By guest writer Jennie Roberson.
In a musical sense, the playlists I conjure in January for myself are always a dichotomy of ice and fire. Sometimes I like to lean into the bareness and self-reflection winter brings on. Other times I fill my ears with rollickin’ tunes to lift my spirits and remind me the long nights won’t be around forever. January’s show at Hollywood’s Hotel Cafe for “City Girls/Country Music,” both an extension and a homecoming for founder/singer Cindy Jollotta, satisfied my aural cravings with the best of both these worlds.
While the project is still in its infancy, CGCM has booked serious venues and seriously cool talent, filling rosters with names that will definitely be the mouths of musical tastemakers sooner rather than later. And that’s exactly how Jollotta wants it; after seeing a dearth of female country representation at festival after festival, she decided to take action in a way which would lift other women who deserved a chance to rock the mic. It seems her idea is one whose time has come - the project has put on concerts in three major cities (four in April with its upcoming traipse to The Big Easy), with artists on the roster proving they deserve a place on everyone’s Spotify rotations.
Kicking off the line-up was Heather Lomax and her band, delivering roadhouse tunes that got the whole room toe-tapping along with them. A five-member crew with Lomax heading it with her smoky vocals, her rockabilly arrangements set the tone for the night, making sure that the space (and stake) was claimed for country girls in this part of Tinseltown. Lomax reminded me of a grittier Bonnie Raitt, both in aesthetic and sound - and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
But that wasn’t the only soulful sound that filled the space in the Hotel Cafe. Cindy Jollotta, with honeyed tones and touching songs, made sure Lomax’s simmer didn’t roll into a boil, adding depth and vulnerability to the roster in unexpected ways. From tearfully singing “Now You Can Wait” (a song written to her anxiety) to closing with the randy “Room In My Pants” number, Jollotta turned in one of the best sets of her new solo career - and this reviewer has seen this singer enough times to give that testament its proper weight.
Three-woman band Loretti took the stage next, ushering in breathy pipes and soothing melodies, offering a musical balm after some fiery opening acts. While some of the songs were more contemplative in nature, they were nevertheless arresting and worthy of close attention. Of particular note was “The Country Song". Lead singer Aimee Lovett Sommer divulged she resisted writing country songs because her father pestered her, until she gave in and wrote that ditty. I hope she keeps writing in that vein, and it seemed I wasn’t alone; when I looked around, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was closer Phoebe Silva. Starting off onstage solo with an electric guitar and a few dreamy songs, Silva admitted that introspective tunes were new to her this creative year, and I had no reason to brook argument with her. I was perfectly happy to close out the night singing these ethereal songs to myself. But when Silva was joined by two bandmates to round out her sound, the bubblegum-pink haired chanteuse busted out white-hot vocals, proving she had jazz-singer range as she belted out tracks from her previous recordings. No one in the audience expected it - and it proved , once again, that we underestimate women at our own peril.
If I’m being completely honest, I have attended more live shows in Los Angeles than I can count. Most of them were, sadly, forgettable. But City Girls/Country Music put on one of the best live sets I’ve seen in my entire residency in this town. And I hope to hell they grace the town again.
Get ahead of the Spotify algorithm and make sure you catch these shows so you can say you knew them when.
Jennie Roberson is a comedic actress and screenwriter currently living in Los Angeles. She just finished her first novel (a bi coming-of-age tale, naturally) and hopes to share it with the world soon. When she's not busy binging on Star Trek or dreaming of her future cat army, you can find her occasional thoughts between mountains of re-tweets at her Twitter handle, @JennieRoberson.
Photos by Benjamin Ford Photography
Meet Phoebe Silva
SoCal born and bred, Phoebe Silva started her music life as a child playing classical violin. Later she dove into musical theater in Philadelphia and New York City. For the past few years Phoebe has been cementing her place in the LA music scene and we are so excited to have her play at our show this Saturday at The Hotel Cafe!
CGCM: You have been a part of duets and bands in the past - what made you decide to step out on your own to pursue a solo career?
Phoebe: Honestly, a desire for creative freedom. I guess that’s pretty cliche for any artist! I love being part of a band, and I love collaborating. I have an insane pace when it comes to creative ideas, I write every day and I tend to want to move faster and with more intensity than is usually possible in a creative democracy. It takes more time and effort to coordinate a group than to be the architect of my own schedule/creative trajectory. Also not being tied to one main project means I’m more free to do lots of session work which is partly a passion and partly a way I pay the bills. I find I’m happiest and most fulfilled when I have different outlets for different aspects of my creativity. I like to spread myself around.
CGCM: Who are your musical influences?
Phoebe: I grew up listening to jazz (my dad is a huge fanatic), 80’s pop and classical music (from mom), oldies stations and musical theater (all me.) I also loved the 90’s alt-folk/pop female singer songwriters I grew up listening to. I was/am a huge fan of Fiona Apple, Ben Folds, Sarah MacLachlan, and Jewel’s early work. I find my songwriting largely influenced by jazz standards and classic early 20th century American songwriting... the Gershwin’s, Harold Arlen, and then also classic folk and country writers like Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and Dolly Parton. I surprised myself a bit when I started writing songs and realized I had so many old influences, because I love contemporary pop, R&B and the new Americana/folk artists than bend genres. But I have a degree in musical theater and studied the heck out of early 20th century music so I don’t know why that surprised me.
