From her self-titled album released in 2003 to 2013’s Winged Victory and up to the present, Lys Guillorn — singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist — is always changing, always developing her music. Even as the smoky mixture of rock ‘n’ roll and country she puts together remains unmistakably hers.
“It’s been morphing a bit over the years,” Guillorn said of her sound in the first hour of WNHH’s Northern Remedy. “It’s got weirdness. It’s got twang. I hope it’s better.”
Guillorn takes her time developing her material. “I’ll have a fragment for a couple of years and then, all of a sudden, the song will form around it,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of fragments now, percolating.” At the same time, “I’m always exploring what my ear tells me to go check out, and because I’m always listening to new stuff, there’s always a new influence. It’s conscious and it’s subconscious as well.”
In addition, she said, “I wouldn’t call myself prolific by any stretch because I’ve got so much going on with music and art that I get overwhelmed.”
From the outside, though, she doesn’t seem overwhelmed, as she’s become a sort of community organizer for New Haven’s music scene — whether she’s performing for a benefit for WPKN or organizing multi-band bills herself.
“I just want to bring people together, and have a good time, and help people get together to play more music,” she said.
The conversation with Guillorn, drummer Peter Riccio, and bassist Eric Bloomquist ranged from the process of putting songs together, to the ways New Haven’s music scene has changed over the years, to the pleasures and pitfalls of being a regional musician.
And, of course, the band played a lot of good music.
Click on the window above to hear the full interview and live performance. The playlist for the second hour of the show, available when streamed (in alphabetical order):
Blind Justice, “Holes”
Brighter Than a Thousand Suns, “Reach Out to Me”
Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet, “Apace”
Hi-Fi Automatic, “Home Again”
Ryan B. Hyeeze, “Now I Know”
Jacket Thor, “Anniversary”
Manny James, “She Is Loved”
Mighty Purple, “Black Circles”
Mission Zero, “Scattered on the Beach”
The Rays, “Bang”
Jay Rowe, “Letter to Dad”
Jonny Rodgers, “Summer Fades”
Mitchell Ruff Duo, “Raincheck”
Johnny “Hammond” Smith, “I Remember Clifford”
Nate Trier, “ShenaNO”