Sasha Colette reflects on life and music
Sasha Colette is up early at her home in Olive Hill, Kentucky. The longtime Tri-State singer and songwriter doesn’t stay out as late as she used to, back when late-night gigs were the norm.
Now, at 30 years of age, she is raising her precious 8-month-old daughter while still playing music on a more selective basis.
In recent months, Colette has mostly performed as a solo act, with the members of her band The Magnolias branching off to either play with other groups or forming their own bands.
Mike Parker, for instance, now plays with The Settlement, Scroungehound and Signals, and guitarist Jeremy Short tours in support of his wonderful new blues rock album, “Lost In A Spin.”
This weekend, however, Sasha Colette and The Magnolias are about to reform to play three shows in one day.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, Sasha Colette and the Magnolias will perform at 4:45 p.m. at the first OYO Arts and Music Festival in Ashland (oyofestival.com) then they will play again at 7:30 p.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree in Logan, West Virginia, and will end the night performing for the Honor Flight of Huntington Benefit at The V Club.
Put together by Don Duncan, the Honor Flight Benefit is a special occasion where money is raised to help local World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans take a flight to Washington, D.C., for a day to see the monuments that this nation has erected in their honor.
The camaraderie of these group flights as well as the chance to visit these beautiful and meaningful edifices built in tribute makes for an emotional day.
The bands scheduled to perform at the Honor Flight Benefit at the V Club include Sasha Colette and the Magnolias, The Settlement, Dinosaur Burps, Scroungehound, Cumberland, Fever War, Chocolate 4-Wheeler, Fliponit and Tony Harrah and the Fly-Over States. The show for ages 18 and older lasts from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.; tickets are $10.
Colette lived in Huntington for a while, but moved back to Olive Hill to raise her child in the place where she grew up.
“I moved back to my hometown,” said Colette.
“It is kind of like the TV show ‘Cheers,’ in that ‘everybody knows your name.’ There is a nice feeling in familiar places. My daughter Quincy is now 8 months old. While you think you are goal-oriented before, there is nothing like a baby to motivate you to be the best person you can be. It makes you want to achieve everything that you think you may be able to achieve just to show them that it is possible, and to go for whatever it is that you want. It has made me more driven as a musician, although now I don’t want to set out on weeklong tours away from home or anything like that. These days, I try to be home by at least 2 a.m.”
As with most if not all humans, having a child will change your perspective on life.
“The thing that I have noticed that has changed the most in my life after having my daughter is I am more confident and driven in general because you never want your children to think they will fail,” said Colette. “There has never been an easy time to bring a child into the world. We always have our struggles, and it just changes as to what they are at any given time. So, you want to bring up a strong and independent child that will help the world to keep fighting the good fight. Quincy is proving that she is strong and wise even at eight months old and I think she will do the world a lot of good.”
With a talented artist as a mother, Quincy has already found a love for music.
“She already loves music and she tries to sing along, and she loves the guitar over the banjo, currently,” said Colette.
“She doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the banjo. But, when somebody plays the guitar, she is zoned in on it. While some young kids grab the guitar strings and try to yank them, she will brush her fingers over it with an actual strumming motion. When I was pregnant, I played a lot of gigs with the guitar and she has that ear for it already, I believe.”
Colette is looking forward to these three shows with the reunited Magnolias. “After the last band break-up, I became more selective with the gigs that we play together,” said Colette.
“There has never been a year when we haven’t played together as a band, but it has been less shows for us. I don’t play in Huntington as much as used to, or play as much late night bar gigs. The one thing I have learned at the age of 30 is that time is very precious. And, with my band, I don’t like to holler at anybody unless it will be a good pay day for us.”
The Honor Flight Benefit, however, was an easy yes for Sasha Colette and the Magnolias, as it is a true labor of love.
“If there as any reason for me to stay out and play until 2 a.m. or so, it would be for the veterans,” said Colette.
“This is one of the coolest benefits that a musician can do. It helps to pay for the veterans to go to D.C. and see the monuments, and you have to pay respect to these people. There are very few causes that are as noble and worthy and I am all for it. Don Duncan set this benefit up and he is a veteran himself, and everybody loves Don. This will be a benefit for Honor Flight, but it will also be a tribute to all of the hard work that Don has done for the local music community over the years.”