Interview with Chrissy Coughlin

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Chrissy Coughlin
Chrissy Coughlin

Interview by Scott Preston

Chrissy’s seasoned voice coupled with her warm personality are an unstoppable combination. She calls to mind Sheryl Crow and Natalie Merchant with tinges of Rickie Lee Jones and Lucinda Williams.

And 2008 was a good year for this New York City based singer-songwriter. The winter was full of excitement moving to and ‘officially’ becoming a ‘New Yorker’, the spring welcomed the release her new CD, Look Ahead, and the summer and fall were chock full of performances to support her new release. 2009 is poised to look even brighter.

Raised in numerous places including Detroit, Kansas City, and Washington DC, Chrissy is no stranger to moving around and making things work for her. Her ease with meeting people from all different walks of life through her travels throughout the country and the world has afforded her the ability to translate those experiences into intensely thoughtful songs.

Cincy Groove: What have been some highlights for you over the past year?

Chrissy Coughlin: Definitely the release of my second album, Look Ahead. I also moved to New York City right before the album came out. A lot of exciting things were happening all at once. I moved down here to help promote the album and start playing out in the city. My brother telling me that he and his wife were going to have a baby for the first time was pretty exciting, I’m a first time aunt. We are really close so it was some pretty awesome news. I also had a couple incredible gigs at a venue here in NYC at a place called the Living Room. They really take a lot of pride to make sure the sound is the way its supposed to be. They are really professional and it’s a place where music lovers tend to hang out so the room tends to be full. I’m also starting to get some radio play up in Boston on a program called The River. My song Back To You has been played quite often as part of their new artist series. I think for every artist to hear your song on the radio for the first time is very exciting.

Cincy Groove: I see that you released your 2nd album last year, how would you compare your 1st release in 2003 to your most recent one?

Chrissy Coughlin: The first album was more of a demo. It definitely wasn’t as professionally done as Look Ahead was. The songs weren’t really radio ready on the technical side. I am starting to write new songs for my third album. I’m just in the very beginning stages of just gathering ideas and playing and practicing a lot.

Cincy Groove: Tell me about the Do It For Love video you made.

Chrissy Coughlin: It took longer than I wanted it to take, but most of the time was spent in post production. We went and shot in a bunch of different locations over the span of about 3 days. The warehouse shots were up in New Hampshire where we shot for a day. The rest of the city shots were done in about 2 days.

Cincy Groove: When did you decide to become a full time musician?

Chrissy Coughlin: I decided to be a full time musician about 6 years ago. I started my musical career a little later in life. It definitely didn’t happen right after college. I was always singing and playing music but never said this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life. It was really exciting when I decided I was going to do that.

Cincy Groove: Who are some of your influences?

Chrissy Coughlin: Somebody who has influenced me greatly is Lucinda Williams. I also love Patty Griffin. Her songs are incredible and I just love pouring over her lyrics. She just has a way of putting you in the place she is writing about. I’m also influenced by Annie Lennox and Stevie Nicks. I really admire artists who can keep their careers going 25 years after they begun. I also love Aimee Mann, I just think she has something about her that just works.

Cincy Groove: What is your song writing process like?

Chrissy Coughlin: I’m doing some writing here in the city, but when I really get a good idea I like to get out of the city and into a place that isn’t so busy all the time. Something like going to the country and taking a walk through the woods to help relax. It can be exhausting living here, but I have hooked up with with some really great people like Ariel and my manager.

Cincy Groove: Do you have any gigs coming up that your excited about?

Chrissy Coughlin: I have a show next Sunday at a place called the Rockwood Music Hall here in New York. Its really an intimate, cool venue. Its classic in the sense that it has brick walls, candles, wine list, little tables, just a great place to see some acoustic music and relax. Its pretty popular and they get great crowds there. They just started having live music on Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting at 3pm. They are also doing 2 for 1 drink specials so the place is packed.

Upcoming Chrissy Coughlin tour dates:
for show details visit www.chrissymusic.com
04/05/09 Rockwood Music Hall NY, NY 4:00pm 21+ $5 suggested donation