From the large window of his downtown restaurant on the Green, owner Billy DiLegge has been watching Branford residents enjoy live music on the , be it during the weekly summer jazz series or the annual . He’s decided to give back and will sponsor an end-of-summer concert tonight at 7 p.m. on the Green featuring the vocal styling of country music sensation Nicole Frechette.
“The goal is to get as many people here as possible to enjoy a great show and end the summer with that,” said DiLegge. Bring a blanket and enjoy the show, added DiLegge and stop by Pasta Cosi after to buy Frechette’s new album, Listen Hear.
Frechette, a Madison native who now lives in Nashville, TN, has been rocking the country music world for the past decade. She’s excited to introduce her second album, released this past June, to area residents. She’ll be playing tonight with Zach Lockwood and Gerry Giaimo.
We asked Frechette about making music, her upcoming opening for Kellie Pickler at the Durham Fair, how she got to where she is now and what her new release means to her career. “I've grown from a little girl who can sing to an established and still ever-growing world-touring country artist, singer, songwriter and producer,” she said, “…and the best part is it's far from over – I am a lucky and blessed girl.” Listen here:
Branford Patch: How is Listen Hear different from your debut release?
Nicole Frechette: My debut release was in 2006 and I didn't write any of the material on that album…I wasn't ready to write and was lucky enough to have connections to amazing catalogs and writers through my music network and selected songs to suit my style and voice that would be radio-ready. This album has my name as co-writer on almost every song and it truly feel that this is my life (or at least since 2006) to music.
Branford Patch: Can you highlight a favorite track you have on the album?
Nicole Frechette: “Gone” is one of my favorites. I also really love “Heartbreak Overdrive” and “Honey They Lied”; they're all my favorite when you get down to it, that is why I just had to finally put it all in one place.
Branford Patch: Why did decide to do this concert on the Branford Green?
Nicole Frechette: Billy and I have been friends for quite sometime and he has always been an incredible believer in my music and support for my career. We talked about music on the Brandford Green and he opened up the discussion for trying something other than Jazz on the Green. We love Jazz too, but the Green doesn't have to be just a once a week place for music – why not bring in more acts of different genres and make the most of music on the Branford Green. For me it was a wonderful show idea since I don't often perform in the Branford area…we're usually at fairs, festivals and casino and so on, so this will be a great time and opportunity to see friends and family come out to a show that is closer to them.
Branford Patch: No doubt you've played with some of the best current country musicians; who has been your favorite and why?
Nicole Frechette: My favorite so far would definitely be Phil Vassar – he's the nicest guy; so incredibly talented as a musician, song writer and singer and it doesn't hurt that he wrote my first single that started my country career ("YEAH RIGHT" off my first album). It's fabulous that as a country artist, I am able to get chances to perform and be a part of shows with other artists that I idolize or admire.
Branford Patch: We see from your tour page on your website that you are opening for Kellie Pickler at the Durham Fair. Can you tell readers a little more about this?
Nicole Frechette: Yes! We are so thrilled to be opening for Kellie! She's awesome and everyone eats her up so we know the crowd will be perfect for our show as well – it's a great match! She has some new music she's been working on so I hope she's planning to share some of it at the show! We're on at 5:30 pm. on Saturday, September 19 on the main stage right before Kellie!
Branford Patch: You said online in your bio that you came to find country music through the great Patsy Cline. What's your earliest memory of listening to her and what's your favorite song of hers?
Nicole Frechette: Absolutely "Crazy.” This song has so much history…sang and made famous by Patsy, written by Willie Nelson himself. Most people consider this a love song, but this is a true heartbreak song. It's so moving to sing and it reminds how real, honest and simple music and lyrics can be transformed. Honestly, I didn't hear Patsy's voice until O was in Middle school, but after that, the deal was sealed; it was country for me.
Branford Patch: You said you found a place for your thoughts to rest in country music, can you tell readers about one song that exemplifies that for you?
Nicole Frechette: On my new album I think this is most shown through songs like "With You" or "Come to Me" and “Honey They Lied." It's about being honest with how you feel through lyrics and melody and feeling that once you get it on paper and tracked onto an album, you feel like you've said what you need to say, whether it's moving, fun, sad, driven or happy or even finally settled. Like when you realize or come to terms with the way you feel or what you've learned - music is of course a form or expression and art and for me, the style and shape of country songs and the genre allowed my voice to best speak...or sing.
Branford Patch: Billy tells us you've been singing a long time and that he's really proud if you and what you've accomplished. Can you briefly tell readers about your journey?
Nicole Frechette: I've been singing since I could speak...so yes, a long time would add up to 20 something years these days. Music was always around me growing up, but no one in my immediate family is very musical at all. They all enjoy and impressed music into our lives, but no one forced or even planted the musical seeds in my head – it just came naturally, which is part of why I know this is what I am meant to do. I've always loved to sing and I was always allowed to use my voice when growing up (our house with five kids and two dogs was always in quite a state of commotion and uproar needless to say). Over the past few years as I've worked toward growing as an artist I've not only developed as a songwriter and singer but I've taken an interest in all parts of creating music including producing and arranging as well. These are hats I never thought I'd be fit to wear, but for me – the proof is on this current new album "Listen Hear." I've grown from a little girl who can sing to an established and still ever-growing world-touring country artist, singer, songwriter and producer. It's been quite an incredible journey…and the best part is it's far from over – I am a lucky and blessed girl.