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An Interview with Bernadette
By CSO European Contributing Journalist, Christian Lamitschka.

CL: Would you please introduce yourself to the audience and tell us something about your history.

Bernadette: Hello there ..My name Is Bernadette ,and I was born and raised In Ireland. I am as you know an Entertainer now In Nashville ,TN . Home Of Music City USA.

CL: Country Music has many new fans in Europe who may be learning about you for the first time. How would you describe the music you play to someone who's never seen or heard you before?

Bernadette: I would say my music Is In the Modern type vein of Country Music. I think It fits with what Radio Is broadcasting to-day. I am Wynonna Judd and Mary Black from Ireland ,with a big bit of Anne Murray running through my Vocals entwined with my Irish Country Sound.

CL: What is your current CD and how is it doing?

Bernadette: My Current CD Is titled Bernadette YOU GO GIRL! and It Is doing very well with fans all over the World, of course been an Indie Artist you can only reach so many . I also have a new CD Single out Titled "The Green Fields Of France" about a young Soldier of nineteen years old ,very moving . This Is on my new Record label .My own . Rachael Records . It Is done traditional Irish style completely . Got great reviews In the Music Row Magazine by music historian Robert . K Oermann.

CL: How did you find the title for the CD and what inspired you?

Bernadette: An African American friend of mine when we first met In Nashville used to say YOU GO GIRL! all the time , and It grew on me . It struck me as a very modern saying, as people my age and younger would use it frequently.

When I heard a song called YOU GO GIRL! I took an Instant liking to it ,and recorded It.

CL: Do you write you own songs and if not, how do you go about finding songs for your albums?

Bernadette: I will say I have not really broken Into the song writing field just yet , I want to ,and It Is just a matter of time . You know there are so many fantastic writers In Nashville , I hate to waste my time right now trying to write something that would not come close to their talent . I just go to songwriters If I like their Ideas , or their publishers , and tell them what I need . It Is always good to have a good reputation as a singer , and an entertainer ,cause If they have a great song , and you are not very good ,they will not give you their best .

CL: What's your favorite song among all the songs you've recorded and what's the story behind it?

Bernadette: My Favorite would have to be the Green Fields Of France for right now. The Lyrics are so moving and I never get tired of performing it especially If the Audience is Into It as well.

CL: How much creative control do you have over your music?

Bernadette: For the first CD .. I picked all the songs . For my new single I picked it ,Produced it ,and Marketed It . For my next CD I will be producing most of it . I will have the entire Say so.

CL: How much do your songs influence your audience?

Bernadette: They Tell me a lot. I hope every song will say something to each of them. Mostly they love the Irish Songs I perform.

CL: The internet is playing a bigger and bigger part in the world of music. Has the internet hurt or helped you and how would you like to see it evolve?

Bernadette: The Internet Is a great tool . It Introduces my music to anyone who has access to the WWW. It has helped me so much.

CL: Who do you look up to musically and where do your musical roots come from?

Bernadette: I do not have an answer for that. I grew up listening to Charlie Pride . I grew up listening to Philomena Begley In Ireland . I also listened to Margo O Donnell ..A traditional Irish vocalist . I cannot say I look up to any one singer . I love a deep female voice .

CL: What do you think about today's Country Music versus it's roots and where do you see it going in the future?

Bernadette: Well I believe it is right where It should be. Some artists are making Traditional Country CDs ..others are going Country Pop , but as far as I know this is the way It has always been. Some Fans like a more traditional sound ..some do not . I think It is fine .

CL: If you had a chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Bernadette: Well I would like to see the Indie Artists get a crack at the Grand Ole Opry now and then ,and not just a select few who have friends who play the Opry .

I would like the record Labels to give the artists more control over their CDs , cause that the fans are buying , the face on the cover.

CL: As an artist you have so many different things you have to do such as recording, touring, doing interviews etc. What do you like doing the best, what's your favorite activity?

Bernadette: Well been an Indie Artist ,without a major label , I do not get to tour as much as I would like Its to expensive . But I would for certain.. like to meeting different people all the time. Performing all the time.

CL: How did you get into Country Music ... is there a story behind it?

Bernadette: Well as I said earlier , My Mother listened to Charlie Pride a lot , so there was my first Influence . And the rest Is history in the making.

CL: Before you became a star, where your friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?

