Mick Fleetwood about Eva Cassidy

In the 90’s Mick Fleetwood had a club in Alexandria called Fleetwood’s. Alexandria is near Washington DC which was the area where Eva Cassidy lived: ‘When I went there I wanted to know what the sensibilities were with the local talents. So I set about meeting and hearing local musicians and she was one of them. I am always driven by passion and that’s about it. I don’t have a judgement call on technique or anything. It’s all about: Am I moved? Is this sweet? Does this got drama to it? When Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac  it was like: that’s it, let’s go! And that’s how I first met with that feeling about Eva; her voice was her ultimate tool of magic, but she was like a perfect band member, really. Emotionally she reminded me of playing with Peter Green.

Mick Fleetwood on drums

Mick Fleetwood on drums

I remember talking with her and I was aware of this person was just as pure as snow. Crystals. Just totally. But sort of stubborn: she was trying to get a record deal. Trying to be noticed. She was looking for someone who understood her. Except that there was no one out there who understood her. I said: ‘Why don’t you go and play the game?’ So off she went to get together with record company Blue Note in New York. They loved her music apparently. And they saw her potential. But it was THEIR potential it wasn’t HER vision. So she came back from one of these trips. And I remember saying: ‘How did it go?’ And she answered: ‘Well, nothing happened. I basically all but walked out and said: ‘I’m not going to do that, I’m not interested.’’ They wanted to take the essence of Eva and make it more accessible, but to her it was: ‘What about ME? What about IT? The essence of ME?’

Mick Fleetwood and Eva's Songbird album

Mick Fleetwood and Eva’s Songbird album

I never brought it up again. Because I realised it was off limits. The very thing that they wanted to change became the uniqueness of her forever success and regard from all corners of the earth. Her persona; that was all about her music. She was a gorgeous girl that had no interest in fluffing up. She just wanted to sing. You don’t have to be brilliant. But she WAS brilliant and she had that childlike, lovely thing that was just … the magic! I call that: IT. So I look at her as an interpreter of songs and she had so much power and conviction about herself, that she could do that. I mean some of the songs that she sang were so public domain; Why do you want to do that song? It has been done by everyone! ‘Well, because it’s a great song. And I can sing it.’ She was fearless. She wouldn’t play the game. She didn’t choose a song to satisfy someone else; if it didn’t feel right, she wouldn’t do it. In terms of Eva and how she is perceived, received and loved through her music: I am certainly not surprised, but I know when these moments were really really real. That was when I realised: something is happening now!’

6 responses to “Mick Fleetwood about Eva Cassidy”

  1. Steve K says:

    I discovered Eva an old fashioned way. I was in a record store and her album was playing. I asked the guy, who is that singer? He told me a bit about her, including the sad news she was no longer with us. I bought the CD Live at Blues Alley and have loved it ever since

  2. James Parker says:

    So, I “discovered” Eva’s music a few years ago. I am 53 and wish I was aware of her recordings sooner. There truly is a conviction in her songs that she sings. What an amazing, seemingly effortless even, a performance that doesn’t even feel like a performance. It is like she IS the song she sings.

    Mac Fleetwood got it right and without fancy words nailed that something she had – IT.

    Sadly, too far and between do the artists, performers, and genuine people appear in our lives. Whether in person or otherwise and how lucky we are that we may celebrate their lives through their recordings that are left behind.

  3. Barry Hall says:

    Fabulous peice from Mick Fleetwood about Eva Cassidy. Thank you! — Barry.

    • Gene Johnson says:

      What a lovely story from a person that knew Eva and recognized her for who she was and what she stood for. Thank you Mick Fleetwood. I now have more understanding of what she did and why.

  4. Mac Macdonald says:

    A beautiful tribute from a giant of the music industry. always called her my Celtic girl. Music for her was an expression of her feelings and needs, it was rooted in her very being, in her soul and I believe it was her way of reaching out to people looking for approval , love, and for someone to share her life, her dreams and her values without compromising who SHE was. She expressed her inner emotions and dreams through HER choice of music, not the choice of others. As she explored the commercial world of music, people consistently tried to move her away from her choices to satisfy the markets- she was not about to let that happen because music was her way of communicating who she was and how she felt.
    I miss her so much it hurts, God bless Eva Cassidy.

  5. Barbara lahey says:

    I love Eva and her music…I’ve been following her for a long time and introducing her to my friends.
    One of my favorites is “I know you by heart”.of course over the rainbow is soooo beautiful…….
    I shared her music with seniors,who enjoyed it,
    We are so lucky to have so many albums available……
    Her young death was a tragedy……..barbara

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