a 65 year old lawyer who has been in jazz and blues clubs from Greenwich
Village to Yonge Street to Bourbon Street to San Fran for over 45 years, I was
just blown away by what I have just seen and heard in 30 minutes tonight!
Wow! You've been to the Crossroads and you got all of the devil's tunes! And
then your own words, personality and Foy's foil made them all better! I
turned to my partner after 15 minutes and said that I hadn't heard such down
home raw talent since my previous reincarnation in the 1930's!”
--Neil Robertson, a fan.
Little Miss Higgins was born in Brooks, Alberta, and raised in Independence, Kansas.
Music entered her life early.
“When I was about four my dad bought this old piano at a local bar,” she recalls.
“It was a mini grand piano. He brought it home and told me it was mine. I
carved my name in the side and started taking piano lessons.”
Growing up playing piano, Little Miss Higgins (aka Jolene Higgins) now uses
guitar and voice as her main instruments as well as her theatre background to
bring a “refreshing sound and story to the stage.”
Her stage name, Little Miss Higgins suits the undeniably inflammatory mix of
her blues and country music repertoire but the moniker was largely accidental.
“When I moved to Saskatchewan I made friends
with this crazy Greek guy,” she recalls “He started calling me that, and it
just stuck. I started using it on posters around 2002.”
Over the past five years, Little Miss Higgins—described as a “pocket-sized
powerhouse” by Richard Knechtel in the Owen Sound Sun Times--has built a strong
national reputation throughout Canada, appearing in clubs and on festival
stages in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Owen Sound, and Canso, Nova Scotia
performing traditional songs but also her own original music that picks up on
blues styles of the past, but remains very much her own expression.
As a songwriter, she has been influenced by a range of artists from Memphis
Minnie, Billy Holiday, Big Bill Broonzy to Joni Mitchell.
Then there’s her classical music background. She spent two post-secondary
school years studying theatre, and a third studying music and drama at the B.C.
Conservatory of Music on Vancouver Island.
Her studio albums “Cobbler Shop Sessions” (2006) and “Junction City” (2007)
superbly showcase Little Miss Higgins as a highly-developed songwriter as well
as a remarkable country blues performer in a style gracefully highlighted by
her partner, guitarist Foy Taylor.
The release of “Junction City” resulted in a
handful of honours for Little Miss Higgins.
She kicked off 2008 at the 11th annual Maple Blues Awards in Toronto. Nominated in
the New Artist of the Year category, she performed at the awards gala in Toronto.
A few months later, Little Miss Higgins won the Favourite Blues Artist/Group or
Duo of the Year category of the 8th Annual Indies Awards held in Toronto during Canadian
As well, “Junction City” won as
Outstanding Blues Recording at Western Canadian Music Awards, and was nominated
in the Blues Album of the Year category at the 2008 Juno Awards..
To her fan’s delight, there was the 2009 release” Little Miss Higgins Live.”
The album was recorded at Amigo’s Cantina in Saskatoon, and Engineered
Air Theatre in Calgary.
The album features such favourite performance fare as “The Dirty Ol Tractor
Song,” “Velvet Barley Bed,” “In The Middle Of Nowhere” and “I’m Gonna Bake My
Biscuits.” As well, there are several new songs including “Snowin’ Today: A
Lament For Louis Riel.”
Between touring, Little Miss Higgins and Foy Taylor live a fairly simple life
in the small but vibrant town of Nokomis, Saskatchewan. “We like to
make things from scratch, and we have a big garden,” she says. “We don’t have a
horse and cart, but maybe we’ll get there someday.”
Higgins makes good use of the inspiration she
gathers from the world around her, with many songs coming from her home
community of Nokomis, formerly known as Junction City for its crossing railway
lines, equidistant between Saskatoon and Regina.
Cooke, Chronicle Herald, Halifax
"Saskatchewan's economy is boomin' and so is the province's music
scene. Leading the way is blues/folk/roots singer Little Miss Higgins, who
sings with the soul of a flapper."
--Sandra Sperounes, Edmonton Journal
"Unfortunately, I found myself prosecuted by the
court of Murphy's Law which decreed that I not be in my seat but at the bar
when Little Miss Higgins finally took to the stage. She's got a twenties or
thirties sound thing goin' on and a voice that's smooth like a prohibition fog
rolling in on a lake of honey surrounded by cotton ball trees... with Mint
Juleps scattered around the beach, of course."
--Super Turbo Bunny
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