Good Afternoon Becky! Thank you so much for talking with Battered and Brewed! What was a typical dinner or family meal like for you growing up?
We always ate dinner together as a family around the kitchen table. My mom did most of the cooking, and she made sure we had at least a couple vegetables with dinner, usually a salad and a side. Looking back, I have no idea how my mom found time to work all day and make such healthy meals at night. She’s pretty amazing!
Do you cook as much as you can when off the road or do you prefer eating out?
I do like to cook and I do that for most of my meals, but I really love going out to eat. Nashville has so many great restaurants and it seems like there are more opening every day. When I’m home, I wanna go to as many as possible!
What is your signature dish?
I went through a phase where I made a lot of ice cream at home, and I was always showing up at parties with multiple flavors. I don’t make it as often now, and I’m getting invited to fewer parties for sure…
Do you have a playlist you like to listen to while you cook?
I usually don’t listen to music while I’m doing something else, because I get so distracted by the music I can’t focus on whatever else I’m supposed to be doing. But if I’m cooking something that doesn’t take much focus, I like to listen to something I can dance to, like Hall & Oates or Marvin Gaye.
What are three things you can always find in your refrigerator?
Pickles, parmesan cheese, and sundried tomatoes.
One food everyone tells you to try, but you just can’t get up the nerve.
I just cannot eat bacon or other meat in a dessert. I do not get it.
What can’t you control yourself around food wise?
Cheese. Any kind of cheese.
If you designed your own food tour of Nashville, which restaurants/bars would be on your list of places to visit?
I’m gonna stick to the east side, where I live, because otherwise there are too many great places to choose from! I’d take people to: Mitchell’s Deli, Marché, The Family Wash, Lockeland Table, Two Ten Jack, Dee’s, Mickey’s, American Legion Post 82, and the Hop Stop.
Tell us about one memorable meal you’ve had during your travels. What did it involve?
I was recently in Wisconsin for several days with my band, and of course I’d asked ahead of time what food I had to eat there besides cheese. Several people told me to check out a supper club, an old-timey kind of restaurant you can only find in Wisconsin. So my band and I went to one near Milwaukee. I really couldn’t understand what made a supper club different from other kinds of restaurants so I kept grilling our waitress and she gave me a variety of answers that made no sense to me: there’s dark furniture, it’s near water, there’s a relish tray (which doesn’t include relish). By the end, she realized I’d order just about anything if she told me it was a classic supper club dish. We had a great time, but we left just as confused about supper clubs as when we went in.
You are about to head back out on the road with Indigo Girl Emily Saliers, is there any place you can’t to play and eat?
YES. One of the food blogs I read, Eater, just came out with a list of the most essential restaurants in the US, and one is in Portland, Maine, where I’m meeting up with Emily’s tour. So I’m really looking forward to trying Eventide Oyster Co the day before the tour starts! We’ll be finishing the tour in Toronto, where I’ve never been, so I really look forward to checking out their food scene too.
We just love your Instagram! You are quite the culinary photographer. Has that always been a hobby of yours?
Thank you! I designed a cookbook of my grandmother’s recipes for her 90th birthday, and I cooked and photographed a lot of the dishes to include in the book. That definitely taught me a lot about how hard it is to take good photos of food.
Tell us how you got into country music in the first place – and has it always been country music?
No, I didn’t start out playing country music. But my dad grew up in rural Virginia and he died when I was 19. Listening to and writing country songs felt like a really good way to continue to connect with him after he was gone. And once I started writing country songs, I realized I was much better at it than I was at writing in other genres.
Do you have a favorite artist in today’s country music?
On country radio, for sure my favorite artist is Miranda Lambert. She records so many brave and incredible songs. I’m such a fan. In “alternative” country, I really love Hayes Carll and Angaleena Presley among many others.
You’ve also received some great praise on the War Surplus album from tons of music outlets. That must have felt pretty special?
Yeah! I spent about five years working on the writing of that album so I was really glad so many music writers appreciated what I’d spent so much time on. The album tells the story of an Iraq War vet, so the praise that’s meant the most to me has come from veterans and their family members. That has definitely kept me going.
What else can fans look forward to from you in 2018?
I’m working on a side project with my BFF Mary Bragg, who’s a phenomenal songwriter (and chef!), and we’ll have an album out in early 2018. And I’m planning to put out my second solo album later in the year.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
My favorite songwriter, John Prine. I’d choose a drink so that maybe I could talk him into writing a song with me. My go-to drink for special occasions is Laphroaig scotch, and I cannot imagine anything more special than drinking with John Prine.
ABOUT BECKY WARREN:
Becky Warren had a phenomenal debut with War Surplus, enlisting Nashville heavy weights including guitarist and pedal-steel player Paul Niehaus (Calexico, Iron & Wine, Justin Townes Earle, Bobby Bare Jr.), drummer Dillon Napier (Margo Price), and Adam Wakefield (The Voice). The album received high praise from NPR’s All Things Considered, Noisey’s Robert Chistgau, Juli Thanki at the Tennessean and grabbed a spot on The Bitter Southerner’s Best of 2016. Now Warren is gearing up for her second run in a year with the Indigo Girls and will be releasing a Deluxe edition of War Surplus September 1st.
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