An Interview With Jude Adams
If up until this point you're fairly unfamiliar with Jude Adams, then let us be the first to introduce you to her and her unique blend of soulful country and Blues songwriting and approach.
In a new release called Freedom, the artist manages to paint pictures derived from somewhat personal experience that is portrayed through the form of these blues and soul songs complete with a wonderful Variety in a way of instrumentation on the countryside of things.
This record certainly does have its Southern Soul and breeds such a great and almost welcoming feel.
The album feels like it's been a long time coming and maybe it has been. Either way you know that there was a lot that went into it, and this most likely took some time.
Her songs are somewhat personal and sometimes those are hard to put out there this way but for Jude it seems like songwriting of this type may have been almost cathartic in a way.
It's all very beautifully done, and she has such attention to detail and such a wide array of styles that are managed to be rolled into one to make this whole thing work in a very unique way.
Jude is an experienced and seasoned musician and that's pretty obvious upon even the first listen to these songs. Once you really delve into this record you can tell that she may be in her sweet spot right now.
She's having a great time doing these songs the players are as well and there's a great aspect about the way this was recorded that makes it almost feel like it was done live on the floor.
It feels like the players on this album are feeding off of each other's energies and that's part of what makes this so special.
Plus, like I said she's got that country soul in there. It doesn't just peek through here and there, it's right up in your face and it's wonderful.
That aspect of her approach gives the whole album so much more character and warmth.
This was awesome and is the type of music that I would hope to hear more of in the near future.
We definitely could use more music like this.
I mean, even people that aren't into country music necessarily might really like this record just because it's got that heart, and it's got that soul, and its damn good music.
I think it's just that it's so genuine and authentic. I think that's an attractive thing musically and something that real music heads look for especially from this kind of genre.
And Jude pulls it off without a hitch. As a matter of fact, it's got charm as well.
So, with the release of this album we wanted to chat with Jude Adams about what brought this record to fruition, what Inspirations were drawn from, and what is coming up after this.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with the Freedom album. This record had a very beautiful classic and contemporary rock undertone! Where did this album come from?
The idea for the album came to me in 2020. I forget exactly where and when, but we were all in lockdown, so I got to thinking about Freedom. Then I started to think about all the different types of freedom. Both of my parents died in 2020 so I thought about the freedom/being released from old age/illness can bring, I thought about the situation unfolding in Afghanistan and subsequently Ukraine and Iran and the freedom that people in so many troubled countries can only remember or imagine. At one stage for quite a long time I felt really stuck with my writing, but a friend encouraged me to remember that quite often after a fallow creative period there comes a flood! She was right. With all of the song lyrics and despite the perhaps apparently negative topics I inject a positive or optimistic resolution and often provide a melody and instrumentation that are upbeat so perhaps go against the tone of the lyrics. Out of adversity can come opportunity.
Don’t always assume bad things will stay that way. In Rock on Ruby the positivity and determination of a child to achieve fairness. In Things I Forgot To Remember that getting older can actually be fun! In Cos Your Beautiful rise above the negative aspects of social media-you’re bigger and better than that.
Buzz Slayers: When did this all start for you? When did you fall in love with music?
I was nuts about music as a kid, but I wasn’t from a musical family and maybe because of that and although I was aware that I could hold a tune, I don’t recall anyone encouraging it even if they were aware too. I have still never sung in a choir, have never having played an instrument nor read music but at school all of my friends were in choirs, later at Unisom mates strummed guitars and formed bands but Isat and watched. My singing as I grew up from girl to woman (hence the title of my first album) was very much a closeted thing-obsessively so. When I was approaching 50however, my partner voiced her opinion that this private passion for singing was something we needed to tackle and that I would regret it if I got to be old and hadn’t done anything about it. A lack of confidence was the thing that had kept the voice hidden and thinking that I had to reach for the skies. That hasn’t gone away entirely but we did do something about it! At the third time of trying, I finally started taking singing lessons in the autumn of 2008. My teacher succeeded in getting me on a stage to sing 6 cover songs with a band of session musicians at my 50thbirthday party in April 2009. In January 2010, I did my first public performance singing covers at a Charity event.
