Gayle Skidmore- Classically Trained Yet Boldly Elegant

San Diego based Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gayle Skidmore released her second full length CD titled Sleeping Bear September 17th 2013 on her own Raincoat Records. A classically trained musician, skilled at 14 instruments,  Skidmore creates a lavish display of accessible yet intelligently lavish pop rock that conjures the eclectic flair of Kate Bush and bold musicianship of Joanna Newsom.   Sleeping Bear makes a tremendous statement  best justified by the haunting track “Little Bird” featuring a poignant banjo rhythm mixed with an elegant chorus that is candlelit music meant for thinkers and believers instead of passive day-dreamers. We had a chance to quickly send a few musically diverse questions Skidmore’s way…

 Tell us about your first concert experience?

My first concert experience was a local show put on by a few indie San Diego bands who I went to high school with.  I am pretty sure that Dogwood and Porcupine Roadkill both played, and the concert was in our high school gym, but I can’t remember the bands too well. Pretty epic.

Most memorable moment as a musician so far on stage…

I have had several this year that have topped the charts for me. I was privileged to open for Lisa Loeb at the Casbah in San Diego in June. Her CD was the first CD I ever got and the only one I had for about a year. I wore it out and it was a completely surreal experience to get to share a show with Lisa. She’s a very sweet and genuine person and I will always be a fan.  Most recently, I played a Jeff Buckley tribute at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and received a great compliment from his cousin about my version of “Strange Fruit.” That was a poignant moment for me.

In high school you thought you were going to grow up to be a …….

Concert pianist.

gaylealbumLikes and dislikes about your musical hometown?

San Diego has some incredible talent. There are a lot of great things happening in our scene, and we have some really supportive DJS (Tim Pyles, Mookie, Halloran, Robin Roth, Cathryn Beeks, to name a few), some awesome events like the San Diego Music Thing, and venues that care about our scene- like the Tin Can Ale House, which hosts the Tin Can Country Club on Monday nights for San Diego artists and the occasional out of town guest.  What I dislike about our scene is that it sometimes feels like there are factions and it’s a bit disjointed at times, but overall it’s a great place to play and fans are supportive.

How and where do you typically get inspired to write new material?

Inspiration arrives when it arrives– there isn’t really a rhyme or reason to it for me. When I feel inspired to write, I like to close myself up in a room with my instruments and my notebook and hammer out a few songs. Usually, when I feel most inspired, I’ll write about 10 songs at a time. If I’m on the road, I like to find a park where I can bring my instruments and not be disturbed.

Favorite albums of 2013 so far?

Honestly, I haven’t really been paying a lot of attention to what has come out so far this year. I spent the first half of this year working on my album, and artists can tend to be hermits when they’re recording.  When I wasn’t in the studio, I was working on my coloring book, so I’m just now starting to re-enter life.
If you could curate a festival who would be on it?

Clare and the Reasons
My Brightest Diamond
Lost in the Trees
Andrew Bird
Patrick Watson
Rufus Wainwright
Sufjan Stevens
Sleeping At Last
Gillian Welch
Jay William Henderson
The Cinematic Orchestra
….and probably a lot of my friends’ bands who I think are amazing.
I hope one day to make an album that sounds like…

 The Bends– Radiohead


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