RITA WILSON Opens Up About Her Involvement With Last Weekend’s LIVE IN THE VINEYARD And Her Newest Album ‘Bigger Picture’!
Posted On 05 Nov 2018
This past weekend (Nov 2 – 4), Live In The Vineyard, one of the most exclusive and sought-after music, food and wine festivals was held in Napa Valley, California.
The line-up for this prestigious event included multi-Platinum selling artists Jason Mraz, Jewel, Matt Nathanson, Emily Bear, Dean Lewis, Whitney Woerz, Andreas Moss and songwriters Jon Randall and Liz Rose.
LITV gives attendees exclusive access to recording artists, top tier wine makers, and world-renowned chefs during a “once-in-a-lifetime” three-day event. In honor of LITV’s tenth anniversary this event was a special celebration of singer-songwriters who have created the soundtrack to our lives with artists performing stripped down and acoustic sets sharing stories of how our favorite songs came to be.
What sets LITV apart from the typical festival is the exclusivity and the intimacy of the events, which are created specifically for each festival and are never duplicated. This year marked the tenth year that LITV has been bringing fans up close and personal to their favorite artists in the heart of Napa Valley, CA.
All Access recently got to interview singer-songwriter, actor, director and more, Rita Wilson about her involvement with Live In The Vineyard and her newest album, Bigger Picture.
Where does this interview find you now?
I’m in a hotel room in Boston listening to the traffic and horns cheering the Red Sox to their victory! Hard for an LA girl to hear but happy for the Sox.
Now that we are on the back end of the year, how do you think 2018 has treated you and your career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it? Or did you already reach it?
Every day is a gift. That’s how I look at it. So many surprises await! I have three films in the can and two albums completed with one released in September called Bigger Picture. I am always writing music and making music. It give me so much joy. This past week I made my debut at The Grand Ole Opry. Since one has to be invited to perform
I feel truly humbled, as I am relatively new to songwriting. That they must have liked my music enough to invite me is a huge honor. You can’t take that for granted. I am fully aware of what an honor that is.
Growing up, how important was music to you? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to branch over to the music world?
We always had the radio on in the car. I loved that AM radio stations included all genres. I was listening to the Beatles, Sinatra, the Supremes, Aretha, The Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton on JR same station. And all of those artists had stories in the lyrics, great melodies and fabulous hooks. I would have become a singer earlier had I known how to do it. I didn’t play an instrument so thought it was impossible. Carole King, Joni Mitchell played instruments. I thought you had to know how to play something.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The surprise has been that I am actually doing it, that people have responded to my music and songwriting. And that I have been able to perform consistently and how much I love performing live. Songwriters who I so admire and respect have written with me and then we write again, which has been extremely satisfying and welcoming. It’s been a beautiful surprise that people listen, come to shows, and buy CDs. I have learned so much from the people I have met at shows or who respond to the music on social media. They teach me a lot and that gives me encouragement. It’s been crazy trying to compete with a gazillion other artists for places on playlists. In some ways it’s liberating to be an indie. I can move swiftly and make decisions quickly. I’m a believer in gratitude and I am very thankful to all who have helped me get my music heard.
How excited are you to be performing at this year’s Live In The Vineyard’s 10thAnniversary event? Were you eager to be a part of it all? Will you have time to explore the festival when you aren’t performing?
I’m so excited! So many of my friends have performed at LITV. I played YOUNTVILLE live earlier this year and was honored to be asked to perform at LITV. Napa is insanely beautiful! Last time, I was able to get a cancellation at French Laundry and had an amazing meal. Maybe that will happen again!
What would you say has been your favorite performance so far? What do you think makes an ideal show for you?
My favorite performance so far was performing at the Grand Ole Opry. I mean, what’s next?
Can you talk about your newest album, “Bigger Picture.” What was it like putting this collection together? What was the inspiration for these songs? How would you say this album shows the musical growth that you have gone through since your debut album, “AM/FM” was released in 2012?
I love sad songs and ballads. I was writing a lot of ballads and never knew where to put them because on my next two albums those are both very uptempo. So, Bigger Picture became a musical scrapbook, in a sense, of experiences and themes I love and have been exploring about relationships, pain, love, time. Since Am/Fm I have been writing my own stuff. That album introduced me to Fred Mollin who produced it and co-produced Bigger Picture with me. Fred has always allowed me to have a voice in my albums and gets what I’m trying to do. Am/Fm being such a good experience enabled me to embrace songwriting when the opportunity came along. Kara Dioguardi told me she would write with me and she kept her word. She wrote my first two songs with me ( and brought in Jason Reeves.) Kristina Bush of Sugarland offered to write with me when I opened for them with Am/Fm. He also kept his word. Then, I went to Nashville and started writing there. Once I started writing it was exhilarating and I felt that it was who I really am creatively.
Since the beginning of music, people have turned to it for support and as an escape from their realities. How do you want your music received and appreciated?
Music has gotten me through so much. Music can change your state of being by just choosing a specific type of music. Think about how powerful that is. I hope that my music will touch someone who will feel that my story is their story. We are all connected and we all want to connect. That’s what music does for me and hope my music does for others.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I do all my social Media myself. I love interacting with people. Most people are cool and supportive. I feel we are alike in so many ways. We all want the same things.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Some of my favorite artists are still working musicians today. I was very influenced by Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, James Taylor, CSNY, Beatles, Paul McCartney, Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa. A dream would be to work with all of them in some capacity. Gotta dream big!
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? I’d like to know more about how you want your music to be timeless?
I believe in good stories and good melodies. When I listen to music I feel as if it’s playing me, like my body is a guitar and the songs are the player. It’s spiritual and mysterious. What else can make you feel so many different things in the course of three minutes?