By David Kenney
Besides guitar-playing hands, Mae Moore has a green thumb. After periods of touring, the B.C. based singer-songwriter temporarily trades her guitar for a hoe.
"When I left P.E.I. I left the most fabulous garden," Moore says. "I’ve always had to have a garden. If I’m not making music in a day, I’m out in the garden."
Moore says being up to her elbows in dirt isn’t so different from songwriting either. Both processes involve shaping a creative situation–one that involves nurturing and focus.
"The garden doesn’t really need me, but I need the garden," Moore says, adding, "I don’t know if the world needs my songs, but I need to write."
When she does write, Moore’s songs take interesting avenues. On her most recent self-titled album, Moore takes the listener on a pseudo jazz trip of different places and people."Sante Fe" is an uplifting departure, making tracks between the present and the past. In this track, Moore’s carefree vocals carry like an easy Sunday drive. Other songs balance pop and jazz with emotion and up-front, heart-felt lyrics.
Playing June 14 at the Uptown Theatre with Martha Wainwright, Moore says her gradual leaning to jazz is like coming full circle. With a jazz trumpeter for a father and a jazz education, an outburst was expected.
"The reason why I like jazz is because it’s unpredictable," Moore says. "That’s why I don’t listen to commercial radio because I know when the chorus is coming."
Next up for Moore is a retrospective of her first three albums (on her former label Sony) this summer, and then her first tour of Europe later in the fall.
Inbetween then, Moore plans on gardening and writing songs for a more jazz-focussed future album.
"Creation amazes me," she says. "I’m not thinking about what I’m going to be doing for the next eight hours, I’m just led to it."