Tami Neilson: «I guess I feel that all of the styles of music that I cover are all related to each other. They were all born in the deep southern states and so I feel like they are all brothers and sisters so to me it’s really natural to move from one to the other because it feels like a family»

Tami Neilson es poseedora de una espectacular y portentosa voz con alma de soul y espíritu de honky tonk / rockabilly reviviendo los espíritus de Amy Winehouse, Mavis Staples y Etta James.

Tami Neilson nació en Nueva Zelanda pero pronto emigró a Canadá, donde se crió en un entorno artístico desde muy pequeña, ya que junto a la Neilson Family se subió a muy corta edad a un escenario, llegando a telonear al mismísimo Johnny Cash.

Tami pone en marcha una auténtica fiesta de swing, meneando las caderas y saliendo a agitar la pista de baile entre diamantes, bordados dorados y peinados sesenteros, desplegando su poderosa voz con la capacidad pulmonar una locomotora humeante, acompañada de un ardiente combo rockero. Como si de la banda sonora de una película de Tarantino se tratase, Tami consigue que sus letras subversivas brillen en una colorida mezcla de soul, rockabilly, blues y country al estilo de Patsy Cline, mezclado en cantidades iguales. Han dicho de ella que es «honkey tonker de pensamiento, rocker en el cuerpo y soul en el alma» como un cruce portentoso de Amy Winehouse, Mavis Staples y Etta James.

En septiembre dará comienzo su primera gira por nuestro país de la mano de The Mad Note Co. Estas son sus fechas.

06/09. Zaragoza. Rock & Blues (entrada gratuita)

07/09. Madrid. Sala El Sol

08/09. Valencia. Loco Club

09/09. Barcelona. Rocksound


Nuestro compañero Josechu Egido ha hablado con Tami Neilson para saber más de su último trabajo «Sassafrass!” y de su próxima gira por nuestro país.



Why Tamara Neilson choose classic music styles like soul, swing, swing and r’n’r,  for your musical project?

I guess I feel that all of the styles of music that I cover are all related to each other. They were all born in the deep southern states and so I feel like they are all brothers and sisters so to me it’s really natural to move from one to the other because it feels like a family.


We still love the sound of Tami Neilson this new LP «Sassafrass!”, which, although still in the same musical line achieved in your previous works, we noticed something different, perhaps a sound more personal, perhaps more melancholic, perhaps more authentic and more mature, … It true that something has changed What is it? What do you consider that has evolved in your music in these last two years?

In the last few years I became a parent, I lost a parent, and I turned 40. All three of those things shift your perspective and change your priorities, so the well is definitely much deeper these days.


Your album « Sassafrass!” contains fantastic songs, precious, intimate, enveloping nostalgic and very evocative air almost melancholic sound. Songs, where not only music is given importance, but you have also worked on the lyrics in a special way. What can you tell us about it? What inspires you when it comes to making your songs?

“Sassafrass” definitely has a running theme, a thread that ties all of the songs together. As I said, I reached a place in my life where all of the value and power I had given other peoples opinions and judgements of me suddenly didn’t hold as much importance and that was very freeing. This album is a celebration of that freedom, not being afraid to speak my mind. The music is fun and on first listen you may not pick up on the depth of the content but I like to think it is a bright, candy-coloured packaging with a serious message at its core. It predominantly challenges society’s inequality for women and celebrates their strength.


Why have you titled « Sassafrass!”  to this album? What expectations do you have with this work?

“Sassafrass” is slang for a sassy person who speaks their mind but it is also a plant. The plant is beautiful and fragrant and medicinal and useful but the word sassafras in Latin means “I break rock” and I loved that combination of beautiful, fragrant, medicinal, useful, and incredibly powerful and strong, which I think symbolised the album.


Is this your first time in concert around Spain, Tami? What do you expect from the Spanish crowd?

Yes, this is my first visit to Spain! I am so incredibly excited. I know I have a romantic notion about the country but I read to my little boys who are six and four years old the story of Ferdinand the bull, it is one of their favourite bedtime stories, so I’m hoping he’s going to come to the concert! I’ll be sure to bring flowers for him to smell!


What are your plans for this 2018 and next 2019? We suppose that to turn around the world, but something that you can advance us? Important events?

My plans are to continue to touring my new album and start writing the next one while I spend time with my little boys on our farm in New Zealand. It may not sound too glamorous and exciting, but, it’s a beautiful life.


Do you think the digital world will end with music as we know it today? What do you think is the future of music?

I hold onto the hope that we as humans always want to connect with something tangible in our hands and so, while I may consume music digitally, at the end of the day I want to be able to have a connection with it, own a physical form of it, hold it in my hands, read the liner notes, look at the photos-so I tend to buy vinyl. I love the ceremony of it. The next generation has a very different relationship with music and the way they relate to it. If you didn’t grow up with a physical connection to it, I guess you wouldn’t feel that same nostalgia that I do.


How is a normal day in the life of Tami Neilson?

At the moment I’m on tour so it usually starts with waking up in a hotel room, doing my stretches to wake up my voice, then packing my suitcase and getting into a van or a plane to travel to the next show, a few interviews, load in to venue, do soundcheck, get ready and perform, pack down, head back to the hotel, rinse and repeat! At home it’s a very different routine and I’m in full Mama-mode.


What do you think about the current economic and social situation in the World in general?

I guess the best answer to that is, listen to my album “Sassafrass!”…it’s all said with music!