Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Kirsten Thien
Kirsten Thien’s unlikely path from a Georgetown University Business School graduate to a blues and roots rock singer/songwriter began just weeks before college graduation when she decided to forgo career on Wall Street for a life in music. Since then she has released four albums and toured the USA, Canada and Europe extensively including festivals in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany and Norway. Kirsten appears with her band, as well as in more intimate solo and duo arrangements. She has opened for Dickey Betts, Shawn Colvin, and one of her favorite artists of all time, Buddy Guy. Kirsten was the first female artist to record a studio track with blues guitar legend Hubert Sumlin (“Please Drive” on Delicious). The album received acclaim from Guitar Player Magazine, Downbeat, and Keyboard Magazine. It captured the attention of New York City DJ Pat St. John who said after seeing Thien’s live show, “The album is flawless. She’s gonna be a big, big star.” Thien has toured the world with her band as well as solo. One of her solo powerhouse shows yielded Solo Live from the Meisenfrei Blues Club.
More recently, Thien has developed an Early Women in the Blues edu-tainment program, taking audiences through the music of the 20s blues women, with historical and anecdotal aspects of their lives and careers. She adds her own perspective on just how groundbreaking the work of these important women was at the time, and how they popularized blues music in recording and on the stage, while inspiring the generations to come.
Kirsten went back to working a ‘day gig’ a few years ago, among other reasons, to fund the efforts of her record company (Screen Door Records) and various recording projects in the new financial realities of recorded music. Like many of her musical heroes, as long as she worked day and night, this did not slow down her touring or playing shows, and fueled her ability to release the Two Sides project as envisioned. Two Sides began with a session at Grand Street Recording in Brooklyn with Erik Boyd, Arthur Neilson, Steve Holley, Tommy Mandel, and ended up as a journey of exciting musical explorations and collaborations.