Gaelynn
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November 2016
32
Born in Duluth, Minnesota
Living in on the road
Singer songwriter

“There are people that will – no matter what happens – pull through for the better of the future generations. I hope that’s enough, but I don’t know.”

When Gaelynn was 10 she started playing the fiddle. At 27 she began writing songs. At the age of 32 (shortly before our conversation) she and her husband sold their house and went on tour. When we have our first glance at Gaelynn Lea, the artist, we are still outside the Bluebird café, hopeful to get in, and she’s playing in a very bluebirdish display – songwriters in the round – facing fellow musicians Victoria Banks, Julie Lee and Rod Picott. It’s like a small, cosy arena. Gaelynn had a very encouraging fifth grade teacher who helped her to create a specific style of fiddling.  “Because I’m very small, I couldn’t play the regular way, so I hold it up and down like a cello (…) and I hold my bow like a bass player.” It’s her first time in Nashville and she’ll be touring at least until April, playing in clubs but also public speaking for disability advocacy. Early in 2016 Gaelynn became the Tiny Desk Contest winner; thus the world was introduced to the magic combination of this hypnotic voice with an Irish-sounding ‘fiddlerello’ and a looping pedal. When the conversation turns political Gaelyn, like many Americans, defends her state. “Minnesota takes very good care of people with less advantages. I mean, I have a disability and I work! If it wasn’t for the healthcare, I wouldn’t even be alive, so I feel they did a pretty good job with that.

 

 

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