Innerview - Barbie Kelley


Barbie Kelley 1/99

Q. How did you get started in music?
A. I come from a very musical family. My mom taught me how to play the piano, and I started flute lessons when I was nine. I've always enjoyed singing. I remember playing "singers" with my girlfriend, singing into the end of a jump rope. I always wanted to be a singer, but I never pursued it until a friend of mine, Adam, asked, "Why don't you take it seriously?" I was 21 years old, and I had friends in a band called Mystery Machine. They let me sing onstage with them a couple of times, and after that, I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Q. Who are your influences?
A. Well, my most recent influences (over the past 15 years) would be 10,000 Maniacs, Anita Baker, Madonna, Indigo Girls, The Police and Lionel Richie. I'm the youngest of 10, so I grew up listening to The Beatles, Kansas, Styx, Yes, Foreigner, Boston and Pink Floyd. When everyone else was off at school, I can remember listening to The Fool on the Hill(Beatles), crying for him (the fool). I must've been in preschool! I can remember listening to Kansas on my brother's headphones, singing at the top of my lungs when I was about eight years old.
Q. I know that you play the flute and percussion. Do you play any other instruments?
A. When I was in high school, I switched from flute to trumpet. I played in the marching, concert and jazz bands. I haven't played the trumpet since. Well, I tried to blow through one about two years ago, and NOTHING came out! I'd love to play it again someday, though. I used to play the piano, too, but now I only use the piano when I write and when I teach our daughter, Rebekah, lessons. Nori bought me an oboe around four years ago. I used it some on our first two albums, but I haven't played it much until very recently. I plan on practicing the oboe with Rebekah while she practices piano.
Q. Do you have any hobbies?
A. I started and lead a dance team at our church. It's kind of a mix of jazz, hiphop and modern dance. I also like to paint, but I don't have a lot of time to paint right now. I never had any art classes, so I hope to take some with my girls when they get older.
Q. What do you do with your free time?
A. What free time??! We have two daughters, Rebekah (4 1/2), and Cynthea (almost 2). We've started home schooling Rebekah this year, and I mentioned earlier that I'm giving her piano lessons. She is doing very well at both. The three of us like to sit, watch Arthur(on PBS), and enjoy a very large bowl of popcorn (with parmesan cheese!) in the middle of the day. I also have a few flute students, and Nori sometimes uses me in the studio for background vocals, flute and/or percussion.
Q. Tell me about your new EP.
A. That's another "hobby" - recording our own music! After the girls are tucked in, we sneak off to the studio to work on our next project. The new WIND EP is a lot of fun. It includes four instrumentals, and a song called Sugar Blues, written by some friends of ours. Nori has a way of pushing me beyond my comfort zone, so you'll hear me playing like never before on this one! You'll hear hints of Bruce Cockburn, Will Ackerman, Steve Howe, maybe Tim Weisberg, and The Allman Brothers.
Q. What are your plans for 1999?
A. We are going to Japan in a few weeks, then we plan to do some touring from April through July. In August, we're going back to Russia for the fourth time, Lord willing. We will probably start working on the next WIND album in the fall. Nori's been working hard on our web pages, so if you'd like to keep up with our tours, check it out and come see us!


Media Page... 1999 Nori & Barbie Kelley