If you haven't heard of The Winnie Blues, it won't be long until you know their names. Originally from Australia, Alice Beatty and Cameron Potts are placing their unique voices in the Americana music mix in Nashville, TN. Thriving on the simple formula of "two voices, one microphone, and one guitar", The Winnie Blues bring us back to simple but distinct vocal harmonies that are hauntingly reminiscent of favorite duos like Johnny & June - or more recently, The Civil Wars.
We were so excited to get the chance to have a chat with the impressive duo as they debuted their first single "Settle Down". Alice and Cameron were refreshingly candid in their answers and were eager to let us in on what is coming next for The Winnie Blues.
All right, let’s start from the beginning. How did you guys meet and get started making music together?
We were both independently living in New York City, and met at Rockwood Music Hall at a Ruby Boots show, who is now a close friend of ours. Alice had initially moved to New York for a 12 month maximum stay, Cam had been there working in audio production. Alice overheard Cam talking with an Australian accent and they chatted, Alice bought Cam a beer and then they never saw each other again…..until...after both separately and unknowingly moving to Nashville, we came into contact with each other again at our local bar Mickey’s Tavern, and decided to write a song together. That song was ‘Settle Down’, and it came together really quickly. After a few weeks of writing, we decided to make it the focus.
How did you decide on the band name ‘The Winnie Blues’?
It’s a well known secret amongst us Australians that Winnie Blues are in fact a colloquial name for a specific brand and strength of cigarettes. We decided on the name because it subtly alludes to Australian culture but has an air of intrigue for Americans. Is it Winnie Cooper? Winnie The Pooh? Who knows?
Your music has a folksy kind of old school vibe. Who are your influences and who do you try to emulate in your music?
We’d say we have definitely been influenced by the great musical duets of the past, and we don’t mean George Michael and Elton John, although they are great! We love Johnny & June, Gillian & Dave, Nick & Kylie, and Emmylou & Gram. We try to create authentic songs about real experiences.
You just released your first single “Settle Down”. What was the inspiration for writing the song?
Cam had the song title floating around, and the opening melody of the song. We spoke a bit about how we would say something like “settle down my heart” or “be still my beating heart” and we kind of stretched that thought out. Alice went away and wrote a bunch of lyrics, we then came together to fine tune and create the vibe. We were inspired by the haunting song ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow by Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue.
What is your songwriting process like?
Much of our songwriting process seems to start with Cam creating a title for the song and the melody. We tend to start the process together to map out the vibe of the song and then retreat into our own corners to let our thoughts wander. Our minds seem to work in similar thought patterns, so when one of us is stuck on a word, the other person can usually fill in the blanks. We feel very lucky to work together in that respect. The process also involves plenty of cups of tea (and whisky).
How do you know when a song is finished?
Sometimes we don’t! Haha. Often it is a case of recording what we have written on our phones, and listening back the next day. Having space between us and what we have written, can help us see the song from a different perspective.
Can we expect an EP or album from you guys anytime soon?
OF COURSE! Our next steps involve putting out our second single in the coming months. We will be touring Australia in November, so you can expect to hear it after then. Following that, you can expect to hear an EP in 2019!
What can fans expect on the new album and when can they hope to hear it?
Our songs have certainly gone through various stages. As we have both gone through a lot of personal changes in the last 12 months, we think our songs are starting to reflect that more. More intimate, personal and raw.
What would you describe as the perfect setting for listening to your music?
At the Ryman (ha!)
And finally, what are some your hopes for the future as a duo?
That we can tour the world, continue to meet interesting people and deliver music that means something. We feel pretty lucky to be able to do what we do. It would be just nice to be able to keep on doing it!
Find The Winnie Blues online: https://thewinnieblues.com/