Barricaded in a 4x3 foot condiment closet, beaming with sunshine against the ketchup packets was a smiling Bri Bagwell. We had the pleasure of interviewing Bagwell after her Hank's Saloon show at Mile 0 Fest, albeit standing in a storage room surrounded by a buzzing crowd.
Bagwell originally called Las Cruces, New Mexico home, adding that southwestern flair to her undoubtedly Texas Country sound. Her incorporation of Spanish lyrics & love for Saguaros marries a TexMex rhythm to New Mexico scenery.
Her first official show of the busy Mile 0 Fest week was Hank's, however she sang the night before (after midnight!) for the Charlie Robison/Keith Gattis tribute show. Even after a long evening, Bagwell commanded that 11 AM stage with crystal clear vocal stability & a vibrance that drew people closer & closer. You can read more about that show [HERE!]
Missed at the event was Bagwell's "famous" dog Whiskey. A chihuahua mix found on the side of the road, Whiskey has skyrocketed to celeb status by her fun show outfits, specialty music headgear, & all around lovable personality. She's the star, Bagwell is just her handler-- as a fan pointed out when recognizing Whiskey & not Bagwell.
New single "Rescue" releases February 9th about Whiskey's impact on Bagwell. At the Hank's show, several people were moved to tears listening to the raw & emotional description of Bagwell's life meeting Whiskey. Standout line in the chorus mentions knowing who the real rescue was in the relationship, hinting that Bagwell would have been down a darker path without her furry friend.
"[Whiskey's] like my best friend," said Bagwell. "I found her in the middle of the road, and I finally wrote a song about her with my friend Helene Cronin."
As a dog rescuer myself, it's hard not to place yourself in the lyrics of "Rescue." Anyone who has taken the time to save an animal can attest that the love & care of a rescue relationship runs both ways. Bagwell mentioned several times during her set that she would try not to cry while singing the song, but proceeded to get teary eyed during the hard hitting verses, sending the crowd into fits of "awwws" & watery eyes themselves.
Proving to be a hit among the animal lovers, portions of the song's earnings will go to rescue charities/organizations in New Braunfels, Texas (Bagwell's home city) & her hometown in New Mexico. Be sure to download "Rescue" on the 9th to be a part of the giving spirit!
Among new releases, Bagwell also has a booming podcast called "Only Vans." The podcast is dedicated to road life & the silly or sometimes serious conversations you have on long drives in the van. Guests include all sorts of music industry folk like Django Walker, Rio Tripiano, Bo Brumble, & soon to be even me!
In the works, another Bagwell album will also release this year. Potentially on the album could be a sexy song she wrote for her beau Paul Eason of Wilder Blue.
"I played a new one today that was kind of a little sexy, soulful moment," said Bagwell. "Paul had never heard that song & then I just played it for him for the first time on stage in front of a bunch of people."
In the interview I mentioned that the new tune had a Tyler Childers "Ever Loving Hand" aura about it, yearning for a stop with your sweetie while away on the road. Eason was noticeably flushed, evening saying "DAMN" on the microphone after the song finished. It was a "little exclusive moment for him" & an exciting reveal for us in the crowd. We're looking forward to maybe hearing that beautifully written, effortlessly cool song on an upcoming release.
When talking about Mile 0 Fest, Bagwell captured the overall spirit of the fandom.
"Everyone is so attentive here," said Bagwell. "Everyone listens to every word, & they're quiet. It's the best vibe here. I just appreciate people listening to songwriters. It makes our whole year, really."
To keep up on all things Bri Bagwell, be sure to follow her on social media & all your streaming platforms. Every spin of a song matters, especially on "Rescue."
If you attended any Bagwell performances at Mile 0 Fest or have met the wonderful Whiskey, let us know your thoughts in the comments below! We'd love to swap stories & share about great songwriters & furry friends.