Local Vocal Treasure Debuts First Album

Monday, December 19, 2011 16:13

An Interview with Maile

by: Casey Pukl

Maile Souza Bridge knew one thing growing up— she loved to sing, and she was damn good at it.

But the world works in mysterious ways, and for much of her life, Maile had her musical talents on the back burner. Maile says, “I grew up in a house full of music. My mother was a singer, and I quickly realized that I could sing.” She learned to play the piano and the ukulele as a child, and eventually went on to study piano at San Diego State University.

It was there that she struck up a close friendship with singer/songwriter Tom Waits. Following her time at SDSU, Maile went on to model and act throughout the 70’s and 80’s. It wasn’t until years later that she returned to her true passion— singing.

“I always loved to sing the most,” she says. When asked about her decision to make her latest record, she says, “I finally just decided to do it. It was time. So I started the process. I’ve got some really high caliber musicians in my band, and Peter Sprague is just such a genius. Sometimes I just can’t believe how masterful he is.”

Her debut album, A Memoir In Music, features songs that she holds close to her heart. The result is an eclectic mix of pop, rock, jazz, blues, and Hawaiian music that showcases the life-long vocalist’s versatile voice.

“When I started choosing songs, I chose ones that I really truly love. The album features songs from all eras. ‘Poetry Man’ was one of my favorites by Phoebe Snow in the 70’s. I’ve always played this simple version of it on the piano. It’s one of those songs that’s just perfect for my voice., and I’ve always loved it. And then there’s also a Joan Baez song on the album called ‘Love Song to a Stranger’. I love Joan Baez. I think of her as a mentor. I was always trying to sing her songs and sound like her. I’ve always been very passionate about her, and that is reflected on the album.”

When asked what working with Peter Sprague was like, Maile says, “I dug out some of these old songs, and I honestly wasn’t sure what Peter would say. I thought he might say, ‘No, these songs are old and dated,’ but he really embraced them. We worked really well together. It’s been an incredible experience.”

Not only does the album reflect Maile’s love of pop and folk, but also her recent discovery and passion for blues.

“Blues is something that really came later for me.  I really only started singing it three or four years ago, but I just took to it. I really love it. There are two blues songs on the album; one of them is called ‘You’ve Got to Move’. A very long time ago, I had a friend who knew the song, and I’m just so happy with how it turned out.”

Adding to the eclectic mix of styles on the record, Maile also recorded two Hawaiian songs. “I learned the songs from my mother. She was born in Hawaii. She used to be a singer on the radio there; she was well known. One of the songs, Peter [Sprague] thought would go well with a Jamaican-Hawaiian feel, and the other one is more traditional. We’ll actually have a traditional dancer at our show at Anthology!”

Maile’s CD release show is sure to be nothing short of fantastic. With an all-star band  that reads like a who’s who of jazz in San Diego and includes Peter Sprague, Tripp Sprague, Gunnar Biggs, Leonard Patton, Rich Schmidt, Toby Ahrens, Dennis Caplinger, and Barnaby Finch, Maile’s album release is one to get excited about.

“I’ve got the most amazing band, and Peter has been nothing short of incredible. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. They just have such an amazing sound, and this show is going to be so much fun!”

WHAT: Maile’s CD Release Party
WHEN: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 7:30pm
TICKETS: $10-$28 Buy Tickets
MORE INFO: Artist Profile