A folk-country artist who believes honesty is the best policy, in lyrics and in life, CU’s own Angie Heaton sings of, “crushes and death, and being crushed to death.” Between balancing a distribution job at indie label Parasol Records and focusing on her own musical development, Heaton remains a busy gal. Here, she talks with buzz about life, Alt Country, and how she has nothing to hate about her hometown.
buzz: Why Angie Heaton and “The Gentle Tamers”?
Angie Heaton: I collect cowgirl “stuff,” and somewhere along the journey found a book called The Gentle Tamers by Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, not former Illini!) about women who pioneered the Wild West. I thought it would be a great band name!
buzz: What about Neko Case as an artist causes you to list her at the top of your “influences” list?
Angie: I am a huge fan of Neko; she certainly does “influence” me. I think she’s an amazing songwriter, with a gorgeous voice. My favorite Neko moment was when I was playing drums with the Tractor Kings and we were opening for Neko, and she said to me: “You’re a great drummer … for a lady!”
buzz: What was your experience like in Corndolly?
Angie: I was pretty young in the Corndolly days, working through a lot of stuff. I was pretty naive back then, just going with the flow. It was a pretty neat experience to be able to be in a band, and travel, and meet people — Liz Phair played her first show ever opening for Corndolly at Treno’s in Champaign!
buzz: Who do you consider your greatest influence/role model in life?
Angie: This is a toughie! I would say I am most influenced by people I meet everyday … people who love unconditionally, who see the bigger picture in life, and don’t judge others. I have learned that we can live life either extending love, or projecting fear. I want to extend love. I think the people I’ve seen do this the most are my mom and my dad.
buzz: What do you love most about CU?
Angie: The openness and diversity of the people, my job at Parasol, the Thai Y Eatery in the YMCA on campus. There’s so much to love here!

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