Jeanne Jolly's first performance at Jammin Java is Thursday 6/19 (TONIGHT!) Check out the fun Q&A below and get tickets here.
Where and when was your first show? The first time that I remember feeling the thrill of performing was when I sang the national anthem at a game for our local minor league baseball team, the Carolina Mudcats in Zebulon, NC. I remember them announcing my name and then starting. When I got to "bombs bursting in air" there were fireworks and I remember holding out "brave" for as long as I possibly could because i didn't want the experience to be over. Pumped up with adrenaline, I sprinted off the field as the announcer said, "Let's play ball!" and ran straight to the stands where my family was sitting and said to my parents, "When can I do that again?" I was hooked.
What band/artist would you consider to be your main influence? It's impossible to pin point one specific artist as a main influence. Over the years I've returned to certain artists over and over for their songs, their voices, and the sounds on their records. Those artists are: Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin, Dolly Parton, Linda Rondstadt, Jim Lauderdale.
I've really enjoyed the most recent Jason Isbell record, "Southeastern" and I think Lake Street Dive is spot on.
I grew up on Beach Boys, Beatles, Doc Watson, George Jones, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, The Staple Singers, Otis Redding, those Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell duets, the Pine Cone Bluegrass show every Sunday, The Judds, Phil Collins, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, The Mamas and the Papas, Temptations....I know this has become a long answer.
As a vocalist, I studied classically and focused on being a light lyric soprano. My favorite soprano is Renee Flemming. I also really got into Elly Ameling's recordings of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Poulenc, Fauré and especially Schubert. For me, it was all about tone, phrasing, and lyrics
What is one of your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experiences? The one that comes to mind right now is a show we played in a park in Idaho. I would say this experience was both "off-the-wall" and memorable. We pulled into the park and started to unload our gear only to realize that there was a wedding reception still taking place in the park. I started to think maybe we'd been tricked into being the reception band instead of headlining a "concert in the park". I was reassured by the folks running the series that the bride and groom were fully aware that we were playing a concert that afternoon. We continued to unload and carried our gear to the gazebo where we were going to play. I saw that there was a buffet table leftover from the wedding reception surrounded by bees. We cleared the table and I figured the bees would clear out too. Meanwhile, the bride and groom continued their "party" in the park while we began our soundcheck. The bees were still swarming all around us and when I say around us, I mean inside my guitar, in my hair, and up my dress. My dad was beekeeper for a time when I was little so I've never been that scared of bees but this was unnerving.
We started our set and the bride and groom began to roll around in the grass right in front of the stage. Simultaneously, we noticed that there was a family of birds nesting in the roof of the gazebo pooping on our gear. By 4pm, we finished our bee ridden show and were told that our hotel room had been over booked. We were hours away from any other hotel and had already driven 7 hrs before the show to make it on time. We were offered a house boat but with the luck we'd had that day, we decided that could be a bad idea. We ended up staying with the sweetest family on top of a mountain over looking Coeur D'Alene Lake and watching the sunset. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen and that family took such good care of us. That day brought on a whole new meaning to "the birds and the bees" for me.
Favorite Food: Thai-Red Curry with pineapple (spicy)
Favorite Drink: non alcoholic: sparkling water with essence of grapefruit. cocktail: vodka, grapefruit juice, st. Germaine, dry vermouth, with a lemon garnish (There is actually a drink on the menu at B-side Ballroom in Oneonta, NY called "The Jeanne Jolly" http://bsideballroom.com/?page_id=1349 ) This was the night I learned that this is my favorite cocktail. It was my "enthusiasm" for the drink that inspired the name. wine: Rosé
If you were to have a film/movie based on your career, which actors or band would you select to portray yourself? Jared Leto because he is so darn pretty.
Cat-Person, Dog-Person, or both? Feel free to send a picture… Dog person. All the way. Here is my sweet pup, Lucy
What two words would best describe your music? soulful and honest.