Tell us about yourself and what you do?
I am a solitary person, a sober hopeless romantic I guess. Friday & Saturday nights I usually spend in the house I rent in Manchester, having a great big party of one. I like to swim & read. I love writing songs, so the piano usually keeps me company. I don't do much except try really. I try to organise gigs where I don't lose my shirt. It’s the strangest thing but I've noticed, most ''promoters'' wear nice shirts. I try and organise rehearsals & recording sessions. My dinosaur computer is about to become extinct though. I don't know how I'll afford to get another one, but we've had a good go at it. Together we send hundreds of emails to websites, newspapers, radio stations, record labels, promoters, festivals, venues, managers, and anyone who could like my music enough to help me.
How did you start out?
Back in '98 I started out being encouraged by my amazingly talented, patient & loving sister Ruth Minnikin. I wrote poetry already and kind of played the guitar. She asked if I would form a band with her. The band setting allowed me to learn how to play more instruments like piano, banjo, accordion, harmonica, mandolin, etc & how to sing as well. With a voice like Ruth's, I couldn't have asked for a better teacher.
What is your current release?
My current release is called 'Parakeets with Parasols'. It took me two years to make. It sounds backwards but I had to sell the musical instruments I wrote these songs on in order to produce this record. I hope to someday make enough money to buy them back. 'Parakeets with Parasols' was recorded with an orchestra consisting of brass, woodwind, strings, a choir, and all the usual orchestra percussion timpani, vibraphones, marimbas, etc... I'm ecstatic you liked it enough to give it 9/10. Thank you for listening to it!
What is the best part about being a singer/songwriter?
The best part of being a singer/songwriter would have to be being heard. Being appreciated & respected for the art I have created. There are a couple of other singer/songwriters now singing & recording my songs. It’s very flattering to know that these amazing artists think I am worth covering.
What is your most significant moment to date?
Every time I make my mother proud it is a significant moment. She always loves hearing about the adventures my music takes me on. She loves me & I enjoy making her proud.
What are your biggest musical influences?
My biggest musical influence would be my sister Ruth Minnikin.
What venue/gig do you most want to play?
I'm currently looking to play for any appreciative and attentive audience who are willing to pay me to come & sing my great big heart out.
What is your favourite song you have written?
It always seems that my favourite song is the one that I last wrote. I wrote a song last month after my album launch weekend. I worked so hard acquiring an appropriate venue, rehearsing with the orchestra, manufacturing the album & artwork, promoting the bejeezus, sorting everything, making sure I didn't forget anything. Love was still in the air, so my latest is a combination of emotions and my favourite right now. I shoot myself in the foot every time I write a song. I feel that even though each and every song I write is another baby being born that I am excited and proud of, I am always playing a catch up game with myself. The costs that go into creating the albums I want to create are so high, that it’s anyone’s guess when they might see the light of day.
What’s your favourite album of this year?
I don't really listen to much current music. I'm still stuck way back in yesteryear. I do however like the new First Aid Kit album. I had the honour of playing some mandolin with the girls a couple years back. I'm looking forward to some releases this year though. I'm excited to hear these new albums by...
The Dreaming Spires
Some of my favourite releases last year were...
Panoramic & True
Ruth Minnikin !!!
What does the next six months have in store for you?
As it stands right now...I don't have too much in store. I do hope things pick up, god knows I try. I reckon my new office will take the shape of the local library so I can send more emails and send away more cds to more blind ears & deaf eyes. Maybe I'll get on as a support for a popular touring band? That’s just wishful thinking though. Cross your fingers for me. I do have a show Monday, April 23 in Manchester at Band On The Wall. I'm really looking forward to playing that one! You should come!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
The future is a scary place. All I know & love is my music. I'd like to be able to support a family doing what I love. Girls like stability? Maybe I'll become a builder or work in a factory. What I do know is I can't stop creating.
What’s the best thing about Americana-UK?
The best thing about Americana-UK is you've supported me (& many others) over the years. Always giving me great reviews and sometimes even the odd gig here & there. I believe The Guthries were Americana-UK’s first interview. I've been with you since the very beginning. Thank you for listening & being here!