By: Cara Boyer
November 6, 2013
At this point, hopefully your iPod is full of local bands and musicians, and I optimistically assume a few of those artists are ones I’ve shared with you. Whether that’s true or not, get ready to clear some GBs on your device and make room for The Blueflowers.
If you’re into film, you’ve likely heard of film noir. But what about folk noir? That’s how Kate Hinote, vocalist for The Blueflowers, describes her band. She and husband Tony Hamera started making music together nearly 10 years ago, and after a series of different projects, they officially created The Blueflowers in 2009.
The band’s first album, Watercolor Ghost Town, was released the same year. There have been a few lineup changes throughout the years, but in addition to Hinote and Hamera, The Blueflowers are made up of David Johnson (acoustic guitar), Erica Stephens (bass), Erin Williams (organ/backing vocals) and Jim Faulkner (drums).
The Blueflowers’ sophomore album, In Line with the Broken-Hearted was released in 2011, and their most recent effort, Stealing the Moon, debuted in the summer of 2012. The latter part of Stealing the Moon was written while Hinote was pregnant with her son, Nolan, which she said made her feel empowered in a way she hadn’t before.
“I always think my latest work is my best work, because I am still developing my style (and) sound, but vocally, I know I gave this album more than any of the others, and that’s because of how close we’d all become over the years, and the intensity of me growing a human and momentum building all around us. These songs were the most representative of what we wanted our sound to be,” Hinote said.
Translating the album to a live performance was something that used to cause anxiety for Hinote, but now that she has so many shows under her belt, she revels in performing for a crowd.
“If I go too long without (a live show), something just starts to feel off,” Hinote said.
Between a day job and a newborn, Hinote is slowly easing back into songwriting. She predicts that The Blueflowers will release their fourth album sometime next year, and she is toying with the idea of releasing an album of children’s cover songs, just for fun.
When it comes to finding material for new songs, Hinote said most everything she writes about stems from relationships and maintaining connections with those around her.
“There are a lot of intricacies and intense moments in the day-to-day of human interaction, and I tend to write about those moments, whether they are mine or someone else’s,” Hinote said.
If you’re not particularly sure what “folk-noir” sounds like, keep this in mind: some of Hinote’s biggest musical influences include Patsy Cline, Neko Case, Elvis Presley and Sarah McLachlan.
While you may have to wait a little while for a new album from The Blueflowers, they’ll be out on the road playing several shows in the coming months. The band will perform an acoustic set on Friday, November 8 at The Dovetail in Warren, and on Friday, November 22, they will perform at The Elbo Room in Chicago—a dream come true for the band, since they’ve been trying to book a gig in Chicago for two years! The next month, they have a gig on Saturday, December 21 at the New Way Bar in Ferndale.
Since she and Hamera are new parents, Hinote said that their hectic schedule doesn’t allow for planning too far into the future, band-wise. While the first year has slowed them down a bit, they have no plans of stopping when it comes to their music. The band’s five-year bucket list includes playing a show in Nashville and one in New York City with their friends and fellow musicians, The Lost Patrol.
“We’re not trying to get signed or tour the world, though obviously we would love larger opportunities for exposure, so we enjoy and savor the little victories, like having our song in a local Chevy commercial, or getting asked to play a big show,” Hinote said, referencing The Blueflowers’ spot in the 2014 Chevy Impala commercial, where the band’s song “In Line With the Broken-Hearted” is featured.
“We’re very grateful for any success we have, even a good show where we sell a few CDs is exciting for us,” Hinote said.
If you enjoy retro, melodramatic, sometimes poppy music created by humble locals, you’re going to love The Blueflowers even more.