Rainee Blake returns to Australia for her first show in over three years. Best known for her role as Alannah in CMT’s hit show Nashville, Rainee has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and venues all over Nashville and LA where she is now based. Catch this intimate stripped back set of Rainee’s original music and songs from Nashville. Rainee’s music combines her love of 1960s soul with country and folk music. She draws inspiration from classic songstresses Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell as well as contemporaries Sara Bareilles and Lake Street Dive. Rainee performs over two nights sharing her intimate and soulful music for her first time at Adelaide Fringe. Rainee answers a few questions about her shows in Adelaide for Hi Fi Way.
It must be great to be back in Australia playing your first show here in three years?
It’s been so wonderful. I’ve spent the last few weeks catching up with friends and family and road tripping up the east coast. There’s so much I miss about Australia, people are more laid back and the land is just so beautiful.
How important in catapulting your career has it being in CMT’s show Nashville?
Working on Nashville was an amazing experience. I loved the cast and crew and getting to live in Nashville, it’s a great city for songwriters. Honestly, after moving back to LA once the show wrapped, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. That was a bit of a wakeup call that I had to keep hustling. When you’re an artist, it takes a lot of consistent work and resilience to “make it” in this business. For me it’s been a journey and there’s still so much more I want to do.
Does it feel like all the hard work is staying to pay off?
Absolutely. I have a really great life in LA, including a residency at Gold Diggers where I host a singer-songwriter night called Soft Spot. I think success is such a subjective thing. For me, centring my creativity around my community, lifting others up in the process of my own journey has been a big part of that. Equally self care is so important. I make sure I walk barefoot on the beach, dance, do yoga, journal. I spend a lot of time taking care of my wellbeing so I can continue to show up and build a sustainable career as an artist.
How important has it been being based in the US in shaping your career and your sound?
There are so many opportunities and different kinds of art being made all the time in LA. I love how diverse it is too. The culture is very ambitious and I feel like that spurs me along.
Who are your biggest music influences?
I love music from the 60s and 70s especially. I do a one-woman show about Joni Mitchell so of course Joni is on there, The Beatles, Jackson Browne, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, lots of Motown, Jazz and modern artists like Cleo Sol, Emily King and Theo Katzman.
What can music fans expect from your show?
These shows are going to be really special. Playing live is my favourite thing to do in the whole world and there’s such an intimacy in doing a solo show. I’ll play a lot of original music documenting my journey over the past five years and some songs from ‘Nashville’ too.
What is it about playing a show as part of the Adelaide Fringe you attracted you?
I’ve always wanted to play at the Adelaide Fringe, I think it’s a great space for supporting artists across different mediums so I’m excited about that.
What are you looking forward to most about returning to Adelaide?
Well it’ll be my first time in Adelaide actually! Just excited to see some shows while I’m in town and getting to perform to some of my fans down there.
Are there plans for more new music this year?
Yes!! I have two new singles coming out in April/May plus last year I wrote the soundtrack to an independent feature film along with my collaborator Erik Groysman. So the soundtrack album will be out later this year too. I can’t say much but if you love the 70s, you’re going to dig it.
Beyond your Australian tour dates what’s next for Rainee Blake?
I’m planning a European tour this year as well as keeping up with my residency. Lots of song writing, teaching, adventures in nature and time resting and creating at my apartment in Venice Beach. The pull to come home is strong though so I’m sure I’ll be back on Aussie shores again soon.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Tickets to Rainee Blake’s Adelaide shows from FringeTix