Next summer she will be part of Equiblues Country Music Festival at Saint Agrève, France!
Time to know two or three things about her...
Could you tell us what are your first souvenir about music?
I’m assuming you mean, memories, so my first memories of music go as far back to when I was learning to talk, I suppose. I can’t remember a time where music wasn’t a part of my life. I became very passionate about it at a very young age.
What did you listen to when you was younger ? Name a few bands or artists you listened and goes on to listen at home?
I can remember my mom picking me up from daycare, so I would’ve been around 4 years old, and wanting to listen to Johnny Duncan, Jimmy Buffett, & Neil Diamond. Random, I know. Especially for a a four year old haha! But I just loved the production of the music I guess. Once I was a bit older, I really enjoyed listening to Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, & Janis Joplin. Goodness, there are too many to list. LOL. But I would say these are my top “go-to’s.”
Does the fact you are born in Texas where it seems that music is everywhere (is it true?) made you the artist you are?
ABSOLUTELY! I think it’s a special thing to be from Texas, because I know not everyone across the world gets to experience music like we do. Shoot, Austin is the Live Music Capital of The World!
For example, Texas Dancehalls. Unfortunately, they’re not as prominent as they used to be, but they’re still around. That’s where the idea for my song, Dancehalls Are Dead, came about. My grandparents & parents went to a dancehall every single weekend. Every little town had one to go to. For whatever reason, with my generation, they fizzled out. But I believe they're making a comeback. I sure hope they do! Because I would love to be proven wrong. They are such a huge part of Texas History and Texas Music History. They have shaped many artist, like myself, coming out of the State, too. God Bless Texas Dancehalls!
You seems to have rather young career with your first professionnal recordings in 2017. When did you began to think about music not only as an occupation but as a full time job and life?
I have wanted to play music my entire life. I told my folks when I was in the 8th grade, that I was pursuing music as a career. I didn’t want to go to college, I wanted to become a professional musician. And I have done just that! Fortunately, they have been my biggest supporters. I’ve been playing shows since I was 13 or 14 years old. February of 2023 marked 14 years since my first gig. I did have a few odd jobs as a teenager and right after high school… I actually was a car salesperson for about a month and a half back in 2014. My heart was in music and there were lots of scheduling conflicts. So, that’s when I decided for sure that I would become a full time musician and have been doing it ever since.
In this times of social medias and musical platforms, Touring became since a few years the only way to make money. Sending your records and touring is enough to make your leaving?
Live shows are definitely breadwinners in my book. You get to interact with your fans face to face. You get to know them and they get to know you. It’s a special thing in this business. Because, it’s not always about the money… It’s so satisfying to see someone else resonate with something you created. That can be more rewarding than anything. Don’t get me wrong though! Money is great too! Lol
How and when your first professional recordings took place?
I was put in contact with some folks out of Sugarland, TX, a suburb of Houston, about cutting a record with them. Edgewater Music Group. It was such a great experience getting to work with some talented musicians! This was back in 2016. The record, Dive Bars & Old Guitars, was released in mid 2017.
I suppose you did not have already the opportunity to sing for a foreign country so:
Did that put any new or unusual pression on your shoulders?
Actually, while visiting family in Ireland several years back, I ended up picking up a gig at a local pub. I believe that counts as playing in foreign country LOL! What a great time it was! But, in a sense of being invited over to another country to perform, no, this will be my first time. I'm extremely excited! A bit nervous, but who wouldn’t be! I'm just looking forward to making and meeting new fans. And if I’m being honest, very humbled that I was invited to play for y’all!
I should be honest with you and tell you that, unfortunately, in France, Country Music is not especially a popular format, due to incompetence of most of French medias that confuse Country Music with on line dance! Yes in this 21st century, most of French reviewers that are supposed to be specialists did not know at all, except a few of them, what new country music is. Most of Country music French fan are traditional country fan which goes well with what you do.
What are the images you get from France, even if is, as often, clichés ;-)
Well, I instantly think of Paris & the Eiffel Tower. I know… super cliché! But, I tell you what, I’m excited to see for myself what the beautiful countryside of France has in store!
