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Chester County Press

Songs and lineage: Lucy Wainwright Roche to bring her sound to The Kennett Flash

03/06/2024 09:54AM ● By Caroline Roosevelt

Singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche is on tour, stopping by Maine, Boston, Washington, D.C., and yes, Kennett Square, with a solo show at The Kennett Flash on March 9. Gifted with fluttering soprano vocals that compliment her other instrument -- the guitar -- Roche feels most comfortable on tour. After all, she grew up in the royal families of singer-songwriters The Wainwrights and The Roches, so traveling, working and collaborating with each other was as perennial as sitting down at the dining room table for family dinner. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Lucy and discuss her inspirations, stylings, and what she’ll be performing at The Flash.

Caroline Roosevelt: What was it like growing up in such an incredibly musical family?

Lucy Wainwright Roche: Music was the only thing I ever really knew. My mom was in a group called The Roches and in the summers as a kid I would travel with them. It’s familiar to me -- the life of living in the hotels. Now the cycle continues with me bringing my daughter with me on the road.

How do you stay connected with your family?

My siblings who also grew up this way, and they also take their kids on the road with them, as well. Martha lives in Montreal and Rufus lives in Los Angeles, and the time we see each other the most is when we’re working. For instance, we did a holiday show for Christmas in New York City and I toured with Rufus last summer.

Your last album, I Can Still Hear You, released during the pandemic in 2020, was a collaborative effort between you and your mother, Suzzy Roche. How do you collaborate? Do you share songwriting responsibilities?

We actually write separately, except for one song that I wrote and didn’t like, so my mom rewrote it. We do help figure out parts of each other’s songs, but for the most part we write separately.

Where do you get material for your music?

I’ve been on the road traveling for the last 15 years, so I pull a lot of inspiration from being on the road -- internal angst and heartache. I haven’t been traveling as much lately, because I have a one-year-old daughter.

When you’re not on tour where are you posted up?

I live in Brooklyn, and I grew up in Manhattan. I’m getting used to being home more often. I’m always putting up gates everywhere, asking my daughter not to hug the guitars.

What – and who -- are your influences and inspiration?

It’s hard to overstate how much The Roches impacted me. Who could even say how much it influenced me because it was everywhere. I LOVED the Indigo Girls when I was a kid. They are influences, but they have much more of a “band” show. Touring with them was as close to being in a rock band as I’ll ever be. I love so many singer-songwriters. In high school, I was a very big Joni Mitchell fan, and I’m also a big Eminem fan. His writing reminds me of my dad’s (Louden Wainwright III) songwriting. Of course, when I showed Eminem’s music to my dad, he didn’t get it the similarity, but it’s in the way he writes candidly about his family.

Which tracks of Eminem’s jump out to you?

The two songs about his mom, “Cleaning Out My Closet” and “Headlights,” and it’s also fun to listen to “Lose Yourself” heading to a folk concert - which is such a different vibe.

What will you be showcasing at The Kennett Flash?

I’ll pull from my last solo record Little Beast, but the concert will be a mixture of all of my records. I also have some new songs, and some new covers. I’m starting to work on a cover album. I’ve never made a record of that.

What are your favorite covers?

A lot of my favorite covers are to take a really upbeat song and make it as depressing as possible. I do Fleetwood Mac “Everywhere,” Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down,” and my mom and I do a couple of Paul Simon songs. My friend Martha Plimpton and I recorded “Hungry Heart” by Bruce Springsteen. I usually try to pick covers that people have a connection to but can now hear in a different way. Sometimes it really works, sometimes it really doesn’t. I also performed a cover of the dance song “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn.

I thought that was Robyn! I listened to you perform it though, and you made it feel like a song that naturally belonged in the genre of acoustic singer-songwriting as opposed to a dance anthem. How did you get connected with The Kennett Flash?

Thinking back, it’s possible I heard about it from a friend who played there. This will be the third time I’ve played there. My first appearance was solo and the other was with my mom. I’ll just be me with my guitar this time with a couple of new songs, a couple of new covers. It’s a great little room and if you like that kind of depressing music. I try to keep it light in between.

Lucy Wainwright Roche will perform at The Kennett Flash on March 9 beginning at 8 p.m. For tickets, visit