By Rick DeYampert
*Instruments: A tiny little bit of guitar, but what I really do is sing.
*Band name: Expresso Jazz & Blues (performing primarily with guitarist Denny Weaver, keyboardist Marsha Summers and sax/flute player Ray Guiser).
*Day job: Anico Veterinary Products Inc. — V.P. in charge of wholesale/national sales and shipping, a family-owned company producing animal nutritional and healing products.
*Hometown: Born in Taunton , Mass. ; grew up in Hollywood , Fla. Lived in Granby , Conn. , before moving here.
*Current residence: Ormond Beach .
*Type of music you perform: Jazz, blues, pop, originals — all styles.
*Repertoire sampler: “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” “How High the Moon,” “Golden Earrings,” “At Last,” “Basin Street Blues,” “Howling at the Moon” (original), “Hootchie Mama” (original), “White Rabbit,” “White Flag.”
*Upcoming area gigs: See calendar link to the left
Who or what inspired you to take up music?
My parents started me on the path, teaching me to sing as I learned to talk, and using music as a reading tool. My husband, Dan, was and continues to be my strongest inspiration, and the reason I’m able to work in this wonderful and crazy business. He has helped me so much, giving generously of his time, support and wise counsel, making it possible for me to sing professionally. He is the one who makes all the love songs real.
You use the proceeds from the sales of your CDs to support animal rescue and shelter operations. What critters currently reside at the Flynn residence, and how did you come by your love of animals?
At this time we “only” have eight critters — three horses, two dogs, and three cats. We recently lost my 33-year-old horse (she was with me for 30 years), and my 20-year-old cat (with us since a kitten). I come by my love of animals honestly, and through my family. My paternal grandfather trained horses in Russia — I’m told he had empathic abilities, like an early “horse whisperer.”
My dad has always loved animals and studied animal husbandry and nutrition in college. He started a farm where I was born, and then started our business over 47 years ago, and is still running our company today at age 81. I was always the kid bringing home the wounded, lost or stray animals, trying to make them better and give them a home.
My husband indulges my need for my warm, fuzzy creatures as well, and fortunately loves and helps care for them with his big and generous heart.
What was the most unusual gig you’ve ever played?
On our honeymoon in 1984, traveling around Ireland, I had the amazing experience of playing and singing some of my original music with the National Fiddle Champion of Ireland, in a pub in Galway. It was magical. Being a musician in Ireland opens doors very few tourists ever get to enter. The night after that, we were invited to a private party way out on the moors. Turns out it was a combination fishing tournament celebration and wake!
What musician/celebrity/historical person would you most like to have dinner with?
What was the last book you read?
Dean Koontz’s “Forever Odd.”
What CD/tape is in your car/home stereo right now?
“Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing Live in New York.”
What is your favorite movie?
“The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.”
What was the best concert you ever attended?
It wasn’t a concert, but it was unforgettable — I had the chance to see the Beatles perform at the dress rehearsal for “The Ed Sullivan Show” at the Deuville Hotel in Miami in 1964. Later I watched them swim in the hotel pool. The management made them wear bathing caps! My cousin, who worked in food services, went up to their room after that with room service, and got their autographs for me on a hotel menu.
“If I didn’t play music, I would . . . ”:
Rescue animals full time. But I can’t imagine a world where I couldn’t sing.
“I’d sell my soul for . . .”:It’s not for sale, but I’d lease it out for universal kindness to animals and homes for the homeless.