After developing her musical talents as a multi-instrumentalist while just a young child, Madeleine Besson spent her early years touring the world on movie sets and theaters with her artistic parents. This all led up to her beautiful 2014 debut record, “Blossom” that she recorded in Europe after having developed her skills as a live performer. Madeleine had the honor of opening a European tour for Cyndi Lauper in 2011.
Her move to Nashville was a natural for someone so creatively immersed with both original songwriting and vocalizing in such an elegant soulful and blues-flavored style.
Madeleine’s follow-up new record “Journey Home” was recorded at producer/guitarist Dave Coleman’s home in East Nashville. “It was just Dave and I in the studio,” she remembers. “He played most of the guitars, the bass, and drums. I did all the keys, piano, organ, Wurlitzer, violin, strings, vocals, and some guitar, too.” Dave has worked with many great local artists and also fronts the Nashville band The Coal Men.
The new record will be released on September 28th, and there will be a release show on September 26th at East Nashville’s hip and cool Radio Café. Dave Coleman will be joining her band on guitar. Thanks Madeleine for answering our 11 Q’s!
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m from Paris, France. The first time I came to Nashville was in spring 2015. I stayed for three months and had to go back to France for visa purposes. I “officially” started living here in February 2016. When I first came, I didn’t know anyone and wanted to check out the music scene. I went to blues jams, started meeting musicians, and also met with the people at Major Bob Music. From there everything was opening up, and I decided to get an artist visa and come live here.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
The first records I got were The Beatles the “red” and “blue” albums. I think it was in a gas station back in France, and they were cassettes at that time! The last record was Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite’s No Mercy in This Land, and it was digital.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
The first music I ever heard live was when I was about two or three years old in Geneva, Switzerland. It was the opera The Magic Flute by Mozart. I remember being struck by the Queen of the Night and her voice and, at the end of the show, I was in tears on the floor of the lobby bowing to her. One of my first memories!
The last show I saw was Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite at the Ryman–my first time at the Ryman! I was very moved by the atmosphere of this historic place and loved the blues and soul of the two gentlemen playing there!
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
June Carter Cash
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
I go to Sip Cafe for coffee and really like it there–plus it’s pretty close to where I live. For pizza, I go to Five Points Pizza on the east side and Two Boots Pizzeria on the west side.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
That is a hard one, so many to choose from, and I’m still learning so much about all that’s been done here. Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight”, Etta James’ “Rocks the House”, Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding, Elvis Presley’s Elvis Is Back!, and for Johnny Cash I can’t choose!
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Hermitage Cafe is definitely one of my favorites! I love the jukebox and the breakfast food, which is my favorite, and there’s always a joyful feel to this place.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Angel Snow, Kyshona Armstrong and Scott McMahan.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
Radio Cafe, The Basement East, and I haven’t sung there yet, but I know I’d love the Analog at the Hutton Hotel.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
I’m releasing my second album Journey Home on September 28, and we’re playing the release show September 26 at Radio Café. Then I’ll be doing my first little tour in Tennessee and Georgia. More to come too. For shows check out www.madeleinebesson.com