It’s Saturday afternoon, and Edmonton’s, The Needle Vinyl Tavern, is its usual bustle of activity, even for a long weekend, as local country singer-songwriter, Nicky Pearson finishes a soulful opening set on the central stage. This mother of two thanks her audience, and welcomes the headliner, another mother, Andrea Nixon, soon to take the stage to launch her debut album, “Diary of a Housewife.” This hotspot for live music, which has made its mark on Edmonton’s night life, is family friendly on this weekend afternoon. In fact, two of Andrea’s young children are running the merchandise table.
Andrea, in a slim fitting floral dress and white cowboy boots, takes centre stage and welcomes
her guests, inviting them to first, enjoy the premier of her new music video for “Song Without a Name.” “This is so me,” she says of the video, which has her standing on a soap box, and singing to our limitless possibilities. Andrea is a songwriter with a message, and her new video hits it dead on. After cheering and enthusiastic applause, the live show begins.
Backed by a four-piece band, including respected local steel guitar player, Smokey Fennell, she breaks into an intimate, moving and flawless set. Friends, family, fans and strangers enjoy a free show, that Nashville would gladly pay to see. Her songs are clearly influenced by classic country, yet fresh and relevant. This “Diary of a Housewife,” is of a woman empowered, and these songs sound like hits.
Her youngest child approaches the stage to give her Mom a picture she has drawn of her and
Andrea reaches down between lines of a song to retrieve it, not missing a beat. The drawing
stays in Andrea’s hand for the remainder of the song, and then she shares it with the audience.
The whole show is so very real and Andrea is, so very much, the real thing.
A lot of hard work has brought her to this day, with a lot of help along the way from supporters, who have voted for competitions, showed up to be extras in music videos, and even donated to a bottle drive. This Edmonton Music Award nominee, whose last music video for the empowering anthem, “You Didn’t Make Me,” you might have seen on social media, Shaw Cable or even your flight to Vancouver, now finds herself part of Project Wild, a country artist development project. Andreas journey, though, is just beginning, and her debut album is an impressive start, that deserves to see some significant success.
Her special connection to music had early beginnings. Music and literature, to Andrea, have always seemed to be like a conversation between her and someone else and as a young girl, she found solace in songs that felt like they were speaking to her. The connection she feels to someone else in a song, which she explains is beyond what occurs in real life conversation or
interaction, she describes as spiritual, comparing it to a feeling she sometimes has in church.
Andrea feels drawn to country music that she describes as “not too glossy, not too perfect, a
little bit haggard, a little bit worn.” Some of the music that she has felt a strong connection to
includes that of Loretta Lynn, and has been inspired by how she blazed a trail at a young age, four children in tow. A mother, herself, Andrea was encouraged, by some, to just enjoy the simplicity of being a mother and teacher, and though she loved every aspect of the life she was living, she felt there was room for something more. If Loretta could “go against the grain” in pursuit of her dreams back then, she surmised, then surely there is hope for her, as well.
Encouraged by her husband, that if there was more in life that she wanted, now was the time
to do it, Andrea has been forging ahead. He was surprised that becoming a country singer was
what she chose, and may have thought she would have pursued something more practical or reliably lucrative, like dentistry. Partnering up with musician and producer, Bobby Cameron,
Andrea has been able to fully develop her songs, which she brought to him in the form of lyrics and vocal melody. No instruments are involved in her song-writing process, which she describes as being like writing a poem and “making it sing.”
Entertainer of the Month