Vonda Shepard sits down and talks with SD Entertainer
You’re probably aware of the ground-breaking T.V. series “Ally McBeal”. The show helped launch the careers of many artists, including the lovely and talented singer/songwriter/musician Vonda Shepard.
Vonda will be appearing, with full band, at the Belly Up in Solana Beach on Thursday, Jan. 16. Doors open at 7, and the show will start at 8.
SD Entertainer sat down at the keyboard with Vonda for a nice chat and a performance of “Roll In the Dirt” .
Vonda’s breakthrough came with her appearances on every episode of Ally McBeal as the featured performer at the local bar where the characters on the show would gather. She related how that gig came to her by telling us what a gift the show was. She was performing at a club in L.A. in support of her second album, and David E. Kelley, who happened to be a friend of Vonda’s came to see her. He was in the early stages of creating the Ally McBeal show, and was stuck by how much Vonda’s sound and words fit into his idea of the show.
One clever aspect of Ally McBeal was the use of Vonda as a sort of modern Greek chorus, wherein the songs she sang related to the plot of the episode. We asked if she was involved in picking which songs would appear in which episodes. Apparently, David E. Kelley was heavily involved in the song selection, and in weaving song lyrics into the script each week.
Vonda next tells us just how complicated her producing of the songs as part of the episode became.
Ms. Shepard has written many songs. She discussed her songwriting process with us. For her, sitting at the piano, the melody usually comes first, accompanied by “gibberish” sounds (not necessarily words at first), that fit the tune. The hard part, she relates, is the later editing of the lyrics into a cohesive song.
We asked Vonda how she likes playing in San Diego. She’s here this week to perform at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, and it will be her first time on stage there. She’ll have a full band with her and she addressed this in the interview. She noted her live show will be a compilation of songs from throughout her career.
She’s currently working on a new album. Her previous work is available from her website, vondashepard.com .
Following the interview, Vonda favored us with a rendition of “Roll In the Dirt”. A lovely person with a lovely voice, plan to see her at the Belly Up.