Music Scene: Interview with Mare Wakefield
Americana artist Mare Wakefield’s 10-week tour stops in western Colorado for a show at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Suds Brothers Brewery, 127 E. Aspen Ave., in Fruita.
On a day off, Wakefield talked about what it is like to be a traveling musician and how she ended up booking her first gig in Fruita.
Melinda Mawdsley: What’s life like on the road?
Mare Wakefield: It really, really varies. I travel with my husband, which helps to travel with someone you do like and whose company you enjoy. Playing the shows, even tough that’s the point of a tour, is a very small percentage of the time. For example, we had a couple days off after leaving Plymouth, Vt., on Labor Day morning and stopped at Niagara Falls. I had never seen it. It’s nice when we have time to stop and enjoy the trip.
That said, on the day of the Fruita show, we’ll be coming from Denver, where we have friends that we’re staying with, so it will be a heavy travel day. We travel with yoga mats and stop at interstate rest stops and do yoga. We try to be healthy and enjoy the trip.
Mawdsley: Healthy eating and exercise on a 10-week road trip? How?
Wakefield: Believe me, 10 weeks of eating road trip food is going to catch up with you, so we stop at grocery stores and pay attention to what we eat. This is our eighth year of doing this major tour. Often, we play in bars and people offer to buy us drinks, but, more times than not, we don’t take people up on that. We try to stay healthy. We’ve done this enough to know to get exercise and watch what we eat. We have a cooler, so we have sandwich meat. We have organic carrots. We have fruit and cereal for the morning. Milk doesn’t last long, so we use rice or almond milk.
Mawdsley: You say this is your eighth year of doing a major tour. What brought you to Fruita this time?
Wakefield: I used to live in Oregon. That’s where I got my musical start, We have a fan base there and wanted to hang on to that and grow it. For the past 11 years, I’ve made this trek, and we’ve always gone through Wyoming. A couple years ago, we found a Suds Brothers Brewery in Evanston, Wyo. It’s been a regular stop for us. The owner of the bar is a former musician as well and is such a supporter of live music and musicians on the road. He opened this new one is Fruita, and he called and asked if we were able to make it a part of our tour. We wanted to come do a show in Fruita because of him.
Mawdsley: Describe your music.
Wakefield: The short answer is contemporary folk with a big of twang. I sometimes say Shawn Colvin meets Emmylou Harris. (Wakefield) plays acoustic guitar and (her husband) plays piano. We’ve worked really hard on the arrangements. When people come to listen to us perform as a duo, you’ll hear distinct musical parts. The lyrics are definitely the focus, but the music supports without overwhelming.
Mawdsley: Mostly original songs?
Wakefield: Sometimes, at shows we’ll do a couple covers because sometimes it’s nice for people to get something they’ve already heard, but 85 to 90 percent of our show is original music.