Rose Hudson made a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and changed a lightbulb during a Jan. 13 phone interview.

The 46-year-old grandmother called her 3-year-old grandson "a pistol."

"I love it, and it drives me crazy," she said of caring for the toddler.

Hudson, the York singer, used to perform every weekend. But as she plans her 2012 endeavors, she had more family time.

Her youngest child just turned 18, but the child-rearing cycle has already started all over again.

"It's fun this time around because I'm not as young a I used to be," Hudson joked. "I don't have that youthful energy."

Have you been singing your entire life? I guess since grade school. (I sang) in chorus and choir. I started singing with the Sunburst band when I was 16. I guess I had a hiatus for a while . . . maybe a 15-year hiatus . . . since I started singing again.

Was your family musical? Not really. My mother and dad just played a lot of music at home. My mother's from Puerto Rico, so I grew up listening to a lot of Latin music. They both enjoyed R&B, Motown (and) the sounds of the '60s and '70s.

Who were your inspirations? I liked the music that I heard back in the '70s. I grew up listening to Gladys Knight and The Pips, Aretha Franklin (and) James Brown. There was a lot of different kinds of music going on in the '70s. You had Parliament Funkadelic. You had Marvin Gaye. I also liked listening to Fleetwood Mac and Carly Simon. I enjoyed a variety of different types of music. Singing music (in Catholic School) gave me more of a different edge on music. Have your tastes changed over time? Oh, heck yes. (Laughs) It's been influenced by the musicians I've met. When my kids got older, and I was able to come out and sing more I had an idea of the songs I'd like to do. I used to go to these jam sessions, and they did more blues and rock. Those were perfect opportunities to get up and jam. I used to go . . . out in Lancaster. It was the rock, funk and blues jam on Thursday nights. On Wednesday nights, it was jazz. It introduced me to genres I typically didn't have a real education about. (It) was a crash course.

What local musician were helpful? There are a lot. The guys in Extremity . . . were really instrumental in encouraging me to go up there and sing and learn as much as I can.

When did you put your own act together? I would show up to (Extremity) gigs all the time. Every time they had a (show) I would show up and hope they would let me get up and sing. One day, (one member) said, "if you want to get up and sing, get your own band." (Laughs) So, that's what I did. It really helped me to decrease my anxiety. The more I got up and sang, the more comfortable with the crowd I became (and) the more relaxed I felt in order to do the music.

Who did you recruit for your bands? I was singing in a couple different bands. I was in Lancaster, and I joined a blues band called Blue Light Special. At the same time, I had a jazz trio. We all played at different times depending on who was available.

Have you done recordings? I put out my blues CD back in 2007. I was actually in Copenhagen a few years ago and sang at the Copenhagen Blues Fest. Through my association with some of the musician I met . . . they were able to come to the U.S. We did some local tours (and) we managed to do a live CD together.

Was the international audience into the music? They're awesome. You've got to know your stuff when you're dealing with international audiences. I think music education is extremely important. In the U.S., they don't really understand. With them cutting programs in schools, they're harming kids. I was really surprised going over there how much more they knew about blues music (and) soul music than I did.

What is coming up for you this year? I'm not gigging so much now. I'm networking with musicians. I have an agent now and he is . . . also a musician. He has been on tour with people like Prince and Justin Timberlake. I met him by going to open mike sessions down in Baltimore. I wrote a song for an independent film that I was in last year ("Easy Hustle.") The film will be coming out in a few weeks. I'm doing acting - something I never thought I'd ever do. I'm going to be acting in an independent film (by "Easy Hustle" director Daniel Fordham) called "Reunion." (I'm) going to be doing a musical "The Tear Jar." (It was) initially scheduled for March, but I guess, due to some funding (issues), we're probably going to do the show up in New York in the fall instead. I'm still hopeful about that.

- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff

If you go

Rose Hudson played a lounge singer in Harrisburg native Daniel Fordham's movie "Easy Hustle." There will be an "Easy Hustle" red carpet event 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 4 at PS Artist Lounge, 712 S. Cameron St., Harrisburg.


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