Busy summer for Miss Quincy and Showdown
You can ask – but she probably won’t tell you – where the name Miss Quincy comes from.
“It’s just me. It’s who I am,” the Canadian roots rocker tells the Free Press reporter on Thursday.
Originally from the Peace Region, Miss Quincy is songwriter and guitarist with her all-girl band The Showdown.
She and bandmates Shari Rae (upright bass) and Holly Magnus (drums), both from Alberta, have just come off a seven-week tour of Europe.
They’re in the midst of a summer festival circuit in Canada which includes ArtsWells (they played there on the weekend) and the Robson Valley Music Festival.
The Showdown is touring hard and performing almost every night of the week in support of the April release of Miss Quincy’s second full-length album, Like The Devil Does. You can’t miss them when they come into town.
“We tour in a van we call Vangina which has a 13-foot trailer. It’s completely self-contained. We like it because we can enjoy the scenery and stop whenever we need to or find somewhere to camp.”
Miss Quincy and The Showdown plays Nancy O’s on August 23.
“We have lots of online resources and an active Facebook page, so we can keep in touch with people while we’re touring,” Miss Q said. “One thing people are surprised about when they come out to our shows, from comments we hear, is that they’re not used to seeing three girls, an all-female line-up, playing rock and roll, roots and blues music.”
Armed with talent and steely determination to make it in a tough business, Miss Quincy set out to put together a band of top musicians.
“I started this band a year ago. There is a small musician community in Canada with an independent grass roots music industry. It’s a big country so everybody has to tour and we see our musician friends more than we see our own friends and families from home.”
Miss Quincy still has a cabin on the family farm in Peace Region and two months out of the year she goes to the Yukon for seasonal work that gets her out into the wilderness and gives her inspiration for songwriting.
Playing hard is all she knows.
“I see the value in just playing as much as we can,” said Miss Q. “We play five to seven nights a week and it’s really amazing what happens what you do that, the creative magic really comes out.
“Playing that much, it comes more easily, it frees you up. Frees you up musically, so you can be creative.”
That means top-notch musicianship.
“We are committed to high musical standards. We make it fun and we try to put on the best show that we possibly can, every time. Some bands can’t do the constant touring. Some musicians aren’t used to the road warrior lifestyle like we are. If it’s been a bad day or a long drive, you still have to get out there and perform and do the best you can.”
And if you think one woman can be high maintenance, imagine a van with three women and hundreds of kilometres between shows. Miss Quincy calls the road home for now. Everything they need is in their “self-contained van.”
“We’re heavy on maintenance, we check the oil and tires – and I have BCAA membership,” says Miss Q. “We try to keep our van and ourselves in good shape. I’m fortunate to have had five years of fulltime work learning how to live this lifestyle.”
For those who come out to the local show at Nancy O’s, Miss Q promises an enjoyable evening.
“Be prepared to come out and have a really good time. The show is fun, it’s dynamic, it’s a whole event. It’s danceable. Our music is unique. Another thing unique about our band is that we travel with our own boutique.”
Yes, it’s true. On the merchandise table, there will be Miss Q’s hand-made items such as T-shirts that are hand-designed and printed.
“I have lots of time on the road to make things. (She laughs.) Oh, and there’s preserves from my mom’s garden. We do this [music] to make a living. This [touring] is our life.
“We play every small town in this country – and in many other countries because the music business, at this level, is not known for making people rich.So we just do what we have to do to allow us to keep doing what we love.”
Miss Quincy and her trio The Showdown play Nancy O’s, 1261 Third Ave. on Thursday, August 23. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. Cover charge is $10. For more about Miss Quincy, visit www.missquincy.net.