Interview with Jessica Larrabee from She Keeps Bees

Is there a gospel influence in your fondness for singing a cappela?
I think singing is a release and heals me. Gospel to me, is singing from the depths of the soul and letting spirit in to bring us all closer to the universe.  If I can connect at all that way, it makes my heart full.

Which voice most captured your heart and made you want to sing?
As a kid I thought singing was magical.  A kind of power that allowed animals to trust and sit with you – a special alliance with nature. To create such beauty out of air and muscle was amazing to me.

Nina Simone, Edith Piaf, Peggy Lee, Grace Jones, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle – I could go on forever.  What really captures my heart are  my dear friends – Molly from The Love Story and Metal Alvin transcends space and time when I listen to her. Sharon Van Etten and Ivana XL are daily soul-sings of mine.  I’m grateful and strengthen everyday to know these truly gifted musicians.

Most listened to album?
The Love Story – (s/t)
Millie Jackson – Caught Up
Jimi Hendrix – Axis Bold as Love
The Modern Lovers – (s/t)

After living out of a suitcase whilst on tour last year with your album ‘Dig on’… now that your home again are you a floordrobe or wardrobe kinda girl?
Ha! Well I guess I’m a boxdrobe girl right now.  We have only clothes we’ve been traveling with which, is very little — we pack light.  I take less clothes in order to take my books, cards and rocks I like to keep near me.  Ha!! Sounds funny but this witch needs her tools.

Most treasured item of clothing, be it vintage find or new?
My birthday sweater you gave me!!! It’s wool and handmade and my favorite!!!

Best road song whilst traveling?
Andy’s mixes of music he finds
The Kinks
Black Angels
Naked Hearts

Favourite stage outfit?
My Mine teardrop shirt and jeans. YES!!

Whenever the topic of fashion comes up, you often mention your mum and her hot sixties ways. Are you still raiding her wardrobe? What are your favourite hand me downs?
Yes Rusty is the queen fashion.  My Ma’s got the eye.  Growing up we went to thrift stores and church sales all the time.  She would find the most amazing items.  I still raid but since they had a house fire not much of her clothes are left, just the ones I thankfully stole along the years.  I love vintage dresses that zip up the side and value the hour-glass shape. Surprise!! I’ve worn a dress!

Think it’s fair to say that most women have a much bigger wardrobe then their respective fella’s, but still insist on borrowing his favourite pieces. Which item do you steal the most from Andy (AKA the king of dressing down) La Plant?
Ha!  Yes, I steal a yellow striped button down shirt from the King all the time.  Jessing it up and making it smell like jess.

What do the stars say to you today songstress?
I love Free Will Astrology by Rob Brezsny — Scorpio for this week says

“I expect there’ll be some curious goings-on this week. A seemingly uninspired idea could save you from a dumb decision, for example. An obvious secret may be the key to defeating a covert enemy. And a messy inconvenience might show up just in time to help you do the slightly uncool but eminently right thing. Can you deal with this much irony, Scorpio? Can you handle such big doses of the old flippety-flop and oopsie-loopsie? For extra credit, here are two additional odd blessings you could capitalize on: a humble teaching from an unlikely expert and a surge of motivation from an embarrassing excitement.”

and for YOU my Capricorn sister

“Once upon a time, I fell in love with a brilliant businesswoman named Loreen. I pursued her with all my wiles, hoping to win her amorous affection. After playing hard to get for two months, she shocked me with a brazen invitation: Would I like to accompany her on a whirlwind vacation to Paris? “I think I can swing it,” I told her. But there was a problem: I was flat broke. What to do? I decided to raise the funds by selling off a precious heirloom from childhood, my collection of 6,000 vintage baseball cards. Maybe this story will inspire you to do something comparable, Capricorn: Sacrifice an outmoded attachment or juvenile treasure or youthful fantasy so as to empower the future of love.”

Favourite music collaborations
I loved singing with Sharon Van Etten. We got to do some of her songs together a couple of years ago. She is pure magic and so giving with her heart’s talent.  It was an honor.  I must mention your beau Eoin of Oh Ruin too. I was so happy to have had the opportunity to play and sing with the beauty and honesty he gives. I learned so much from him and continue to be inspired by his words and his incredible music. I can’t wait for his album to be done!!!!

PS. Thanks lady bee xxxxx

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