Lucy Wainwright Roche stops in Fairfax, Va. to promote new album

The phone rang a few times before Wainwright finally answered. One could not help feeling that little thrill right before the first hello rings through the line. “Can you hear me right now? I’m driving in my car,” Lucy Wainwright said as the conversation began.

Wainwright has been touring the country since early September and was on her way to a performance in Charlotte, North Carolina when she spoke with Connect2Mason. Wainwright performed at Farfax’s Jammin’ Java on Nov. 17 to promote her new CD “There is a Last Time for Everything”

Traveling across the country as a musician is nothing new to Wainwright. Born into a musical family she, at first, rebelled against the family business. Both her parents are folk singer/songwriters and her father Loudon Wainwright is a Grammy-award winning musician.   

Wainwright instead decided to go into teaching, getting her masters degree in education and dedicating herself to working at an elementary school. Although she has fond memories of her teaching days, she realized she would never be fully satisfied.   

"I went on tour with my brother Rufus for a couple of weeks one time and afterwards I was just really wanting to be out on the road, so I thought well I’ll give it a try.” Not having any songs prepared, so she worked as a teacher for another year, continuing to write songs and later quit her teaching job to start a career as a musician. Some of her better known songs are “Long Before” and “Wild Mountain Thyme” which can be found on iTunes.

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When asked about her musical style she says, “It’s pretty singer-songwriter-y, kind of in the Indie-folk category.” On her tour she has been playing a mix of her older songs, some covers as well as songs off her new record. “I’ve been ending most of the shows with the title track from the new record.”

The name of the title track is the same as her record's title “There is a Last Time for Everything.” Inspiration for her songs comes from her relationships that she has both witnessed and experienced, “the process of separating from someone you grew up with but you sort of have to separate from,” Wainwright said.

Written differently than her first record, Wainwright explained that her usual song writing process is slow. It usually takes a couple of years for her to work on her songs and then record them for an album.

However, for her new album she wanted to come out with some new music for her fans. “I wrote all the songs this summer and recorded all the songs this summer. Which was a new way of doing things for me and a combination of really exhilarating and also kind of harrowing, but I am pleased with how they turned out.”

Wainwright is no stranger to the stage. She previously has opened for various musicians such as the Indigo Girls, Neko Case and Over the Rhine. That being said, Wainwright is still used to trying to figure out her place as a headlining artist. “When I am playing by myself as the headliner I usually play in smaller places because I am still building an audience,” she explained.  

Although a relatively small venue, Jammin’ Java does attract a sizeable audience of DC music lovers. “When you start doing shows on your own it’s always a bit of a mystery how many people are going to come.” Small audiences do not concern her, and this may be because she enjoys getting to know the people who come to her shows.

“I spend a lot of time driving to gigs in my car by myself, so for me it’s fun to talk to people at the end of the day... and it just shakes it up a little, every show is not the same because it depends on what people say, what questions they ask and what songs they ask for."

Interactions with her fans usually revolve around her musical process, where most people want to be funny because they have been looking forward to the performance. Wainwright remarked about one interaction with a fan after a show who asked her out on a date, “he asked me if I wanted to get a slice of a cake at a place down the street after the show, which I did not end up doing, but it was a very nice offer.”

Opening acts for Wainwright on tour have included Lindsey Fuller and Kyle Wilson. Although they did not know each other very well before touring, Wainwright has since gotten to know them much better.  

“They both have great songs and put on a great show; it’s been a good combination of people all around.” They started out on the West Coast and then worked their way down the East Coast and Midwest, hitting Chicago, Boston, Nashville, North Carolina and of course Virginia to name a few places. The tour will end in Wainwright’s home town, New York City.  




A 2011 Wainwright performance of her song "Chicago."

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