Chatting with Little Miss Higgins
Blues and country singer/songwriter Little Miss Higgins (Jolene Higgins) performs alongside her touring band Winnipeg Five at the Gateway Nov. 2. As the winner of two Western Canadian Music Awards, Higgins’ show promises to be an exciting mix of blues, country, jazz and folk music. Influenced by artists such as Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell and Big Bill Boonzy, Little Miss Higgins’ latest album Across The Plains gives listeners a feel for an updated genre of deep-rooted blues styles and jazzy melodies. The Weal caught up with Jolene Higgins this week to find out more about the upcoming show.
The Weal: What inspires your music?
Higgins: I appreciate the honesty of [the older styles] and the creativity and trying to use that as a medium to write songs and tell stories and create a mood.
The Weal: I read on your bio that you started playing piano at the age of four.
Higgins My dad came home one night from a “local beverage room” and had said, “I bought a piano from the bar owner.” [laughs] So yeah, I think I was about four. I don’t remember that part of it but I just remember a piano in the house at four years old. I started taking lessons when I was about five.
The Weal: At what age did you feel like you really gained an interest in music, along with writing and playing music?
Higgins: I guess it was from that moment that the piano came into the house. I don’t know when it actually happened [laughs]. It was always a part of my life in some shape or form and also drifted away at times. It even still does that sometimes, it drifts away and then it comes back and it’s always there.
The Weal: You recently won two Western Canadian Music Awards. How did that feel?
Higgins: I don’t write music to win awards, but it’s definitely an honour to be recognized.
The Weal: What can the audience expect from your show at the Gateway?
Higgins: I’m actually touring with a five-piece band [The Winnipeg Five]. This is going to be the first tour with the Winnipeg Five…it’s so fun to play with them. They’re such amazing guys. They’re all fantastic musicians as well as, you know, really fun on stage and off stage…Sometimes the songs take on a life of their own. Sometimes there’ll just be a moment where the song will go somewhere where you don’t expect and it’s a lot of fun.
Little Miss Higgins performs at the Gateway on Nov. 2. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, visit www.ticketmaster.ca.