What would you say to French country music fans that will come to see you at Equiblues festival?
Put on your best dancin’ boots, and be ready for a honky tonkin’ Texas time! See y’all soon!
Photo Courtesy of Florida Country Magazine
Cliff Dorsey is probably one of this new generation of Country Music artists most prolific and talented. I was happy to discover him last week and do not hesitate a second to decide to review his production. So I will be glad to publish this interview on my next printed COUNTRY MUSIC MAG (France) 88th issue on support of his EPs and albums reviews.
CLIFF DORSEY's INTERVIEW
Country Music Mag : you probably saw what Country Music became in the USA since more than a decade: a big mix between, Pop, Rock and Hip-hop so what leads you to make (neo) traditional Country?
Cliff Dorsey : It’s the type of music that is in my soul. It is a sound I wake up with whether it’s a classic song or one that hasn’t been written yet. My parents are in their 70’s and 60’s in age and my Dad’s favorite artist is Johnny Cash. The area of Florida I grew up in the people from there, wear square toe boots, wrangler jeans and pearl snap shirts. I’ve always loved the steel guitar and fiddle. Country songs that paint a picture in your imagination as you listen are what I love and for me that’s (neo) traditional Country.
Country Music Mag : do you think (as I began to think myself) that real and raw country music seems to be back and more popular these last years?
Cliff Dorsey : I would like to think so because recently there is room for all of types. I do think that songs/artists that reflect influences from the current top 40 will get that music industry push. I am aware music is a business too and the most fan capturing sound (the one most Pop) gets that broad audience which makes it cross over or chart. But some fans just love what they love and now have more control to share with the world without influence from the industry.
Country Music Mag : who are your main influences and artists you admire the most? And why?
Cliff Dorsey : Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers for their album production and overall creativity. Chris Stapleton for his writing, stage presence but most of all how humble and down to earth he seems to live. George Strait for his vocal delivery and style of sound. It’s awesome. I have always been amazed with him being able to stand still and just sing the song genuinely.
Country Music Mag : a few words about Black Sheep Label Group?
Cliff Dorsey : We are just getting started, I have a incredible team that believes in the music and me as a person. We work to make sure everything is the very best we can do also by treating people with respect while doing it. Black Sheep Label Group loves music and loves country music. There is a bright future for the folks there.
Country Music Mag : what are your hope and dreams in the future?
Cliff Dorsey : My hopes are to write songs that people can relate to. Travel to places I’ve never been and play those songs for those people and some new people. I want to make time to hear those stories, who knows it might create another song. That’s my dream that I’m working towards. I help with charities and disaster relief whenever I can. My team and I believe that’s what music is for connecting people to do good.
Country Music Mag : my last questions are about France.What are the images you get in mind from France, even if it is, as often, clichés ?
Cliff Dorsey : I have not been, I imagine amazing fresh food. Beautiful gardens taken care of beautiful people who work very hard and take pride in what they do.
Country Music Mag : would you like to play in France in one of our rare country music summer festivals?
Cliff Dorsey : I would love to play in France or the surrounding area. I think I would learn a lot from the experience. It would be amazing sharing my songs and stories while listening to others. I would want to walk around with a translator so I could talk and listen to everyone I meet that’s willing to share with me.
En 14 ans d'activité Country Music Mag a eu l'occasion de rencontrer beaucoup d'artistes et d'obtenir - plus rare ! - une interview de leur part.
Admiratif de cet album, je pris, dès le jour de sa sortie, contact avec l’agent de Kimberly Kelly et, contre toute attente - la plupart de mes demandes d’interviews se soldant par des fins de non recevoir - je reçu très rapidement ses réponses !
Pour lire l'interview, cliquez ici
Photo : courtesy of David McClinter
l sera la tête d'affiche de l'édition 2023 du festival country de Craponne-sur-arzon
Nous l'avions pour notre part repéré dès l'été 2021 lors de la sortie de son excellente album éponyme.
Pour en savoir plus sur lui : lisez son interview publiée dans le numéro 77 (Mai/Juin 2021) de COUNTRY MUSIC MAG
email : firstname.lastname@example.org