Bernadette: Well I do not know If I am a Star yet or not ..but I have always had my friends encourage me. And It is a struggle everyday , to keep up the pace. But I love doing this job.

CL: Has your journey to success been a hard or an easy road?

Bernadette: Well I am still trying to make it to the big times , and yes It Is hard.

CL: What drives you? What inspired you to become an artist?

Bernadette: Well if you like to sing ,and people like to listen ,then you are considered an Artist . It goes with performing I guess. I just feel special to be able to reach people ,and to be able to go that extra mile for someone In need.

CL: What does it take to be a Country Star?

Bernadette: Well when I get there totally , I will let you know.

CL: What's unique about you that differentiates you from other artists?

Bernadette: Well people say I am just different . I approach people really different. I guess being a Nurse for 15 years shows you how to communicate differently. Maybe Is gives me a very different prospective of Life . I think I am unique to America ,as I sing Country Music as good as any American, and with a good twang sometimes. Then I can turn around and do a very different show ..Traditional Irish Music. So that probably gives me a little bit of an edge In Nashville.

CL: What's the best thing about being a star and what's the hardest thing?

Bernadette: Well I am not there yet ,but when I get there I will let you know . From what I have experienced , It is hard to eat out sometimes as people will stare. They know they know you from somewhere , but they cannot figure It out.

CL: What's your greatest challenge been in the music business?

Bernadette: Well getting someone to sit up and take notice In Nashville Is the biggest deal. There is so much talent around ,sometimes they take advantage of the Indie Artists. It just like Nashville / Hollywood. The biggest challenge is getting enough work right now to keep my band and I working.

CL: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you're proud of?

Bernadette: My biggest achievement would have to be singing with Stars from the grand Ole Opry. Also singing with World renowned Vocalist from Ireland Maura O Connell. The first time I shared a stage with these people , Its very special Indeed.

CL: Who's your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Bernadette: Myself for certain ..always trying to be better.

CL: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Bernadette: I love the mysteries of the ocean ..that's where I would spend my time If I had the choice. I also visit Elderly friends and catch up. I love walking in the parks ..I walk about 18 miles a week. I also lift weights most days to keep my body healthy. I started this when I quit smoking ten years ago.

CL: Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?

Bernadette: I am sure there Is In certain areas. But right now as I answer your question ..I feel I am right where I need to be In my Life. I have great friends ..A great Boyfriend ..and I am young and healthy In body and mind.

CL: What private hopes and desires do you have?

Bernadette: Well my hopes and dreams are to be able to be very successful In the music field. The power this allows you can and would make a big difference In my life .In return , I can do so much to help others a lot less fortunate than myself. I would say this Is my ultimate goal in life. Performing brings me so much personal pleasure.

CL: What's the biggest disappointment in your life been?

Bernadette: Getting let down by someone I considered a good friend.

CL: Many European fans travel to Nashville for Fan Fair because of the opportunity to see so many of their favorite stars at the same time. Will you be participating and how will the fans be able to find you?

Bernadette: I will certainly be In Fan-Fair this year again ..I love It .

It the greatest feeling meeting all the wonderful fans Of music.

I will be at Booth 222 this year .

CL: When you're on tour, do you have time to play tourist?

Bernadette: Sure Its fun .

CL: Can your European fans look forward to seeing you in concert in the future?

Bernadette: For certain ..I love going home and performing In Europe.

CL: Many music fans today get their information about artists via the internet. Do you have your own website and what information can the fans find out about you on the internet?

Bernadette: I have a website for all my fans old and new to visit at anytime, it is www.Bernadettesings.net. They can find me in any part of the World by my website.

CL: What are your plans for the future and how can new fans keep informed about you?

Bernadette: My plans are to keep going to the top until I get that big deal ..I think I am ready right now. My fans will hear me on Radio and TV throughout the year .

CL: What's the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

Bernadette: Well I get a lot of compliments ..but Its always nice when someone tells you ..they have waited years to meet you ..and they are just so excited to hold your hand. It Is very humbling experience.

CL: What message would you like to send to your European fans?

Bernadette: Well I am from there , so I love everyone of them, as well as my American friends. America Is a wonderful Country. But going home Is always a wonderful thing to me. I would say to anyone In Europe who is a fan of my music. Please keep buying those CDs , and keep calling the Radio stations. I will make them proud of me someday ..real soon ..and I LOVE YOU ALL.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

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