Tricia Freeman: “Small-Town Girl From Kansas”
Written by Debra Stocker on January 26, 2012 in Interviews, January 26, 2012
One of the first things that jumped out at us (…about Tricia) is how busy she is performing – fourteen shows in the coming month of February alone! In our current economy – especially as it relates to the live music/ entertainment scene – that’s truly saying somethin’. What we also found to be cool about Tricia is that in addition to her regular gigs, she also plays volunteer and benefit shows – such as the one she recently performed at for Wounded Warriors.
What follows is a recent interview All Access Magazine (AAM) conducted with Tricia (TF).
AAM: Okay, so just who is Tricia Freeman?
TF: I’m a small town girl from Lawrence, Kansas also lived on a hog farm as a young girl in Texas…for several years as a child, I did the whole 4-H thing and lived small. Lawrence was a one-high-school, University of Kansas town, so when school was out it was a one-horse town, but when school was on, there was music everywhere and so was I, underage or not! I listened to tons of country, bluegrass, rock n roll (now “classic rock”, ha ha ) music.
AAM: How long have you been playing and performing music?
TF: I started out singing in church with the choir, after a brief stint playing trumpet and French Horn in the band. I changed to A capella where I developed a true love of harmonies. Also sang with a few bands, then I decided to move to Palm Springs, California, at age 19, bought a guitar and tried to be a vegetarian, (that lasted about a week !) I learned to play and started doing gigs in the desert with my soon-to-be husband. We also had a beautiful daughter named Mercedez and all the while, I continued with my career.
AAM: Tell us about your new album, “Everyone Can See,” and some of the songs on there.
TF: I am so thrilled with my new album! I have the best in the biz playing on this thing: Richard Bredice, K.K. Martin, Baba Elefante, Frank Cotinola, Chris Whynaught, Daniel Blank, and Kerry Chester. They truly brought my songs to life, I couldn’t have asked for a better crew. Tom Davies helped put it all together, couldn’t have done it without him either.
AAM: Who are some of the main influences on your music, and who have you been told you sound like (vocally)?
TF: Everyone from Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Holiday, Patsy Cline, to Ruth Brown, Melissa Etheridge, Chrissie Hynde.
AAM: You have two bands – one for playing your originals, and another for playing your standards. Can you elaborate on this?
TF: I have all my casual band musicians that have been with me for 10 to 15 years, we play about. 5 nights a week up and down the coast. They are great about just knowing some song that I pull out of my book, great players, Eddie Keating, Johnny Vila, Stanley O’Kane and Larry Green are the “usual suspects” (laughs). For my original shows I use the guys from my album whenever possible, those are the guys that made this record really happen for me, studio cats but great to performers, as well. Lucky me knowing all of these talented people!
AAM: You recently performed at NAMM, what was that like?
TF: We just did a show to open up NAMM 2012 at the Anaheim Marriott, and we rocked the joint! I had all the players from the record, so we couldn’t miss. It was a great debut of the record. It was the same energy as on the record, it was so cool to capture that!
AAM: What do you consider your high-water mark in the music business so far?
TF: Performing with Eric Burdon was such a thrill, touring Germany and Finland, and this new record! I really want this to be heard and am looking forward for great things to happen this year. Also performing at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point with the great Al Green. Another really great memory for me is when (guitarist) Walter Trout flew me to Memphis to sing vocals on two of his albums. I have also opened for B.B. King and John Fogarty among others. Many thrilling moments – but always room for more! (laughs).
AAM: Do you see any differences between being a female bandleader/front-person, as opposed to being a male in the same situation?
TF: Of course there are differences! Anyone that says different is full of s***! (laughs) I love men, so I am happy being surrounded by them in my bands, but I also work with a few female musicians, like Sissy Gilio, and the whole vibe is different, not better or worse, just different. I have worked with some of my “cover band” guys for a long time and they know what I expect from them onstage; whereas the guys from my album now know me and I don’t have to worry about a thing! They all have my back and I always feel confident on stage because of that. I love performing in front of a crowd; I am so comfortable there, when I don’t have to worry about my band.
AAM: Where do you see yourself and your career being five years from now?
TF: I would love to open for some ‘name’ bands, do some festivals and some other large venues, and I would like to sell some of my material (songs) to the movie or TV industry. I want to record my next album, write a screenplay, I want, I want, I want… So little time and so much to do.