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YOUR ROCKIN' NEWS & ENTERTAINMENT CONNECTION TO BROWARD & PALM BEACH
DEC. 11-17, 2002
Ten things you should know about Valerie C.
1. “To call me a folksinger is a stretch. I’m obviously an acoustic musician. Some of my stuff is very folky. But it depends on the venue. If I’m playing an old-timey place, I’ll be playing old-timey music. If I’m playing a kind of blues-and-jazz club, hey, I’ll crank it out. I can play a lot of different styles because I’ve been playing for so long.”
members: Valerie C. Wisecracker (vocals, banjo, guitar)
comments: A third-generation Floridian, Wisecracker has been singing and writing songs about her favorite state in the Union practically since the day she learned to talk. “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing songs,” says the outspoken author of such biting, hysterical numbers as “The Dirty Little Rat That Ate Orlando” and the recent “Bin Laden’s Got a Small One.” Though she often performs accompanied by just her guitar, banjo and trademark wit, Wisecracker occasionally appears with a backing band called The Walking Catfish, which features multi-instrumentalist Wes Malkin and bassist Mitch Mestel. The band’s former harmonica player, Mike Palecki, now serves on Florida’s Public Services Commission. Wisecracker, who recently began performing under the Wisecracker sobriquet because she got tired of people mispronouncing and misspelling her name, doesn’t like to be called a folksinger or be constrained by any other such labels. “No matter what your genre is, I believe that if you sing what you know, if you sing and write tunes that you can get behind, it’s great,” Wisecracker says. “I don’t care if you blow in your music. I don’t care how bad you are so long as you’re sincere in what you’re doing and are having a good time. I’ll play with the lousiest players in the world for hours and really enjoy it because what they’re doing is for real.” Wisecracker eschews competitions. “I don’t enter songwriting contests, because I don’t think songwriting is a competitive sport,” she says. “It’s really great, and it does help you get good spots in festivals, but the kind of music I do is not the kind of music that’s gonna win a songwriting contest anyway.” A real-estate agent by day, Wisecracker last month completed a two-week concert tour of the East Coast. A regular on the festival circuit, she is actually quite choosy about where she plays. “The standard line is, ‘You know, it’s great exposure,’ ” she says of venue owners and festival planners who try to cajole her into playing dubious gigs. “Yeah, well people die from exposure.” That said, look for Wisecracker in all her wisecracking glory at this Friday’s City Link Music Fest.
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