Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
I liked everything from Emerson, Lake and Palmer to the Chi Lites, Carole King to Floyd Cramer. My all-time favorites were the greats of the 70s: Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham Nicks, Beatles, Neil Young, Elton John, The Police, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Dan Fogelberg, Jackson Brown, Supertramp, Joni Mitchell, Phoebe Snow .....
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
I started out in the late 70s playing with a couple of talented friends from my hometown, Shawano, WI., in a bluegrass band called Habeck, Butz & Rades. We played locally and traveled as far as Oregon playing coffeehouse-type gigs.
I was the lead singer in a band called Blue Blazes in the 80s. We were a road band that played mostly pop music--whatever the flavor of the day happened to be - from the Urban Cowboy craze to the big-hair hits of the 80s. (1980-1986) We traveled a lot and did several private military tours for the troops in Europe, Japan and Guam.
from 87-89 I was the Happy Hour entertainer at The Roof, A night club atop Houston's Westin Galleria Hotel. I also played in a duet called "Victoria" during this time as well as a 50's Party Band.
The early 90s were spent touring with my husband's (Brian Becker) band, promoting his record on the Benson label.
During these years I also performed solo or with this great musician or that along the way, playing songs I'd written as well as songs from my all-time fave list above.
Today I play solo or with a great band consisting of Steve Seawright, Cody Mosbey, Tim Hicks and Brian Becker. I'm always songwriting and currently, I'm thoroughly enjoying watching my two sons, Ben (13) and Jack (11) take center stage with their brilliant gifts.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Jamming. Not a fan of the concept, personally, THOUGH I've had moments of true magic playing with artists throughout my life. These moments are almost sacred to me because you can't stage them. They are the most transcendent episodes one can have down here and I'm so glad to have them tucked away in the hallowed chamber....
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
The size of an audience couldn't be less relevant to me.
While dining in the coolest Italian restaurant in Rome, Italy, with new friends from there, someone handed me a guitar and I played a couple of my songs for whoever was in earshot. Memorable. Special.
One of my favorite performances was playing for the men and women aboard the USS Nimitz in the Port of Naples, Italy during the Christmas holiday one December in the 80s.
In 2004 my band had the honor of performing at a Presidential rally in Poplar Bluff, MO., and a pre-debate rally in St. Louis, MO.
Nothing at all compares to singing lullabies into the tiny ears of my baby boys.....