Arts Q&A: Kimmie Rhodes on Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and the power of love
Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Texan singer-songwriter Kimmie Rhodes
1. When did you think about a career in music and what were your first steps into it?
Fate landed me in the studio of Joe Gracey in Austin, December 1979. I had a handful of songs I had just written and decided I’d like to try to make a record. It was the luckiest day of my life. It opened a whole new world to me as an artist and little did I know that Joe Gracey would become the love of my life.
2. Best gigs you’ve been to?
Most recently my kids treated me to Brian Wilson and Pet Sounds at Austin City Limits Music Festival, for Mother’s Day, and it was fantastic. I saw the next-to-last show that the famous Texas Playboys did in San Marcos, Texas, in the late 80s. We opened the show and then I sat on the stairs to the stage and just soaked it all in. Another favourite memory of mine, in terms of my own shows, was playing with Willie Nelson and legendary fiddler Johnny Gimble in Indianapolis for 80,000 people at a Farm Aid concert.
3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?
Ray Benson and Asleep at The Wheel or Delbert McClinton. You pick.
4. The record you’d take to a desert island?
If we were talking singles I’d have to say Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone. It’s my favourite record of all time because it’s everything a recording should be… live, spontaneous and incredibly musical. If we’re talking albums I’d take a compilation of my own songs so I could reminisce about the fun I've had recording through the years and think of all the great musicians I've known and worked with and all the wonderful songwriters I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with.
5. And the book?
The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them. It would be the best book to read about accepting what we can’t change and therefore I might be able to not go crazy from the isolation.
6. Top three films?
The Blues Brothers, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Red Headed Stranger – all for the music.
7. Worst film you’ve seen?
Tornado. I went to see it to escape a drought in Texas in July. It was great to be in the dark and watch it rain and hear lightening and thunder for a couple of hours, but the script was just horrible. It was so stupid I wished I could have watched it with the dialogue tracks muted.
8. Favourite authors?
Alan Lightman, Carl Jung and Shakespeare.
9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?
I like baseball and don’t care which team long as it’s live, and I used to like to go to University of Texas football games with Joe Gracey.
10. Ideal holiday destination?
Paris or New York City at Christmas or Venice for New Year's.
11. Pet hate?
12. What’s your favourite:
Dinner – Gumbo without okra.
Dessert – Crème brulee.
Drink – French Rose wine with lots of ice.
13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?
My mother, because she loves me so much.
14. Is there a God?
If God is love, then I believe in God. If God is not love, then I believe in love. Many good and bad things have been done on this Earth in the name of God, but love never fails.
:: The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, in association with frontier music club present Kimmie Rhodes: Radio Dreams in conversation with BBC Radio Ulster presenter and Irish News columnist Ralph McLean at Belfast's Waterfront Studio on Saturday May 5. Tickets from Waterfront.co.uk