Not many singers have the ability to make listeners fall in love with them the moment their vocal chords start to tremble. But Mariee Sioux is such an artist, possessing a range that can demonstrate delicacy and strength with equal measure. Her album, Gift for the End, is a beautiful thing, demonstrating how Sioux can entwine her voice into a folk landscape. Many in the Bowlegs office were smitten. And rather than risk a restraining order, we thought we’d instead send out a Call Back.
Bowlegs: Which album has been a major influence in your life, and why?
Mariee: Paul Simon’s Graceland. This was an album that was always playing in my house when I was growing up and I absolutely loved it, and still do. The mix of African singing with Paul Simon’s voice (who I had adored at age nine from Simon and Garfunkel) and the unusual style of music make it one of my favourite and most memorable albums.
Also, Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon and Blue. Some of the best albums ever made.
Bowlegs: What was the last album you bought?
Mariee: Bill Callahan’s Apocalypse.
Bowlegs: Which bands have you been listening to this week?
Mariee: Jeff Manson, Alina Hardin, Roxy Music, Jamaican Dance Hall, Palace Music, Nick Cave, Cocteau Twins, Enya, Joni Mitchell.
Bowlegs: Name an up-and-coming band Bowlegs should look out for?
Mariee: Alina Hardin, Jefferey Manson, Salt Minds.
Bowlegs: What was the last gig you went to?
Mariee: Michael Hurley and Daniel Higgs at the AB in Brussels.
Bowlegs: Who is the best band you have ever shared a bill with?
Mariee: Brightblack Morning Light, Bert Jansch.
Bowlegs: What was the first gig you ever went to, and who did you go with?
Mariee: The Grateful Dead, with my parents.
Bowlegs: What made you realise that being a musician was the career of choice?
Mariee: Was never a choice for me, it just happened. Most of the time I still don’t think of it as a career at all, it is a path that I have to follow, even though sometimes I really don’t understand it. The music world is definitely not always my cup of tea and it’s sometimes difficult, as well as very rewarding.
Bowlegs: What is your favourite music documentary?
Mariee: Honestly, I have not watched many. But I do love Don’t Look Back of course.
Bowlegs: What was the last film you saw, and was it any good?
Mariee: I don’t watch movies – but I suggest everyone checks out House 2.
Bowlegs: Name three great books Bowlegs must read?
Mariee: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard; Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt; and In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan.
Bowlegs: Name a song that takes you back to a certain time in your life?
Mariee: Jeff Mangum’s I Will Bury You in Time bootleg recording reminds me of discovering music I felt truly belonged to my realm of trying to be alive and human. A lot of old music had, but not from my generation. That song I downloaded from Napster back in the day and it gave me hope at a time when I needed it.
Bowlegs: What is one of your favourite album covers?
Mariee: Paul Simon – Paul Simon.
Bowlegs: What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
Mariee: Sean Kae.
Bowlegs: Do you think music videos are important and do you like making them?
Mariee: I don’t think they are important. I have never made one; might make one.
Bowlegs: Are albums still important or is it more about individual tracks?
Mariee: Albums are most definitely still important.
Bowlegs: What do you have planned for the next six months?
Mariee: Touring for this new album, attempting to tour the USA, and trying to find somewhere to live where I can record at home somewhere in California.
Bowlegs: What is on your iPod that you probably shouldn’t admit to?
Mariee: I only have six artists on my iPhone and I wouldn’t mind admitting to any of them they are: Bill Callahan, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Joanna Newsom, Kate Wolf, Lindsey Buckingham and Mickey Newbury.
Head here to check a track from the record