, the writer approved them.
Come on out and join Foy Vance with supporting act Trevor Sensor on October 15, 2016, at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, KY. If you cannot catch this particular show, be sure to check out other dates for the North American leg of The Wild Swan tour. I will post a follow-up to this interview with photos from the show and make sure that I have proof that the beer debt was reconciled. ~Laura Lou