So I had finally started singing but only two years later in 2011myalgic encephalomyelitis was diagnosed. Performing as with most areas of life came to an abrupt halt. Not one to be put off by the limitations presented unexpectedly found myself writing poetry and then lyrics and coming up with musical doodles which I would hum or sing into my phone. Along with continuing where possible to work with a series of vocal coaches, I managed to learn about songwriting through online courses and 121 tuition and in 2016 brought out my first album This Girl, This Woman produced and arranged by renowned jazz composer and pianist, Janette Mason. In 2017Istarted performing a little again and continued writing new material. The Window to My Soul followed in 2019 accompanied by a memoir of the same name and in October 2022 my third album Freedom was released. At every stage of my musical adventure, through a natural curiosity and something of a fierce determination, I have tried to set my bar higher–always seeking to learn more and develop my skills. From starting to sing, starting to write–the music and words on28/30 songs on my first 3 albums are my own–to becoming hands on in the production of my work. For the last 5 years I have worked closely with Georgia Train (Burt Bacharach, Kaiser Chiefs, Bitter Ruin, Xenomania, Hookers Songs) as my vocal coach, mentor and one of myco-producers.
Buzz Slayers: What inspires you to write a song? Any number of things!
I can be watching a film, reading a book, sitting in a café watching the world go by. Examples are Is That What It Means on Freedom-inspired by a film called Clapham Junction and about the conflicts presented sometimes by sexuality; Strange People on The Window to My Soul which was written in Cádiz, Spain in 2018was inspired by watching people going about their business, visiting the amphitheater there and imaging the different classes of people separated-the slaves and the free On my first album(This Girl, This Woman) the title track was totally from my imagination but with reminiscences back to similar situations I’d been in in my twenties. The songs for that first album were written during a very introspective time when my health was very poor so Turn on the Moon was influenced by many a night where I would sit in our kitchen with large glass windows around and the moonlight watching over me. It led me to wonder about how a scenario might unfold.
Buzz Slayers: This record has some great styles! Can you give us some of your top musical influences?
My aim with Freedom was to simplify my approach! I have sometimes tended to over think things and perhaps over complicate lyrics and melodies. I wanted this to be straightforward. Mirroring a sense of freedom personally. Blues, bluegrass a measure of country was my choice. A departure in many ways from my first two albums.My musical tastes are very eclectic which I guess is reflected in my music. It has been said that I don’t fit into any genre-I just have a “Jude genre”! Ithink that’s ok.Whilst it’s easier for the listener to identify artist with a specific genre I don’t think it’s necessary to box yourself in.That comes from my musical tastes but also a natural curiosity to explore different styles and see how things can develop .I have always been a massive fan of Dusty Springfield, The Beatles, growing up too it was Fleetwood Mac, Cat Stevens, Blondie, Alison Moyet. Strangely I don’t listen to a lot of music but when I do I will probably turn to jazz first. My favorite singer/musician of the last few years without a doubt is Melody Gardot. Clever, stylish, classy and such a silky voice and someone who has evolved in really interesting ways.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Right now I’m writing this in Spain where my partner and I are based for January. For sunshine, for health, to chill, to write, to work. My music is a professional hobby really so it could be said that I’m retired or semi-retired which was forced on me by my illness. (I was building up a significant freelance Interior Design business at the time having retrained after a 21 year career in the Fitness Industry.) The writing came about unexpectedly out of all of that and I’ve brought out three albums since 2016 so that’s been pretty good going and I have new projects in the pipeline. I like to exercise when I can-walking, swimming, the gym. I dabble with visual art. I watch too many movies!
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
Vocal exercises and the arrangements for my next project which I am way behind on!!
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
Nothing is planned but I’m hoping to be recording a collection of songs in March and in the lead up to that am thinking about whether they are going to be an album or single releases and how and where I can perform them. I’m very excited about that prospect-the songs will be acoustic versions of 12 songs from my first3 albums and are really going to test my voice and allow me to interpret the songs in a very different way from the originals. That will lend itself to some potentially very atmospheric live stuff.
Buzz Slayers: This album feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there?
"Yes, you can. Yes, she did. "Ten years ago I had only fairly recently started to sing in public then two years in I had to stop for health reasons but started to write. I would never ever have believed that I would be writing my own material, having established, well known musicians playing on my albums, recording at some amazing studios where the likes of Amy Winehouse et al had recorded and having my last two albums mastered at the iconic Abbey Road Studio. Fantasies can be turned into reality. Go for it. Don’t overthink it, don’t fall for perfection and whatever you do have some fun doing it.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
If all goes according to plan the bunch of acoustic songs later this year. I had never believed acoustic music could sound so amazing-credit goes to an amazing young musician called Chris Vince who is not only responsible for the arrangements but plays piano and/or guitar on them. I just have to do them justice!!
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Listen to my songs please! Read the lyrics. Words are so important and it’s good to take the time to connect with the storytelling.