When your voice is compared to Billie Holiday and Etta James then you clearly have a lot of talent in you. This can be said about singer/songwriter Jennifer Truesdale, who is taking the worlds of jazz and blues and giving it a deliciously new meaning with her latest effort.
Jennifer takes these genres on a wild ride with her new album Through The Circle. Written and arranged by Jennifer and co-produced with David Minehan at Boston’s famed Woolly Mammoth Sound, Through The Circle is “a masterpiece of soulful and bluesy storytelling that embraces each listener into the thoughtful lyrics and brings them along on a feel-good journey.”
Jennifer sat down with me to discuss the album, if she has a favorite song off of it and why legendary singers of yesteryear still have her heart all this time later.
You’ve been compared to Billie Holiday and Etta James in the past. Not too shabby. How does that feel?
HONESTLY, IT KIND OF BLOWS MY MIND! BOTH ARE ARTISTS I GREATLY ADMIRE AND DRAW DEEP INFLUENCE FROM. TO EVEN HAVE MY NAME SAID IN THE SAME SENTENCE AS THEIRS IS AN HONOR AND INCREDIBLY HUMBLING.
For those who aren’t in the know can you describe the kind of music you put out.
SURE! FIRST AND FOREMOST, I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A SINGER-SONGWRITER. STYLISTICALLY I AM GREATLY INFLUENCED BY BLUES, SOUL, JAZZ, R&B AND GOSPEL. I LIKE TO THINK THAT MY MUSIC DRAWS ON EACH OF THESE STYLES AND THEN COMES TOGETHER INTO SOMETHING THAT IS UNIQUELY MY OWN.
The genres that you cover unfortunately have lost their way in the music industry together, jazz and blues especially. Why do you think that is?
HMMM, THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. I THINK THAT IT DEPENDS SOMEWHAT ON WHERE YOU’RE LOOKING. CERTAINLY, IN THE WORLD OF COMMERCIAL, MAINSTREAM MUSIC THESE STYLES DON’T GET THE ATTENTION AND RECOGNITION THEY DESERVE, HOWEVER THEY HAVE A VERY DEDICATED, IF PERHAPS SMALLER, BUT EXTREMELY LOYAL, FAN BASE.
Tell us about your new effort Through The Circle and how that came about.
THIS ALBUM IS SOMETHING I’VE BEEN WORKING ON FOR ABOUT 4 YEARS NOW. WRITING THE SONGS, BRINGING TOGETHER THE BAND, ARRANGING, RECORDING, MIXING THE WORKS – IT’S BEEN AN ABSOLUTE LABOR OF LOVE FOR ME. I HONESTLY COULD NOT BE HAPPIER WITH THE ALBUM WE CREATED. I AM TRULY IN LOVE WITH IT AND FEEL SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED TO HAVE THE GOOD FORTUNE TO WORK WITH SO MANY INCREDIBLE MUSICIANS! THE PEOPLE WHO PLAYED AND SANG ON THIS RECORD ARE, IN MY OPINION, SOME OF THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS!
Do you have a favorite song off it?
OOH THAT’S HARD, I LOVE THEM ALL SO DEEPLY, IN DIFFERENT WAYS. I GUESS IT WOULD BE A LITTLE LIKE ASKING A MOTHER WHO HER FAVORITE CHILD IS!
You have worked with some pretty impressive people in your life thus far. Anyone you are dying to get into the studio or on stage with?
OH WOW! YEAH, I REALLY AM SO HONORED TO HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SING WITH SUCH INCREDIBLE MUSICIANS. WHEN I WAS A KID, I REALLY, REALLY WANTED TO BE A PIP! LOL! HONESTLY, I THINK IF I EVER HAD THE CHANCE TO BE ON STAGE WITH GLADYS KNIGHT, I MIGHT JUST DIE (IN A GOOD WAY) RIGHT THEN AND THERE! THOSE ARE THE LADIES I GREW UP LISTENING TO (GLADYS, ETTA JAMES, MAVIS STAPLES, ARETHA FRANKLIN AND SO MANY MORE), BUT ALSO, SO MANY GREAT BLUES AND ROCK SINGERS LIKE BONNIE RAITT, CHRISSIE HYNDE, STEVIE NICKS. I JUST THINK THEY ARE INCREDIBLE AND IF I EVER HAD THE CHANCE TO SING WITH OR OPEN A SHOW FOR ANY ONE OF THEM IT WOULD BE A TRUE HONOR!
Also, I gotta ask: Red Sox or Yankees? I’m a Mets fan so I won’t be offended.
OOH, SORRY MAN, I’M A RED SOX GAL ALL THE WAY! BOSTON BORN AND RAISED WITH A BASEBALL OBSESSED TEENAGED SON 🙂
What’s in store for Jennifer Truesdale besides the album?
I’M PERFORMING A LOT THESE DAYS AND ALSO COACHING AN AMAZING GROUP OF UP AND COMING SINGERS. I AM ALWAYS WRITING NEW SONGS AND HONESTLY CAN’T WAIT TO GET BACK INTO THE STUDIO WITH MY GOOD FRIEND AND CO-PRODUCER DAVID MINEHAN! THAT PLUS ENJOYING MY LIFE AS MOM TO AN INCREDIBLE TEENAGER – WHO MAKES ME LAUGH AND KEEPS ME ON MY TOES EVERYDAY!
More information on Jennifer Truesdale can be found here.