Whitney Shay loves “evenings of Naughty Blues from the 20s and 30s”
Local blues singer Whitney Shay spent six years contemplating her new album A Woman Rules the World celebrating with a release party at the Belly Up on September 16. She took some questions over email.
- Sunday, September 16, 2018, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
$18 - $32
Are you originally from San Diego?
I’m a San Diego native. I’ve been here my entire life. San Diego is a difficult place to leave.
What lead you to sing the blues?
I love music that makes you feel something. Even before I played with bands and did musical theatre I always searched for that soul stirring music; so even though I was only introduced to it nine to ten years ago, to me it seemed a natural progression.
I began swing dancing around the same time I started singing with bands, doing mostly jazz and swing material, and then I made friends with blues musicians early in my music career who introduced me to deeper rhythm and blues cuts.
What are your favorite places to play in San Diego, and why?
The Bernardo Winery is one of my favorite places to go and to play. It’s family owned and run by my bandmate in Shay and The Hustle, Ross Rizzo Jr, and it’s this beautiful little village like oasis that a lot of people forget about tucked into Rancho Bernardo. People there love the music and love to dance, which makes me really happy to watch.
The Belly Up is my favorite concert venue and I think the best sounding room in town; I’m grateful to get to headline there for the first time on my birthday September 16. The US Grant is another gorgeous venue I get the opportunity to play at — it’s a beautiful classy venue I am proud to have played at for years.
Every opportunity I get to play music for a living is a great one, or at least I’ll make it into the best night I can, but there’s been lots of interesting shows along the way. Gator by the Bay and the San Diego Blues Festival are a couple of my favorite yearly events. I miss the venue 98 Bottles something fierce, because there I was able to put together some pretty cool curated concerts of music I love (Tributes to Little Richard, Julie London, and Eva Cassidy, as well as evenings of Naughty Blues from the ‘20s-‘30s).
What are your plans?
My goal this and next year is to tour more and work on getting across the pond to play some festivals in Europe. I’m hoping this record with help give me the platform I need to get there.