I tend to be freer on the piano. I never took guitar lessons, so my reach exceeds my grasp - what I hear in my head I don't always know how to play. But I love to play over something else. I'm not a self-starter. I get kind of bored with the same three folk chords that I know.
One of the biggest obstacles I've overcome in my life was thinking I didn't deserve to be successful. Artistically I'm not as much of a heavyweight as someone like Paul Simon or Joni Mitchell, because I'm not a creator of original music, and I worried about that for years.
I think I'm a living embodiment of, 'Don't try to push me around or squash me,' whether its how I talk to a record label or in my relationships.
I don't think there's ever been any music quite like what we came up with.
The world I live in is benefiting from things like satellite radio. Jazz and blues fests are everywhere now, and Americana is going strong on college radio. What I'm hearing is an appreciation of real music.
I'm honored when young people say they've gone to school on slide guitar with my records. But people get their influence from my live shows and records and YouTube, not me personally. I walk around with a hat on. People don't know it's me.
I finally learned to accept that I can't make radio play blues any more than I could get Reagan out of the White House.
I was offered to take over for Reba in 'Annie Get Your Gun,' but it wasn't where I wanted to be. I think my fans would be upset if I confined my shows to one city for a long period of time.
Quakers are known for wanting to give back. Ban the bomb and the civil rights movement and the native American struggle for justice - those things were very, very front-burner in my childhood, as were the ideas of working for peace and if you have more than you need, then you share it with people who don't.
Elvis might have compromised his musical style a bit towards the end, but that doesn't mean that artists from the rock n' roll/folk-roots culture - of which he was not really a part - shouldn't get better as they get older, like the great jazz or blues artists.
In blues, classical and jazz, you get more revered with age.
Not being a natural songwriter... for me the appreciation of a great song and the writers came early on, growing up in a musical family. My dad got to sing songs by some of the greatest writers of all time, Rodgers and Hammerstein.
I would rather feel things in extreme than not at all.
With the new ways of getting music out, you don't need a label if you're a legacy artist.
'I Will Not Be Broken' has really become very healing for me. Any time you go through a cataclysmic event... it's going to inform the richness that you sing from... The experiences of life make all your emotions, I think, deeper.
We did a two month tour with Taj Mahal that was really healing and cathartic and a good distraction after my brother passed away. Then I knew I wanted to take a year off, and it was really nice to have that chance to fall apart.
There were so many great music and political scenes going on in the late '60s in Cambridge. The ratio of guys to girls at Harvard was four to one, so all of those things were playing in my mind.
I've watched my peers get better with age and hoped that would happen with me.
I never saw music in terms of men and women or black and white. There was just cool and uncool.
I just play the music that I love with musicians that I respect, and fortunately, I'm in a position where people are willing to play with me, and perhaps I can do something to help them.
It is still a surprise when people tell me that I've had an influence on them, particularly when it's someone I really respect.
I have a really full life, both within music and outside it.
I think people must wonder how a white girl like me became a blues guitarist. The truth is, I never intended to do this for a living.
I grew up in Los Angeles in a Quaker family, and for me being Quaker was a political calling rather than a religious one.
I made my first album, and I guess it wasn't a fluke, because now I'm on my 16th.