With New Zealand as her home base, singer-songwriter Tami Neilson spends a fair portion of her working life with an ocean separating her from family. The powerhouse vocalist, a native of Canada, deals with the subject in “Manitoba Sunrise at Motel 6,” which now has a melancholy video to accompany it.
From Neilson’s forthcoming album Sassafrass, “Manitoba Sunrise” mixes its sweet, sad melody with the ever-present feeling of homesickness. “Lonesome prairie wind, won’t you blow me home again / To the love I left behind, but never leaves my mind,” sings Neilson, whose stylized performance shots are interspersed with vintage footage of vehicles in transit.
“It was a freezing cold February morning in the middle of a cross-Canada winter tour. I was missing my boys terribly and I took a photo of the sunrise upon waking, captioning it with ‘Manitoba Sunrise from Motel 6’ and immediately began the lyrics,” says Neilson. “They sat in my notebook for months until the day I heard the news of Glen Campbell’s death. I was so saddened and felt like I’d somehow lost a part of my childhood, another part of my father, who had died two years earlier. I picked up my guitar and wrote the music and melody in an homage to him, a way to express my sadness, celebrate his legacy of music and thank him in my own little way.”
Sassafrass, which includes the brassy single “Stay Outta My Business,” will be released June 1st.