Having A Coffee With… is a fun series in which we ask bluegrass music personalities, some famous, some not so well known, about some of their interests as well as about the music that they love.
Joining me for coffee this morning is Elaine Roy, guitar player with The Roys, a duo with sibling Lee.
What would you like to drink?
“Ironic! I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I guess I’ll have a Mocha Frappuccino. But my favorite thing is really the lemon iced-tea! It’s refreshing!”
Do you want anything to eat as well?
“Turkey Club Sandwich, please. I’d thought you’d never ask.”
What’s your favorite food?
“Lobster, it’s sweet and yummy!!”
And what would you have to drink with that?
“Diet Coke. I know…fancy, huh?”
What’s the nicest meal that you have ever had?
Let’s talk bluegrass….. Where/when did you first hear bluegrass music?
“We were probably in Coal Branch, New Brunswick at my Mom and Dad’s house. As long as I can remember, playing music together has always been a family activity. Grandma played fiddle, my aunts and uncles played guitar and Lee and I would always be playing or singing.”
Which of your own songs do you have a particular liking for?
“I guess it would have to be Trailblazer because it’s about never giving up on your dreams.”
What about a song written by someone else?
“I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton.”
Ah, here’s Lee. What would you like to drink?
“I will have a coffee with light cream and two sugars…”
Something to eat?
“A good ole fashion blueberry muffin!”
What album do you like best and why/what’s your favourite bluegrass project of all time and why?
“The Grass is Blue by Dolly Parton because it shows her true roots and the selection of songs is wonderful….some of my personal favourites. Can you also tell that I love Dolly?”
You play a guitar. What Model is it?
“It’s a custom Arnett’s acoustic guitar. They built it just for me and I love it!”
(Lee): “It’s got a cross on the headstock.”
(Elaine): “It’s beautiful and I get asked a lot about it.”
What’s your favorite bluegrass memory?
“When we played the Grand Ole Opry in November, hands down!! It just doesn’t get much better than that. To have the opportunity to grace the same stage as all the amazing bluegrass artists who have played there throughout the years… there are no words to describe it.”
How do you keep fit and healthy when you spend so much time on the road?
“I bring my own food and stick to my nutrition plan when I am on the road.”
Are you a sports fan? Who do you follow?
“Not a huge fan, but I do like football. I’ll pull for the Titans and the Patriots when they are playing.”
What hobbies do you have?
“I like to work out in the yard and I love to shop (I don’t know if shopping can be considered a hobby, but I sure enjoy it…and I’m good at it).”
What is your favorite movie?
“It’s A Wonderful Life….I know it sounds sappy because it’s a Christmas movie but I love it because of the moral of the story. At the end of the day, all you really have is your family and friends.”
Do you get much time to watch TV?
“Not a lot, but I do watch Grey’s Anatomy and of course, I watch Nashville (I love that they incorporate music and showcase Nashville….it truly is a wonderful city).”
What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in bluegrass music?
“I’d probably be an accountant.”
Elaine Roy’s early childhood days were filled with music. “Our Grandma LeBlanc played Acadian tunes on her fiddle while my aunts and uncles joined in”, Elaine recalls.
She learned to play the guitar and began singing at the age of five, going on to make her first on-stage appearance at the tender age of 10.
Elaine sang all the time. When she got home from school she would take her guitar and sit in her room and sing till it was bedtime. She sang in the church choir and at school talent shows. She even sang at her graduation Mass. Then she would sing with brother, Lee; at family and church functions. And she sang as a special guest with local bands.
She won lots of contests and that was always an honour for her.
Elaine always dreamed about going to Nashville, Tennessee, a desire that her brother held also. They moved to Music City in 2006, keen to carry on the tradition of family harmony sound started by such groups as Hall of Fame inductees The Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers and the Osborne Brothers.
Growing up on a diet of traditional country and bluegrass music has given the duo a strong stylistic base, and their sound developed into a blend of bluegrass, country, folk, roots and Gospel music.
Their most recent album is Bluegrass Kinda Christmas (Rural Rhythm RUR 1125). Prior to that they released a secular CD, The View (Rural Rhythm RUR 1120).
Elaine Roy was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Currently she lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee.