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Minnie Driver's 'Seastories' is Most Recent CD Release

She may be best known as the plump, supposedly plain, Irish teenager in the 1995 movie Circle of Friends. But Minnie Driver has played everything from a Russian country-western singer in the Bond film GoldenEye to a heart-transplant patient in the sentimental romantic comedy Return to Me. Now, Minnie Driver is starring onstage as – herself. VOA's Rebecca Ward explains.

We may remember her best for the sweet, coming-of-age film Circle of Friends. But that was back in 1995. Now, after a series of successful films starring opposite the likes of Rupert Everett, John Cusack, and Matt Damon, Minnie Driver is wowing audiences once again. This time, though, with a repertoire of soulful ballads and bluesy guitar riffs.

Minnie Driver is currently on tour promoting her new album Seastories and dropped by Voice of America studios to talk about the new CD.

"I live by the ocean and I write by the ocean, all my stories, basically I find inspiration by the ocean,” she says. “So, that's really where it came from, it's not more complicated than that. "

This is actually Driver's second CD - a follow-up to her 2004 debut Everything I've Got in My Pocket.

"I've loved acting and writing and singing since I was a kid," she said. " Artists do more than one thing, that's the whole point in being an artist is that you are a creative person. And I plan to do lots of things: I plan to write books, I plan to have kids, I plan to keep making records."

Reviews for Driver's new CD have been mostly kind, with USA Today comparing her favorably to rocker Chrissie Hynde. But in naming her main influences, the artists are overwhelming male.

She mentions, "Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash. Kind of folk, Americana singers. Some Woodie Guthrie, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash."

Although Driver is currently singing her way across the United States, she has not given up her day job as an actor - and continues her role in the FX networks' television show - The Riches.

"I'm contracted to do a TV show, so they tell me when I have to go to work on that. And then I have to fit everything else around it. I couldn't make movies this year because I was touring with the record. So, I do whatever it is I'm not doing, if you see what I mean."

Well, whatever she is doing, she seems to be doing it right.