Independent Music Awards
Band Name: Jennie DeVoe
Home Base: Indianapolis
Genre(s): Americana (with a Blues/Soul edge)
Category or Categories Entered: Americana
Work Submitted: My new CD - "Radiator, The Bristol Sessions"
Label: Rubin The Cat Records (my own label since 1999)
Producer: John Parish (has produced PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman, The Eels)
Artists Featured: Jennie DeVoe, John Parish, Brett Lodde, Greg McGuirk, Billy Fuller
Instruments Featured: Acoustic & Electric guitars, Hammond B3, Wurlitzer, Piano, Accordion, Double Bass, Electric Bass, Melotron strings
What’s the story behind your band name?: It was sort of a decision by my bandmates long ago. We had played in a cover band together and all of us had toured with other names but then I decided mid-stream to do only my originals. I asked them all if they wanted to be in a band doing my tunes and they said yes and have been with me the whole journey.
Describe your sound: My sound began with my Dad playing Glenn Miller and Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong for me when I was young. As I grew up I also fell in love with Aretha Franklin, Led Zepplin, Bob Dylan, Heart, AC/DC, Bonnie Raitt, Lyly Lovett…..the list goes on. My sound seems to reflect a plethora of influences and boils down to basic folk songs sung in my own soul/blues delivery. It's really American Soul & Rock music. Some people categorize me as blues and soul but I don't find my songs fit just that. They seem to me to be pop songs with thoughtful lyrics with an Etta James delivery. What to call that Im not sure, but it feels good and I love playing and performing it for my fans.
Who’s sitting in your audience?: My audience is a cool mix of all ages, hippies and professionals, men and women, gay and straight. It's an honor to put on a concert and have anyone spend their evening coming to see me so I never take it for granted. I try to enjoy every moment and hopefully conjure up and energy between us that we all get to take home with us.
Favorite [press] quote about your music: David Lindquist from the Indianapolis Star : "Jennie DeVoe is an endearing soul blues singer who radiates the vibe of a 21st century flower child. Her potent gospel voice tames any crowd she encounters. DeVoe is now inhabiting the dangerous psychedelic space of icon Janis Joplin."
The song(s) that changed your life and why: Oh man: "Summertime" - Billie Holiday, "Hallelujah" - Jeff Buckley, "Stolen Car" - Bruce Springsteen, "Rainy Day Women" - Bob Dylan, "Miss You" - Rolling Stones, "Black Dog" - Led Zepplin, "At Last" - Etta James, the list goes on and on. I continue to get chills and inspiration from new artists or older artists I get to discover - Amy Winehouse was amazing, Black Keys rock, so much to listen to, so little time.
Describe the first time you walked onstage:I honestly don't remember. That isn't to sound lame or lazy. I've been at this a long time now. I will say that I found a way to finally be at home on stage - more at home there than off - which I think says something although I'm not sure what exactly. The biggest thrills I get are when I get to open for a huge name artist whom I admire. I get a buzz in my mind and a focus to win their audience over. I've gotten to open for Joe Cocker in an intimate theater setting and killed it. It was amazing. I've had the privilege of meeting Bonnie Raitt, and the last few times she's come to town she's talked about me on stage. Majorly cool. I think earning a spot in music where people like Bonnie call me a peer is one of my hopes and dreams that has come true in some of the most surprising situations where I didn't realize one of my idols even knew who I was.
Why did you submit to this year’s Independent Music Awards?: I've been making music on my own since '99 now. I won a Billboard World Song Contest 1st Place honor in 2004 for writing a good song, I've played all over the United States, I've slowly begun to get radio and fans from all over, so my work is being noticed and has some tiny little legs of its own. I'm proud of my career right now, proud of my band and my writing. I feel I am a legitimate artist, whether I'm big and famous or whether I'm not. I've worked with people I love and admire, I've grown, and feel with my last 3 cds I've become an artist I "get" and am proud of and that I was meant to become. I guess I feel with this most recent cd I'm happy enough with it that, if it were the only one out there representing me, I could be proud of the singing and the writing and the production value. We recorded to tape, old school, my producer is one of my heroes, and we both feel we came up with something very special with "Radiator". I recorded it in Bristol, England and enjoyed every minute of it, which artists know is a really good sign. Last but not least, I felt it was a great time to enter because I earned nearly 300% in my Kickstarter campaign to make this record. I felt I owed it to my fans to get as much light as I could shining down in this record, to thank them for their love and support.
If you win and/or get nominated, how will you use your IMA honor to further your career?: I'll use it as bragging rights to whomever and wherever I possibly can. We indie people have to toot our own horns. It would be a major honor to have an IMA credit to my name for sure. It has weight and respect in the world of music whether you're a major or an indie. People take note.
Who is your musical hero & what would you like to learn from them?: I have a few heroes. Bonnie Raitt is the most special I would say. She was kind when we met once and told me to send her my tunes and she'd consider recording them. She never forgot me and each time she's been near Indianapolis she talks about me on stage. It's a thrill. I also remember her in a rare interview once where she talked about not feeling she was ever a "babe" or one of those artists who could fly by on her looks so she knew she had to be a bad ass, which she became. Although, people would disagree with her and also think she is a babe, I get her vulnerability. I'm not a young twenty-something artist. I began later because I didn't have anyone pushing me or telling me I was good. I had to decide that on my own and it took me a bit to believe in myself. When I got married my husband didn't even know I sang. He saw me one night get up and sing with a band. He then bought me a microphone and said 'get to it, this is what you're born to do." It scared me and thrilled me. We're still together and he is still my biggest fan and supporter. He is my hero.
Where can fans follow you/purchase your music?: Fans can follow me on my website (where they can also purchase my music), and on Facebook. In addition to my website, my music is also available on iTunes, Nimbit, and CDBaby