Meet the Band

Brett Lodde, Guitar

Jennie says: "Brett is my guitar player. I can safely say that. I don't know how I got so lucky as to have lured him into my world but he came along without kicking and screaming and we've now been playing and writing together for over 15 years. I guess where there is a will to make music then you find the key people who make things click. Brett is one of the major keys in my music career that has allowed me to be an artist. Like Greg, Brett comes from a music place that is way different that mine. I'm a song person I'd say. Brett is a guitar person. He can do stuff on the guitar that only skilled pros can do. Honestly, I think Brett has more talent than many a player out there but we all know that that's not the key to fame and fortune. I'm not saying we have the key to fame and fortune either but we do have a will to make music that has brought us together. I've loved watching Brett go from intense guitar space filling to a mature groove-oriented, rhythmic and skilled side-man with an amazing taste in melodies. It takes going full-circle to accomplish the key ingredient in good song making and music making, it's a secret that so many forget and that is to "simplify." Making things listenable, tasteful, melodic, enjoyable to the ears is such an elusive animal. I've gotten to watch and listen to Brett over the years and it's refreshing to feel and hear that growth in him and in myself. We didn't have a rule book of 'how to write songs' together. If there is one, well, I'm glad we never read it. I feel like the joining of our two different worlds has been the template for lots of my songs having a flavor and uniqueness that doesn't sound like anyone else on the radio. There are a lot of formula-driven hit angles we could have taken but creating art and applying all of your years of music together gets you something really cool if you're lucky.  I think we are a bit lucky in our results sometimes and we know it. Somehow if feels like God sees you working and grants you certain songs if you work hard enough. Brett is sort of my other half in music and I'm honored he's still with me making good music."

John Wittman, Drums

Jennie says: "Over the years John Wittmann has become like a brother to me and my main drummer at my shows.  John and Greg had been in many touring bands before I ever met them and both came from different musical back grounds and tastes. I can't stress enough how key it is that when you enter a "band" situation, that there will be compromise, end of story. No one really gets it their way, except maybe the artist. That's me. That may sound selfish, but without a focus and a path, so many bands flounder and push and pull until the fun is no longer there. When each player comes with an agenda or their own path or focus that isn't that of the Artist's, then things won't go well. Songs and focus will suffer. For me to have people like John and Brett and Greg and Bill in the band who consider this a labor of love and never question my path, it's a huge relief and adds to any successes we manage over the years as we perform live or record. It's a pleasure beyond pleasures to not have to apologize to your players for your choices and it's mandatory to keeping the fire alive within yourself to keep writing and envisioning how you want songs to go. Each time it seems to get better and easier and that only comes with maturity and willingness from amazing players. It's the attitude a player brings to a show or a session that makes them a pro or not a pro. Willingness and bendy-ness is all an artist wants. When guys are as good as John you can throw different things their way and they listen and try. It means you're working with the best when they ask you, the artist, what you want. John has been my drummer for over 15 years and we've come a long way in our playing and friendship and it's been a great trip!" 

 

Greg McGuirk, Keys

Jennie says: "Greg McGuirk has been my keyboard man now for many years. Somehow, he and I and John Wittmann and Brett Lodde embarked on a path together and it has remained a solid labor of love for all of us. We've had moments, sure, where things waver and feel it's time for a change but in the long run our tiny little group seems to make a unique sound together. Greg knows things about music I'll never know. He knows the math. He is an engineer. He can arrange for every instrument. This isn't a talent that every schooled musician can say they have. But Greg does. Now, sometimes, having that engineering part of your brain can ruin the part that can't be put into words. Sometimes someone as good at his craft as Greg is might easily look at someone like me who doesn't speak his language and just decide these two things won't mix. The beauty I find in Greg is that he has never once been "above" the way I write songs or speak music. He has looked at working with me as a challenge to his own way of thinking. Neither is better. They are simply completely different lines that don't always cross. We have met in the middle. Greg has been a great musical partner in my music because he has let me be the artist I'm meant to be. I like grooves and parts and soul.  I like organic emotion and dynamics. I like working with people who don't withhold what it is my songs need just because it isn't where they're from. To work with people like Greg who accompany the art and artist you are trying to be is a gift and rare. I think Greg's talents are deeper than a lot of people in that he is able to switch the hats  he wears to fit the place that this music needs. That takes humbleness and talent and a desire to continually grow no matter what it is you think you know. I love that Greg works on music day in and day out but still loves music.  He still loves new discoveries. He's still fun to work with and you can see him take off on stage when an audience gives that energy back that we all love." 

Karl Bruhn, Soundman

Karl is my sound engineer for all of my live shows in any state we travel to. He is also one of our unsung heros that people don't see on stage because he's out there making us sound good. Karl is a huge music lover and is one of those talented people who is not only a great engineer but still loves music and still puts his all into every show. I honestly know my shows are better because of what he does with our sound. 

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