- Breagh Potter makes the long-distance band relationship work.
"This was pretty much everybody's last free weekend to practice," she says. "We're a really spread-out band, which makes things very interesting."
Although Potter has been based out of Halifax for some time now, her band is scattered across the province---two members live in Cape Breton and have to drive down to the city to practice with her, and one member is based out of Sackville.
"We've done pretty good. Everyone's passion hasn't diminished whatsoever," Potter says of the not-ideal practice situation. "It's really cool actually, to see people who will drive from Cape Breton just to practice for a weekend. None of us are really home that much, but I think it's all worth it."
Growing up in Cape Breton, Potter began singing at a young age and performing as a vocalist in choirs around the area. It wasn't until she was 18 and moved to Halifax that she became known as a singer-songwriter, performing solo with an acoustic guitar which she picked up initially as a vehicle for the songs she began singing alone.
Although growing up as a fan of more soulful jazz vocalists, Potter became entranced in the music of Ray Lamontagne, Norah Jones and Buddy Holly. But once she picked up the guitar, a new sound emerged from her once-jazz-like voice. "Once I started writing songs they came out with this country style, it wasn't technically what I was listening to," she laughs. "But I felt really empowered picking up the guitar and being able to just work on my own, which is interesting, because now all I want to do is work with others."
After performing on the solo circuit for a number of years, Potter met up with a group of musicians through friends and formed a backing band to accompany her songs.
"I brought the music I'd been playing as a solo artist for the past few years to them and they brought in their own individual elements," she says. "We put together a pretty decent set with some of the songs I had been working on for awhile and decided to record together."
Renting a plethora of recording equipment and pooling together any instruments they had, the band holed up in her living room for six days in the dead of winter to record her debut EP, Hey There July. The result is six songs that fully encapsulate Potter's songwriting over the past few winters in the city.
"The title track was written a couple winters ago just about being cooped up in Halifax, because we don't get very much sun in the winter," she says. "But listening back now, I'm really happy, because I think the emotions I was trying to bring through the songs really came out in the end."
And after years of working on these songs alone, Potter is now ready to unveil her debut EP with her bandmates---she doesn't see herself performing solo again. "I think I'm comfortable as a solo artist only because I've been doing it for awhile and it's predictable. But I'm really excited about the energy I get with the band," she says. "I don't think I can let go of that now."