Posted 4/26/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
Kari Canfield finds inspiration at odd moments.
Sometimes she’ll wake up at three in the morning with a tune in her head, which she’ll sing into her phone so she doesn’t forget it.
Or she’ll be babysitting her cousin’s daughter, and Canfield will hear her singing a song she’s making up for fun, and there’ll be some little lyric that sparks a new song.
Canfield recently released a song she wrote, “Tomboy.” It’s available for download, and the Tioga musician plans to release even more songs, and possibly, a video.
Her father, Daniel McGinnity, played guitar and when she was about 14 years old she asked him to teach her to play.
“Music has always been in his life,” she said.
Being a teenager “with an attitude,” she didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it and nothing much more came of it until she was about 20.
She again asked her father to teach her to play. Canfield said he was skeptical, thinking this was another passing whim that wouldn’t pan out to anything serious.
Rather than put a lot into it, he taught her three chords and told her if she learned to play those well, he’d teach her three more.
This time was different. She practiced those chords and even struck out on her own to learn more. Within a couple weeks, she was playing “Hotel California” by The Eagles.
The two of them collaborated together. Canfield said their different musical interests -- she being more focused on country and pop, and her dad more into folk and bluegrass -- produced some fun jam sessions.
She eventually started playing at the nursing facility at Tioga Medical Center on Thursday nights.
“That got me comfortable playing in front of people,” she recalled.
She later began playing at Model Tavern with her father, Don Freborg and Dave Rust.
Kassidi Sibley also joined in and the two women’s musical styles resonated together well.
“After a while, we just quit bringing the guys,” Canfield said.
Canfield wrote and recorded a demo, which she sent to Nashville, hoping like a lot of musicians to get discovered and open up doors of opportunity.
She availed herself of the modern software available to produce a quality sound for her promotions, but the applications were complicated.
“I spent longer learning to use the software than I did learning to play the guitar,” she said.
After that, she began recording in a studio in Rapid City, S.D. After she listened to what she’d produced it just didn’t sound right to her.
“Something was still missing. And as I thought about it more, I thought of Kassidi,” she said.
She brought her singing partner into the studio and finally got the sound she was looking for. Sibley also sings on the single “Tomboy.”
“We just click,” Canfield said.
Besides recording her own songs, she said she’s tried pitching her music to artists and labels. So far, she hasn’t had any bites.
Canfield is also looking at working with a production company in Bismarck to produce a video for her music. She’s not sure if she wants to do a video for “Tomboy” or maybe another song, such as her song, “Survive,” which she said has a very different sound.
“How do I want to portray myself first?” she said.
Canfield said her music is not a pursuit of any riches or glamor.
“I don’t want to tour around like Miranda Lambert. I don’t see that in my stars,” she said, is the question.
Canfield owned Clips and Cowlicks for a little over six years and sold it to Stephany Tubbs, who renamed it Solar Flare.
Canfield continued to work at the salon, but it closed this past December.
While contemplating whether or not to work elsewhere, her husband suggested she pursue her music and have fun at it, for herself.
He said, “just enjoy what you’re doing and distribute it.”
“To have a few people sit around and hear me play, that’s for me,” Canfield said.
Her music can be found on ReverbNation. She hosts a video of her soloing her song “Survivor,” which you can watch for free at www.reverbnation.com/karicanfield.