In The Driver's Seat With Minnie

Excerpted from the magazine for

Minnie Driver knows the news of another actress making an album generally starts people's eyes rolling, and she's just fine with that.

"With all due respect, the bar is set fairly low in terms of actors making seminal records, especially singer/songwriters," Driver says. "Mainly it seems to be a bid for more money and fame instead of a truly creative endeavor."

For Driver, the project started as a way to exorcise some demons. "The idea of making a record came only after I had written six songs," she says. Producer Marc "Doc" Dauer "had far more faith than I did that it was a record. I was just working out some personal stuff. He was like, 'C'mon, honey, you have to profit off your pain!' "

The result is the low-key, mellow "Everything I've Got in My Pocket," which was released Oct. 5 on Zoe/Rounder in the United States and is out Oct. 18 in the rest of the world through Liberty/EMI.

Driver, who has been playing live for several months, has a handful of U.S. television appearances set, including an Oct. 7 stop on NBC's "Today" and Oct. 8 on ABC's "The View."

She'll open 18 dates for the Finn Brothers in the United Kingdom and Ireland starting Oct. 15, with a November U.S. tour to follow. Her band includes Dauer and the Wallflowers' Rami Jaffe.

"It's really important that I put it across live," she says. "I know that's the only way people are going to buy me as a musical artist."

But, like any new act, she has had to take her lumps. She opened an OXFAM benefit recently that also featured R.E.M., Coldplay's Chris Martin and the Thrills.

"It was awful!" she says with a laugh. "It was like, 'What the hell is Minnie Driver doing singing?' But I pretty much won them over by the end of the set. People were like, 'Go and earn your stripes. It doesn't come for free.' I love the challenge."

Here are Driver's scheduled tour dates:

Oct. 15: Newcastle, England (City Hall; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 16: Edinburgh, Scotland (Usher Hall; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 17: Glasgow (Royal Concert Hall; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 18: Bradford, England (St. George's Hall; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 20: Manchester, England (Carling Apollo Manchester; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 21: Cambridge, England (Corn Exchange; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 22: Bristol, England (Colston Hall; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 24: Plymouth, England (Plymouth Pavilions; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 25: Wolverhampton, England (Civic Hall; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 26: Liverpool, England (Empire Theatre; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 27: Nottingham, England (Royal Centre; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 29: Ipswich, England (Ipswich Regent; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 30: Bournemouth, England (Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre; w/the Finn Brothers)
Oct. 31: Oxford, England (New Theatre; w/the Finn Brothers)
Nov. 2-3: Dublin (Olympia Theatre; w/the Finn Brothers)
Nov. 5-8: London (Carling Apollo Hammersmith; w/the Finn Brothers)
Nov. 11: San Francisco (Great American Music Hall)
Nov. 13: Seattle (Crocodile Cafe)
Nov. 16: West Hollywood, Calif. (Troubador)
Nov. 21: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
Nov. 23: Boston (Paradise Rock Club)
Nov. 26: Alexandria, Va. (Birchmere)
Nov. 27: Annapolis, Md. (Ram's Head)
Nov. 28: Philadelphia (World Cafe Live)
Nov. 29: Chicago (Double Door)

Excerpted from "The Beat" column in the Oct. 9, 2004, issue of Billboard. The full original text is available to subscribers.

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