Claire Hinkle is the daughter of a longtime local musician so her musical talent comes as no surprise.
And, at age 16, the Arlington Heights High School senior is ready to establish her own place in music lore. Her debut CD entitled “Let It Out” is receiving great buzz.
James Hinkle, known for his work in blues and Americana music, played guitar on his daughter’s CD. A founder of a top 80s band, Housewives Choice, Hinkle spent three years gigging with Texas legend Marcia Ball, playing guitar behind the singer who also happens to play a mean blues piano.
Aside from a strong musical background, Claire’s family also has strong Fort Worth roots. Her grandfather, Hugh Parmer, was mayor of Fort Worth from 1977-79. Her mother, Elizabeth “Betsy” Parmer, is a Yale graduate and a successful local attorney.
Claire, an honor student, is currently juggling her music with the decision of where to attend college. One thing is certain, though, she plans to continue singing and seeing where it leads her.
How would you describe your style of music?
I haven’t really discovered what my ”sound” is at this point in my life. I write whatever comes out and that can be a headbanger like ”Let It Out,” a ballad like ”She Runs,” or one of my more recent unreleased songs which falls somewhere between folk and pop. I concern myself more with lyrics than I do with the music itself. I’m not a super-great musician.
But you do play instruments. What ones can you play?
I play the piano and guitar — primarily the guitar. I started off with the bass. I was determined not to be a guitar player because my dad’s shoes are big shoes to fill. When I got into writing though, I realized bass wasn’t gonna cut it. I moved to guitar and piano. I’ve had a few lessons here and there, but mostly I’m self-taught.
What was it like having your dad play guitar alongside you on your debut CD?
Man, I love my dad so much. I grew up listening to his records and following his lead on everything music-related. When I was little, he would put me in his guitar case when my mom was out of the house.
Having him play on my record was amazing and very rock ‘n’ roll. He’s the best guitar player in Texas – and maybe even the entire world. I’m not biased. I just state facts.
When did you first start singing?
I’ve been singing for a pretty long time. I know I’d walk around and sing songs about nothing particular. I wish I could write with that same ease now. I remember watching Grease and singing along to ”Hopelessly Devoted” and my mom asked if that was me singing. I think that’s the first time I thought singing could be an option for me.
You said you’ve written about 50 songs, so when will work begin on another album?
When will I start work on another album? When I have the time. Definitely when I have the money. It’s interesting, albums are fading. So much so that it seems like a waste of money to release anything other than singles or EPs. We’ll have to see. I have a lot of material though.
Being an honor student, what schools are you considering for college?
I’ve applied to three schools, but I’m really only drooling over the Clive Davis Recorded Music Program at NYU.