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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Candid with Claire

    Claire Holley’s matchless sound and passionate approach to music sets itself apart in a seemingly vast array of southern artists. Born and raised in Mississippi, Claire began singing and playing music at a young age. However, it was not until the summer before her freshman year in college that she began to play on a regular basis, hearing songs on the radio and picking them apart on the guitar.
    “I had always been musical, but I had never realized how much of a tool it is to be able to accompany yourself,” Claire said.
    Claire left her Southern roots and attended college in the Chicago area, where almost immediately she received a warm welcome in the surrounding music venues.
    “I would just give goofy performances,” Claire said. “It wasn’t anything professional, but it didn’t matter. It eventually seemed to draw people in.”
    Since her college days, Claire’s venues have expanded farther than just Chicago. She now plays nationwide, including the college circuit. She has moved several times, and in each place, she received a warm welcome and even more encouragement. She now resides in Greensboro, N.C.
    “Northern people are more receptive than I expected them to be, considering my music is so southern,” Claire said. “North Carolina has been a really great place for me. They really support my music here.”
    After such an enthusiastic response to her music, Claire began writing and recording her own music, and has now released three original albums.
    Claire’s first two albums, Night Air (1997) and Sanctuary (1999), were released independently. She said that although she was a little hesitant at first, she decided to release her third album, which is self-titled under Yep Roc Records in Chapel Hill, N.C.
    “It ultimately came down to the fact that I just really liked them,” Claire said. “It was time to get to another level, and to do it, I needed to be under a label. It was kind of like a ‘coming out,’ in a sense.”
    Her music also changed a little over her three albums. The music on her first album consisted of a few collaborations with her husband, Chad, and was her first collection of original music. Her second album had a more sacred theme to it, and ended up with a bluegrass gospel sound. Her third album, however, is a little different than her others.
    “It’s a little more of a mature sound, but still very Americana,” Claire said.
    Another album is in the making and Claire hopes to go into the studio sometime in December or January. Her next CD is tentatively set to be released in June 2003. Although a lot of work goes into preparing a new album, Claire is undoubtedly excited about it.
    “I’m kind of giddy actually,” she said. “It’s going to be more journalistic, like I’m taking a camera and giving you a glimpse of a situation. It’s going to be recognizably ‘Claire’ but very different. There are a lot of quirky songs on there.”
    Until then, Claire said she wants to continue touring her third album, as she has been for the past few months. She played here in Starkville at the Courthouse Grill on Aug. 16 and will play at Hal and Mal’s in Jackson on Saturday, Sept. 28.

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