10 Questions with ... Mulberry Lane
August 5, 2013
Mulberry Lane is Bo, Rachel, & Allie Mulberry
Syndication of our radio show, traveling the world on MCA records, Miles Copeland songwriting retreat in France, singing on Good Morning America and being able to share this career with each other.
1. Can you offer a brief journey of your musical & radio show career thus far? What was it that inspired the sisters to pursue music and radio?
Well, our mom used to be a Jazz singer, and our dad is a CPA and entrepreneur.
This means two things: music is in our blood, but so is being a self-starter. We grew up writing songs & playing gigs. We self-produced our debut CD and that landed us on MCA records. We traveled the world, and our first single "Harmless" achieved chart success in the US, Japan and Europe and on the Billboard Hot 100.
We were living out of suitcases and getting to know people from all walks of life. This experience helped us grow as writers, performers, and people.
We began doing an annual Holiday tour selling out 800-2000 seat theaters in the Midwest. This led to a PBS Holiday Special in the Midwest. Our boyfriends eventually turned into husbands (LOL!) and we started our families.
At one point, we made a list of the things that we loved: Music, writing, good conversation, the arts, being inspired, inspiring others, telling stories, and sisterhood. Boom! We needed a radio show! The show was a weekend getaway for us and our listeners. We wanted to do a music-infused radio show where we could get to the heart of the art! Our show is for anyone with a creative spirit. You know, we can hang out at a Village Inn as well as The Village, so we have a passion for interviewing artists from all different backgrounds about their creative journey, and we bring their experiences to life for our listeners.
We come to every interview with a respect for the unique journey of each artist. Our main goal is to inspire our audience to delve deeper into their own creative outlet. One listener said our show is a new version of a cross between "The Dollys" (Dolly Parton and the Dalai Lama). We got a good laugh out of that!
2. How do you prep yourselves for your weekend radio show?
We have late night meetings. We each come to the table with our stories, ideas, and inspirations from the week. Some of our favorite times are radio show prep, and a sister round of margaritas never hurts!
We know what it's like to be the artist, so we can get our guests to open up about their creative philosophies, career mistakes, vulnerabilities, where they derive strength, and what advice they would give from what they've learned. It's the kind of show we would want to listen to, so we've created a gathering spot for people who are looking for inspiration and connection.
3. How do you connect with your radio audience?
By living life! As women, balancing a dream, work, and home life, is a constant challenge. Our show is a weekend getaway to help people with their daily life. Our audience gets concrete advice from successful people who have made their dreams a reality.
Listeners can learn how people like Jewel or Macy Gray juggle the business and motherhood, how Colbie Caillat handles stage fright, how John Waite overcomes shyness, the three must-have tips the Property Brothers give before you buy a home, and what advice Ben Taylor gives to those who follow in the footsteps of a career path of very successful parents.
4. Mulberry Lane is known for those beautiful harmonies. Who sings which part? Is someone always singing the low part, and another the higher harmonies? Or does it change depending on the song?
Bo is typically doing the high parts, Rachel the low, and Allie in the middle. We trade off leads depending on the vibe and feel of the song. We view our sound like a braid, it's something that is interweaving. It takes all three strands to make it work.
We want to also mention that Mulberry Lane used to be a foursome. Our oldest sister, Jaymie, went out on her own and now has a country music duo with her teen daughter (Belles & Whistles). They're doing great!
5. How are you using new music technologies to record music and in your personal life?
We recorded and produced our debut album ourselves and that ended up landing us on MCA records. Our first album "Run Your Own Race" on MCA was produced by Doug Trantow and Don Gehman in Los Angeles. Our second album was produced by Don in LA and with Underground Productions in Boston.
But through it all, we continue to learn and demo songs in our ProTools home studio which was upgraded by MCA. All three of the Mulberry Lane Christmas CDs were produced here along with our album "Snug" and we continue to demo, engineer, and record new stuff in our home studio. More to come!
6. In your opinion, what is that special magic that makes a hit record "a hit?"
When the combination of melody and words conjure up a feeling. It's no longer two minutes & thirty seconds of notes and chords. It's a feeling that stays with you after the music stops, and that you can revisit by hitting repeat.
7. Who are some of the guests you have featured on your radio show?
Some of our recent guests have been Colbie Caillat, Jewel, Florida Georgia Line, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Lisa Rinna, Karmin, Neon Trees, Lecrae, Boz Scaggs, Mannheim Steamroller, Edwin McCain, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Kenny G, Rita Coolidge, Macy Gray, Richard Marx, George Benson, Dar Williams, Dr. Gary Chapman, David Bromstad, The Property Brothers, Megan Hilty, Wang Chung, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Lisa Loeb, Marcy Playground, Jars of Clay, Soul Asylum, Tilly and the Wall, and comedians Adam Carolla, Steve Byrne, & Owen Benjamin.
8. What are the biggest changes you would like to see happen in the music, and radio industries?
There is so much more to the artist than their latest hit single, and there is such a wealth of information and inspiration behind every artist. In catering to the 10 second attention span both in the music and radio industries, so much of depth and breadth of the artistry of music is missed.
We break that down with our show. We also believe there is a need in everyone to create something beautiful, to make a difference in their own corner of the world, however big or small that corner may be. By going deeper than the 10 second sound bite, our goal is to inspire each listener to follow their creative passion. Creating is the thing that connects us and allows us to reach out to each other.
9. Do you have any advice for upcoming singers or radio show hosts?
Here is a piece of advice for both: Don't fake anything! It's obvious and your audience will know it!
10. What is the one truth that has always remained constant throughout your career?
"Run your own race." That was our dadâ€™s advice to us from when we were little on up. We even named an album after that piece of advice. But the philosophy holds true no matter what stage of life youâ€™re at or what career you pursue. Itâ€™s also a recipe for happiness.
What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Here's two: We have a sister crush on The Property Brothers, and when we get sick we drink a shot of whiskey straight!
What is the most rewarding charity you've ever been involved with?
Special Olympics and anything to do with adoption of special needs kids.
How have social networks and sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter impacted the way you interact with your fans?
It breaks down walls. We've gotten to know many fans who have become friends. Our iPhones are full of social media apps, but sometimes you have to remember to live the actual moment, not just tweet about it.
Why is this lifestyle one that you're willing to follow?
Itâ€™s in our blood. And since weâ€™re family, we donâ€™t know where the music stops and the sisterhood starts and vice-versa. Music and family for us are interweaved. We canâ€™t have a conversation about a new Pinterest recipe without it leading to a song idea, a radio show idea, or a reminder about an addition to our ever-growing to-do list.
How did you come up with the name "Mulberry Lane?"
Mulberry Lane is the name of the street we grew up on in Omaha, NE. It's also the place we like to take you to when we sing.
If someone is interested in becoming an affiliate or has an artist who could be a guest on the show, who should they contact?