The BlueBonnets' Kathy Valentine
Q. Why did you reform The BlueBonnets?
A. I started the BlueBonnets when I moved back to Austin, Texas in 2006. I
wanted to start playing again and I think Dominique Davalos(co-founder of The
BlueBonnets) came out to visit me. We meet Eve Monsees (another guitarist in
the BlueBonnets). I thought the BlueBonnets was such a Texas type of
band but when we formed originally, we were in L.A. Then I thought,
why not give The BlueBonnets another life in Texas. Plus Dominique and
I had been working together since 1992. So we morphed The BlueBonnets
and the Delphines. We had The BlueBonnets at first. We weren’t doing "Sweet Home Chicago"(Kathy laughs)
but cool, obscure nuggets. Then we started getting into more original material.
After going through a couple of singers, we decided on Dominique to
sing. It seemed like a big enough departure from the BlueBonnets that
we needed a new name. So we changed the name to the Delphines. Then we
became the BlueBonnets again. Me and Dominique have been the core
since 1992, so we just decided we would do some of the songs the
Delphines had done, too, because there wasn’t a huge audience that had
access to that material.
Q. You have been in alot of bands. The Go-Go’s have had massive success,
is very well known, groundbreaking and pioneering, do you feel you in
any way you were going back to square one on some level restarting The
A. When I formed the very first BlueBonnets, it was just that. The
Go-Go’s had broken up and I was little confused and lost in my musical
identity. I had gotten away from the guitar and the variety and spectrum
of music that influenced me. Because The Go-Go’s were a pretty much a
strict pop band. A lot of the bands I looked up to were like The
Rolling Stones, The Faces, The Beatles, The Yardbirds, so many of
those bands started playing blues. They kind of grew from that. I
thought I was floundering a little bit. So I wanted to start playing
and getting my chops back and go somewhere basic and see where that
would take me. I have always seen myself as a working musician. When I
was in The Go-Go’s, I would play in bands. I would get off The Go-Go’s
tour, and two nights later, I would be playing in a club. I don’t mind
if it’s a big tour, or playing a little club, or a studio, or a rehearsal
room. I’m most comfortable as a band person. I don’t crave the
Q. What is different this time around playing with The BlueBonnets?
A. We are evolving as we speak. One of the differences is we have Eve.
She is a fantastic guitar player. Before in the BlueBonnets, I was the
only guitar player. In the Delphines, I was the only guitar player.
It’s great to have another guitarist especially since I’ve become a
mom. I don’t play as much as I used to. I’m not at the height of my
playing. I’m still a competent and really good player. Material wise,
we are still writing as a band. We don’t really worry about direction.
If we like a song, we like a song. I think people who like Jack White,
The White Stripes, The Black Keys and people who like rock music that
has a lot of trashy bluesy elements will like The Bluebonnets. I think if Jack White
saw and heard the BlueBonnets, he would dig it. I’m hoping he gets wind of us
one day. He is very supportive of women. I think alot of people would
like what we are doing if we had the exposure. It’s natural and normal
for me. It’s a good extension of what I am musically.
Q. How long has the band been involved with Stageit and what do
you think it?
A. This is our fourth one. I think it’s great for people to see the band
that don’t live in Austin, Texas, but it also gives them a way
to support the band. We don’t have a record label or financial
backers, so when we play a club, we don’t make alot of money. Stageit
is like a little Kickstarter or Indie GoGo. The fans can support you
and what they are getting back is to see a show. That is how we paid
for our air tickets to come L.A. and to help pay our engineer. When we
came in January, we played three clubs and a Stageit and that helped
us not go broke. We don’t lose money. The people that have started
with their first Stageit come back. I want to get more people watching
them. I liked the first time we did it and the amount of community that
developed from it. I went back and looked at the comments online.
It was like the fans were talking to each other standing at a bar and
saying “Hey I like this song.” Friendships have been made. People are
hanging out together now because they met through a Stageit event.
Q. Why did you leave The Go-Go’s?
I stopped working with The Go-Go’s. My last show was May 2012. I broke
my wrist. I missed out on some of the touring. During that tour, the
band decided they didn’t want to work with me anymore. It was not an
amicable parting of the ways. I’m sad it happened that way. But I’m
very focused on my future and passionate about it. I feel my future is
more relevant and important than the past.