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 …….
Likes 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
Sleeping At Last
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