It's funny how a whole year (or two) can disappear when you're working a day job and also trying to do this amazing, beautiful music thing.
The Winsome Kind: Falling In Love With the Music - and each other
Just like Buddy Holly said 'It's so easy fall in love'. This husband and wife team like to keep things warm and fuzzy.
The two members of Vancouver’s Winsome Kind were both dedicated performers before they met. They fell in love while performing in a musical together and then got engaged while working on a cross-country train ride as a duo. It’s a really sweet story, isn’t it? Husband and wife in love and making music together.
Here’s my chat with Leora Joy and Scott Perrie aka Winsome Kind.
Scott Wood: Hello Winsome Kind! Scott and Leora, you guys met in Saskatchewan in a production of The Buddy Holly Story. Singing those songs every night must have been fun. What's one thing you love about Buddy Holly songs and one thing that annoyed you about them after singing them non-stop?
Leora Joy: We did sing a ton of Buddy Holly music that summer! Honestly, I never got tired of it, even after 50+ shows. The audience is different every time, and they bring a new energy and excitement. What’s not to like about his music really? It’s super infectious, upbeat, and fun. The only song that annoys me in that show is “Chantilly Lace” and that’s not even a Buddy Holly song!
Scott Perrie: I’ve since performed in that show two more times and I still haven’t got sick of the music. Buddy Holly was an innovator and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer.
Scott Wood: Both of you guys had music and performing careers before you met. What's it like to be able to do your chosen work with your life partner?
Leora Joy: It’s amazing. It can certainly be challenging at times balancing personal stuff and work life, but you have this innate trust and support that I think helps you go farther, be more vulnerable and creative.
Scott Perrie: Yeah, I feel very fortunate to have met someone I can share so much with. It’s been really great making music together and it certainly makes touring a little easier to handle.
Scott Wood: You guys have said that Winsome Kind began when “we started making music together a year ago, when we were travelling across the country on VIA Rail.” What's it like travelling across Canada by train and performing every night or day on the train?
Scott Perrie: Traveling by train is really fun because you get to see parts of Canada that you normally wouldn’t in a car. We’ve had some good times on the train. It takes four and a half days to get to Toronto from Vancouver and by the second day you become a bit of a celebrity on the train. People start recognizing you and when you eat in the dining car, you sit with different people every meal. Once, this couple from the UK bought us a glass of wine and shared the rest of their bottle with us. That was nice. Another interesting thing about performing on a train is that it’s almost always moving. Sometimes it rocks back and forth so suddenly it almost sent me tumbling.
Scott Wood: I notice from your Facebook page that you guys still busk, playing in train stations and street corners. What's been the strangest thing left in your hat?
Leora Joy: We played a lot of farmers markets this past summer, so we’ve had all sorts of local goodies left in the hat. Everything from hand crafted beer, to soap, to kale and strawberries. It’s pretty awesome actually!
Scott Perrie: I held on to a 1967 Centennial Canadian quarter with a picture of a snow leopard on it from last summer. You know, I’ve been busking on and off for almost 10 years now, mostly at Granville Island, and once someone wrote me a poem.
Scott Wood: In Winsome Kind, you guys split the vocal duties. How do you determine what song is a "Scott" song and what song Leora should take the lead on?
Scott Perrie: Ah, we usually flip a coin. Haha, just kidding. For us, figuring out who will sing what is more intuitive. It sometimes depends on whose brain the lyrics came out of, but not always. For example, I wrote “Better Days” and started out singing it and then we decided later on that Leora would take the lead on that one.
Scott Wood: Leora plays the melodica, which is basically a mouth piano. What made Leora take up this unique instrument? Is it difficult to integrate into your music?
Leora Joy: I originally got a melodica to play in a theatre show, because we needed instruments that we could play and do choreography with at the same time. I am a piano player, and so the melodica was the obvious choice for a quick transition. I really started to love it, and it is a great conversation piece and people really love it at the markets. The only challenge is I can’t sing and play at the same time, but we have fun incorporating melodica melodies into our songs.
Scott Wood: Your self-titled debut album was recorded just two weeks before your wedding. “My Goodbye” from the record sounds like a break up song. Are there any limits to what a Winsome Kind song can be?
Leora Joy: We hope we have not set up too many limits for ourselves! I will say as Winsome Kind that we set out to write songs that are authentic, heartfelt, and even if they deal with difficult subject matter, that it is presented in a way that shines some light on the situation. We love life and want to put more positive music out into the world.
Scott Wood: In your band bio, you say that "Winsome Kind is quintessentially Canadian" and you guys have spent time in many parts of Canada, the Prairies, the Maritimes and here in Vancouver on the west coast--as well as traveling across the country by train. Canadian identity is a hard thing to pin down for many Canadians. I'd love to hear you take on Canadian Identity.
Leora Joy: I’m sure Canadian Identity is a challenge to sum up in a few words! I think part of it is being open to each community we come across, and are invited into. Vancouver audiences are different from Maritime audiences are different from small town Saskatchewan audiences—and we love and respect them all in different ways! We feel very fortunate that we’ve already had that chance to see so much of the country and share our music and really hope that continues.
Scott Wood: Thanks for answering my questions Scott and Leora! Please introduce your favorite Winsome Kind video.
Scott Perrie: We released our first official music video for “This Much is True” last month! It was shot in East Van and at the Freddy Wood Theatre at UBC. If you’re okay with feeling warm and fuzzy you should watch it.
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