As an artist feature this week, the Express reached out to Karen Cruise, a Vanderhoof musician whose style of music is traditional country. Cruise says she enjoys Country music because it’s relatable and is full of real life story telling.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sing,” Cruise said. Growing up, her father played the guitar and sang Country music too.
“The story told in my family is that at the age of 3, I stood on my grandmother’s lap and sang for a Christmas church concert.”
Cruise said she grew up playing the keyboard, but is a self-taught acoustic guitarist.
Her first album produced by Craig Zurba in Vancouver called “For Always” was recorded in 1997, and she wrote all the songs for it.
Crusie enjoys singing gospel as well.
“Something that I will never forget is when I was recording my first gospel album in Nashville, TN, my record producer got me back stage passes at the Grand Ole Opry. I got to meet a lot of legendary country singers, and it’s a memory I will always treasure.”
For Cruise, music has an incredible influence on her life.
“I love the way you can tell a story with a song, or give encouragement, or just to make people happy. Music has a lot of power.”
Currently, the musician records at Moonlight Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Dick McVey from Nashville is her producer.
Cruise said McVey understands her style of music and is able to take her songs and point them in the direction they should go.
Some musicians she gets inspirations from include Pasty Cline, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash. “They paved the way for singers/songwriters,”she said.
One thing that inspires her is quarterly radio updates from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.
“I receive a significant amount of airplay in Vietnam. It’s humbling to know that other cultures like and play my music.”