"There's a really great line in Walk the Line where Johnny is explaining why he always wears black," she says. "Someone says to him, 'You look like you're going to a funeral' and he says to them, 'Well maybe I am.' And that phrase, it stuck with me. I thought I would dress like I was going to the same funeral."
"I went on after this real pop-country girl — blonde, frilly little dress," she says. "I played my strange brew of country: old school, a little bit of blues and roots and rockabilly. And I sang a song about marijuana and cigarettes."
"I can really relate to the struggling musician and people who are working really hard to make their way," she claims. "I can relate to all those frustrations. But I can also relate to the other side of it, because I've had a little bit of success. I'm straddling those two worlds."
"Tin stars are something that people hang all over the South," she explains. "They hang them in the bars and on houses, they're made to look all rustic, all beat-up and worn and weathered. I guess I just took notice of one hanging up on the bar in Nashville one day and it made me think of the juxtapositions of Music City, this city where people come to see the Country Music Hall of Fame and all these big country stars, but then there's the people like me who are out there playing for tips and busking on the streets."
Other album highlights include Gypsy Child which sums up the itinerant lifestyle of the working musician and Songs About, a tribute to her own back catalogue: "Songs about lovin', songs about cryin', songs about living, songs about dying."
"You get people who are competitive about it, they'll stare you down. And I was kind of an outsider anyway — I wasn't from their town. And here I was, dressed all funny singing my country songs at their showcase night. So I wrote All These Cats as a funny in-your-face song to say 'You know, actually I'm not going anywhere. In fact I'm gonna move here'."