Heather Maloney interview by Brian DeSpain
Embarking on the last two weeks of Dar Williams’ first tour leg of 2021, Americana Highways spoke with Heather Maloney early into her run of opening sets.
Lawrence, Kansas has figured into being a special place for Maloney, performing there for the first time on October 21 at Lawrence Arts Center.
American Highways: You mentioned during your set how great fans of Dar Williams have been to you. Would you elaborate?
Heather Maloney: The fans are very open to my music. Opening artists don’t always get that experience.
AH: During our initial chat, you mentioned how the stars seemed to align with the Lawrence, Kansas show.
HM: [For this Lawrence show] I had a setlist but I actually had a bunch of people request songs tonite so they completely changed what I wound up playing,” she said.
AH: What has gone into the process of your song selection before this show?
HM: Obviously I want to play the new single [“Perch-less Bird,” released 21 September 2021] and I want to play some from my latest record [Soil in the Sky, 2019]. When you have 30 minutes there’s a little bit of a balancing game between playing the latest and playing what you’re feeling and that can be trickier with a shorter window of time.
AH: What were you feeling tonite?
HM: A couple of the requests, I was definitely happy those were made because I was really wanting to play them.
AH: Which songs were those?
HM: “Woodstock” and “Dirt and Stardust”
AH: I could tell you were really into “Dirt and Stardust”.
HM: Yeah, that felt really good to me. And I’ve been really connecting to “All In Your Name” [also from Soil In the Sky]. It’s been very cathartic to me.
[“Enigma” was another show selection from “Soil in the Sky” (a recorded collaboration with Rachel Price) which rounded out Maloney’s set. The song is an anthem shrugging of stereotypes and expectations placed on women].
Find more information on Heather Maloney here: https://www.heathermaloney.com
Find our earlier interview with Dar Williams, here: Interview: Dar Williams and the Desire Path