My Music DNA: American Singer/Songwriter Jill Andrews Discusses Her Music Influences

American singer/songwriter, Jill Andrews is to play The Gate in Cardiff on November 11. The show will feature support from Wales’ Sky Barkers and a debut performance from Cardiff based spoken word artist Wolfy.

Jill Andrews’s music has featured on the soundtracks for TV series such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, Nashville, Wynonna Earp and This Is Us. Her talent started from her days fronting lauded Americana group, the Everbodyfields, to her own successful solo career as a writer and performer; Jill Andrews’ music has taken her far from her East Tennessee home.

Jill has collaborated and shared the stage with countless celebrated artists including the Avett Brothers, Langhorne Slim, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, and the Secret Sisters. Her most recent release is her third studio album, Thirties featuring emotional melodies, intimate storytelling, and vocals that soar even at a whisper.

Jill recently spoke to Andy Howells about her music inspirations.

What was the first song that made an impact on you?

My parents used to play John Denver a lot on family road trips. Annie’s Song always used to make me cry. It’s one of the most beautiful tributes to a lover that I’ve heard.

What was the first single /download you bought?

It was the Counting Crows album “August and Everything After.” That was one of my favorite albums in college. I got to see them live at The Greek Theatre in Berkley, CA in my 20’s. Little did I know that a few years later I would meet the lead singer, Adam Duritz playing a festival that he owned. I got to go out to lunch with him one day and ask him everything I ever wanted to know about his song writing and the recording process for that album. That was a dream.

What was the first album you owned?

Diana Ross’ “Swept Away.” It was on cassette tape. I told my dad that I needed to have my own music and he recommended Diana. He and my mom had seen her in concert in their younger days and both really liked her. When I brought home the tape, I listened to it constantly in my headphones. I remember a specific time when I put it in the tape player in our car when my dad and I were running errands and there was a song where Diana breathed very sexually a whole lot. My Dad took the tape out and told me I couldn’t listen to it anymore. Luckily, he changed his mind, because my Dad is pretty cool. I got my tape back and got to jam some more to Diana.

What’s your constant go to track?

Lately it’s been “The Hustle” By Lambchop. It’s a very long song, over 18 mins. He doesn’t start singing until minute 5. It has such a trance like vibe to it that I can really get into. It gives me the space to have my own thoughts while listening to someone else’s music. I like the way that it builds with different musical elements over the course of the song.

What’s your constant go to album?

Evening Machines” by Gregory Alan Isakov. This album is very emotional for me. The lyrics are so visual and flowery, and I love the musical bed that was created for his beautiful melodies.

Who’s your latest music discovery?

Serge Gainsbourg, especially his album from 1962 entitled No. 4. I don’t speak French, so I often don’t know what he is singing about but that is okay. The French language is so beautiful it’s calming to me to listen to. And his music creates a sense of nostalgia that puts me in another world.

Which of your own recordings best defines you as an artist?

My album “Thirties.” It is a very personal album that I wrote about a period of my life where I was holding onto a relationship that was not working and was never going to work. It’s about finding my way through the haze of another person’s hardships and trying to not to take it on myself. It’s about the freedom that came after finally giving into the reality of the situation.

  • Jill Andrews with Sky Barkers and Wolfy supporting will be at The Gate Arts, Cardiff Friday 11 November, 7pm. Tickets are £12 plus booking fee. For ticket availability visit

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