Author | Photo Nikki Ormerod. Left to Right - Caroline Brooks, Susan Passmore and Kerri Ough

15 Minutes With The Good Lovelies

The Good Lovelies are Caroline Brooks, Susan Passmore and Kerri Ough. These Juno and Canadian Folk Music award winners have a brand new album, Shapeshifters, out this week. There is an undertone of hopefulness to their music as they grapple with the challenges of motherhood and cope with the grief of losing a mother.

We caught up with them this week.

SDTC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

KO: I want to travel to Japan – with the band and also separately with my husband. I want to write and publish a book. I want to learn to speak German fluently. I want to release my solo album someday.

What’s your go-to song for getting stuff done?

The tUnE-yArDs album w h o k i l l or Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” When I’m working away in my office I listen to Brian Eno’s Music for Airports.

What advice would you give to your fourteen-year-old self?

I’m not sure I would even try to tell my fourteen-year-old self anything – she was so strong willed and bull headed and probably wouldn’t have listened to anyone’s advice. But to my twenty-one- to twenty-five-year-old self, I would probably suggest that she get more sleep and consume less pasta with butter to save a buck and spend more on vegetables and healthy meals.

Who has made a big impact in your life recently, and how?

Someone I know: Christine Bougie. Apart from my business partners and best friends, Caroline and Sue, Christine Bougie (lap steel & electric guitar player) is the person I bounce all my wild ideas off of. Christine has introduced me to great books, apps, podcasts and systems that make my work and personal life easier.

Someone I don’t know: I think my answer would have to be Tim Ferriss. The number of times I find myself saying, “I heard this great Tim Ferriss interview” is hard to track. I don’t know him, but I love his interview style, I love the guests he chooses for his podcast, and I love how he processes the world. He makes me feel connected to all sorts of like-minded strangers and through his books and interviews, he has indirectly impacted my life for the better.

What does your ideal Saturday look like?

CB: My favourite Saturday involves waking up, having a really good breakfast and watching cartoons with my kids. Then we’d head out and go skating or do something fun outside as a family. My ideal Saturday always involves a good cup of coffee and a glass of delicious red wine with dinner. To top it off, there would be some chill time with my husband after the kids go to sleep.

What’s the best part of being your current age?

The best part of being my current age is not caring so much about how I look. I spent so much time in my teens and early twenties not feeling comfortable in my skin – I absolutely don’t feel that way anymore. I also love knowing that there are many years ahead to follow through on my dreams and goals. Well, I guess we never know, but statistically there is!

What is your favourite quality in your best friend?

Kerri and Sue are my best buds, and I love how much fun I have with them. We have some ridiculous adventures on the road and in our business, and I love that we can often just laugh at ourselves – it helps us keep our perspective on what’s important. So I guess in a nutshell, it’s their sense of humour.

What/who is currently inspiring you?

My musical peers are currently inspiring me. I love the new Bahamas record and how he decided to work on a project that was unique (working with Pino Palladino and Mr. James Gadson). The same goes for Anais Mitchell. She’s taken her skill as a songwriter and is turning it into a new art form by making a musical (Hadestown) and broadening the scope of who she can expose her music to.

What art work would you love to have in your space/on your walls, and why?

I am really into Amy Dryer’s art work. I love how colourful and vibrant it is. A few years ago she painted portraits of each of us Good Lovelies, and they hang on my wall. I would love to own one of her city portraits – they stir me up in a big way.

Fave rainy day comfort food? Or activity?

SP: Fire on, sitting in my favourite armchair by the window, with a coffee or tea and a crossword. OR same setting and a jigsaw puzzle. I used to work on a puzzles for hours, but these days I do worry that my toddler will hide the pieces all over the living room like an easter egg hunt.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher, so I could use a photocopier. Also, a secretary, so I could use a photocopier. Update at present: I worked at both Kinko’s and The Printing House, so I proudly fulfilled what was at the essence of my childhood dream: hours upon hours using a photocopier.

What was your favourite game/toy as a child?

I asked my brother what he thought my favourite might have been, and we both agreed it was likely board games in general. I also loved pretending to run retail shops.

What adult task would you like to get better at?

Excellent question. I think there are many adult tasks I would like to get better at, but the first that jumps to mind is making time to prepare food. I love the idea of spending three hours every day preparing amazing meals, baking biscuits, and canning hundreds of peaches in the summertime. I’ll get there one day.

If you could spend a year studying something, what would it be?

This is a tough one because there are LOTS of things I would like to spend a year working at. Musically, I could do this with guitar lessons and drums lessons – I would love those opportunities; otherwise, I would love to spend a year learning carpentry, how to do all kinds of clothing alterations (I get most of my clothes altered), electrical wiring, home building, and perhaps learning how to run a coffee shop. My home village of Newcastle, Ontario, could use a really great coffee shop.

The Good Lovelies are playing Massey Hall as Very Special Guests of Royal Wood on Friday, May 11th. Get tix here

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