Piney grew up in isolation in the American Midwest, this isolation was reinforced by her strict religious upbringing. She went to a special Christian school (no Darwin, no sex education) and attended church 4 times a week; no sinful TV, no secular music… this left a lot to young Piney’s imagination which flourished to fill in all the gaps.
One gift the church did give Piney was musical training, the Pentecostal charismatic Christians knew how to worship and they sang, a lot! There was speaking in tongues, dancing and fainting, church was never really boring, the early choir days may have given Piney her first taste of drama in performance. She was always given the solos and she became very adept at vocal harmonies which was a firm foundation for what was to come.
In 1989 everything changed as her father went to Seattle to start up a prison ministry and Piney’s mom kept her in Kansas where she was suddenly sent to American junior high and was exposed to music, lots of music… new music with lyrics that Piney would listen to, convinced that in doing so she was sealing her fate in hell. It was culture shock, but she loved it.
Playing piano from the age of 4, Piney wrote her first song at 9 years old, she then took up drums at 10 years old, kept writing songs in her bedroom and went to Uni to study percussion. When her shabby, ghetto apartment was robbed they took her drums and she changed her major to voice “They can’t steal your voice” she reckoned. However, Piney never had the voice for Verdi and came to London to work in a bar and figure things out.
She joined her first band, a synth pop duo who released a single with Mute and toured Europe with Erasure. She saw the world and realised the road was in her blood, music was her sense of purpose and so she released her debut album Peakahokahoo on Truck Records in 2004. She was then the founder, singer and guitar player of all-girl, art-rock group The Schla La Las. She released Hold Yer Horses the first Country Roadshow album in 2006 and then released her 3rd solo album The Yearling on Hotel Records in 2009. In 2010 she was back with the Roadshow for their great second album together ‘Jesus Wept’ which included the singles ’40 Days & Night’ and ‘Lucky Me’
The Piney Gir Country Roadshow came to pass because Piney was asked to do a gig supporting an alt-country band at a working men’s club. Her first album was more electro-chanteuse and didn’t seem to fit the venue so she got some friends together to play her first album in a country style. People loved it so much they were asked to do more and more shows, becoming a mainstay of the London Americana scene. So like a love child, The Piney Gir Country Roadshow was born. Piney is off to Los Angeles to record her new album in March 2011, the album is due out on October 24th 2011, see PINEY GIR for more info
Piney always used to say “You can take the girl out of Kansas, but you can’t take the Kansas out of the girl… because country music is just in you when you come from the American Midwest. It’s not ‘cool’ to like country, teenagers wouldn’t be caught dead listening to it, but it’s everywhere in every gas station and grocery store. When I left Kansas I realised I missed the country twang. It reminds me of home and when I feel homesick I write a country song.”
It just goes to show, there really is no place like home.