Tammy Lou Nelson - Keys, Lead Vocals, Lyrics & Melodies

Q: When did you first find your appreciation for music?

A: Some of my earliest memories are singing in the backseat of our family car - I was always singing to myself. I grew up on the Snoqualmie River and everyday I would climb up to this big rock in the water and sing. Growing up in a conservative church, the only music I knew was Christian music. So that's what I played - leading music teams and writing Christian songs. Music is not an option for me and singing has always been my primary form of expression.

Q: When did you start playing the keyboard?

A: I'd taken some piano lessons in second grade then taught myself to play in junior high. My mom was church secretary and ALWAYS at church. I would comandeer the piano and have the whole sanctuary to myself, playing for hours. Even as an adult after putting the kids to bed I would leave the house, sneak into the church and play the grand piano in that large empty space.

Q: Who are your influences and heroes?

A: I've never wanted to emulate anyone but my greatest influences are quite recent for me. The first time I heard Thelonius Monk - I was 30 - his timing and dissonance moved me and I was in love! Vocally I love Ella Fitzgeralds' sense of space and the raw emotion between her lines. I also love the songwriting of The Beatles, Neil Finn, the feeling and space of Pink Floyd and Radiohead. I also enjoy the easy vocals and piano of Norah Jones - especially her Cole Porter covers.

Q: Seeing as how you've only recently bloomed into a serious band performer - what have been your favorite live shows? Bands?

A: I'm pretty sure I haven't seen them yet!

Q: Regrets?

A: No regrets but I certainly missed out. The bright side is I am now discovering all these amazing bands and artists of the last 50 years.

Q: Who have you played with?

A: I've played with myself. A lot. Since I was 4 or 5...


Q: So you had no experiences growing up with musicians?

A: Experiences? Well..... my first erotic dream was when I was 11 starring Prince. I'd just watched Purple Rain. When I was 12 my girlfriends and I would dress up like Madonna and sneak out of the house. I had a radio built into my headboard and my great rebellion was tuning the radio to some rock station and having it play all night while I slept.