On her last visit to the KNKX studios, singer and songwriter Madeleine Peyroux was debuting music from her then-upcoming album Anthem in a duet with pianist Andy Ezrin. On this return visit, Ms. Peyroux accompanied herself on guitar and brought in longtime friend Steve Cardenas on guitar for her recent single "On My Own," as well as an old favorite and a brand new original song.
Talking with KNKX's Abe Beeson, Peyroux recalled her teen years busking on the streets of Paris. She loves the City of Lights to this day, and her mother lives there still. Her passion for music comes directly from the artists she encountered there, "because I met street musicians, and I was allowed to become one," Peyroux told us. Paris celebrates "being an artist. People also don't have the same disdain for being a poor... in fact, being a poor artist is better. You're more respected in some ways."
That said, Peyroux does prefer a nice setting with good sound. "Radio stations are the top for that," she told us, appreciative of our KNKX studio session atmosphere.
We also talked about the emotion packed into her music, and how difficult it can be to "go through the emotional roller coaster" of a show. "That's a real skill...it doesn't mean I have to sing the song exactly the same way, but the emotional content of the song is the most important thing."
Peyroux also treated our studio audience to a brand new song she wrote, based on a story about Bob Dylan and Irish folk singer Tom Clancy. Misremembering the story where Clancy gave Dylan the advice "no meanness, no envy, no fear." Peyroux took that further and started building a list of her "rules of life" and wrote her new song based on that list.
"We can choose to change the rules," she sang, asking listeners to avoid meanness, judgement, envy, fear and shame. "No Meanness" carries a powerful message and it's a beautiful song you can imagine Bob Dylan would be proud to call his own.
Asked if another new album was lined up to include this new song, Peyroux asked for our patience. Don't expect another record in 2020. So, we're waiting eagerly, and basking in the fantastic Friday afternoon feelings this unique artist gave to us.