Film star Minnie driven to succeed in music world
Music fan Jim Milton presents his latest ‘Hidden Treasure’ feature by putting Minnie Driver’s 2003 release Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket under the spotlight.
Who? - Countless singers have turned to acting with varying degrees of success and credibility over the years, but not many have made the transition in reverse. One of the higher profile Hollywood film stars to diversify into music, and make a real fist of it, is Minnie Driver; with an impressive vocal range and nurturing an interest in music first awakened at boarding school, she signed a recording deal with EMI in 2001.
What? - Minnie’s first solo record, Everything I’ve Got In My Pocket (EIGIMP), came out to minimum fanfare, although a support slot on the UK portion of the Finn Brothers tour that same year helped enlighten the world to a genuine new talent on the singer-songwriting circuit.
Peaking at number 43 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart, 10 of the album’s 11 songs are selfpenned, the exception being an stripped-down but worthy cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Hungry Heart.
With? - Produced by Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks associate Jeff Trott, along with Marc ‘Doc’ Dauer who must take credit for urging an initially taciturn Driver to commit her unquestionable talent to vinyl, or whatever they call it these days.
The pair also formed part of Minnie’s super-tight studio band, along with Wallflowers keyboard player Rami Jaffee and lap steel guitarist Ben Peeler, formerly of the Mavericks.
Stand-out? - Neither single taken from the album, the title track nor Invisible Girl, came anywhere near to denting the charts, although, as an opening salvo, the pair begins EIGIMP on a powerfully catchy note.
Close to perfection as a pop song, the latter presents Driver’s composing craft to great effect.
Elsewhere, quality maintains a fine standard with Home and Deeper Water particularly pleasing to the ear.
What Happened Next? - Seastories, from 2007, and 2014’s Ask Me To Dance both charted higher than her debut, but such a meagre output suggests that the silver screen was always going to be her main priority.
Legacy? - A hundred years from now, her name certainly won’t be mentioned in the same breath as say Joni Mitchell or even Aimee Mann, to whom she has been compared, but I do believe that EIGIMP does deserve a place among the very best releases
by latter day singer-songwriters.
Career shift The cover of Driver’s first solo album