CGCM: If you had to pick one positive and one negative aspect to being a musician in Los Angeles, what would those be?
Phoebe: Positive: community. I’ve found a greater sense of community here than anywhere else I’ve lived, and I’ve lived a lot of places. There is such a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration here and I love it so much. On the flip side, there is a LOT of saturation in the indie music scene so it can be tough to get noticed. That, and it’s so freaking expensive to live here I can’t stand it. Tough to make money as a musician in LA unless you’re a session musician, so I’m super grateful to be both an artist and a session player (as a violinist.)
CGCM: What's next?
Phoebe: I’m finishing up my second single “Strong Enough” that will come out on Valentine’s Day. Similar to my first single “The Best Thing!” that came out in December, it’s a brassy, sassy, bluesy retro-feeling tune. I’ve also got my first music video for “The Best Thing!” coming out later this month. After that I have plans to record a ton of new songs I wrote last year, leaning way more into my introspective folk side. I’m super excited to roll those out and surprise people with the change in tone and style!
Photo by Tammie Valer
Aimee Lovett Sommer, champion of collaboration, is the powerhouse front woman of the band Loretti. Read on and you will discover her way with words extends well beyond her songwriting. See her this Saturday's at CGCM's LA show at The Hotel Cafe!
CGCM: How do your Texas roots affect your music life in Los Angeles?
Aimie: Ironically, I never really embraced my southern heritage musically until I moved to Los Angeles in 2010. The few years prior to my move I was aware of the influences of my youth on my songwriting, but viewed it as an obstacle rather than platform. When I arrived in Los Angeles I experienced a personal epiphany, one that sent me on a path of going with the flow rather than resisting who I was at my core. Suddenly I found myself sinking deeply into the most fundamental sounds and voices I could recall from my childhood. Voices like Marty Robbins, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, John Denver, and Linda Rondstat (whose style and versatility is my strongest influence). The harmonies of gospel groups like The Statler Brothers also took up so much space in my music archive that it was inescapable. I discovered that for me as an artist, finding my way home meant a deliverance from angst when it came to songwriting.
CGCM: Tell us about your company Softer Sex Productions.
Aimie: Softer Sex Productions was born from conversations about the struggles for female and femme artists between Rose Shawhan, a dear friend and fellow musician, and myself. We realized that to accomplish any changes in the community we had to be part of the movement to alter the community by assisting Female artists in booking and playing desirable venues in Los Angeles. We attended a couple of the PLAG workshops, and were inspired to get to know every female artist in LA, grow our network, and also grow an audience that was purely seeking out talented and deserving Performers. Our shows are designed to be beneficial for both the audience and the artists. We strive for a positive experience for all involved, including the venues.
CGCM: If you could give a piece of advice to new female artists just starting out, what would it be?
Aimie: I have a couple of things that I really wish I had known a few years ago. For one, write! Start writing music, keep writing music, and never stop writing music. Don't let a bad song stop you from writing! We have music in us, some of it works for stage and some of it doesn't, but you have to materialize it to know for sure. Write every line and thought that you have down, develop everything into a melody, make voice memos constantly. Build your library because even if it doesn't seem "good" now, it may be useful in a new project later on. Save all of those jewels from your life!
Secondly, I'd say go to shows. Don't even think about it if you have to go alone. Just go to every show in your area that you can. Introduce yourself to musicians, venue staff, bookers, and fans. The more visible you are in your community the easier it is to find your people. Community works! I don't mean tedious or fake "networking", I mean be true to yourself and go where you will find your kindred spirits in the music world. As a musician you will need so much support. Band members, writing partners, photographers, videographers, sound engineers, producers, booking agents, etc, they all gather together and you should be there too. Face to face meeting is becoming a lost art, and it can be so meaningful when you share interests and goals.
CGCM: What's next?
Aimie: With our recently released Single, Congratulations, we hope to make the rounds early spring in search of our Audience. Social Media promotion can only get you so far. Loretti is a unique sound that I find hard to describe, so the best way to grow our fanbase is to let music lovers see us. We will be playing several LA venues in early 2020 and anticipate a release of our EP sometime in late spring. We are currently working on video content as well. In the New Year I plan to go back to the studio with Mike Post at MooseCat Recording Studios, to record some covers and new Loretti songs. Mike co-produced the new single and upcoming EP and I cannot express what an asset and joy he is to work with! I've know Mike for a few years and have found the perfect partner for the Loretti sound landscaping. I also plan to work with Ainjel Emme at Box of Joy, recording and building on some other potential projects. Ainjel is an inspirational Female Figure in LA, both as a trail-blazer and a mentor. She also happens to be one of the most genuine and generous women I've ever met.
Photo by BKM Photography
Meet Heather Anne Lomax
Heather Anne Lomax, the artist formerly known as Michael-Ann, has been a staple of the country music scene in Los Angeles for years. After sharing the stage with the likes of Mark Chesnutt, Wanda Jackson, and Wynona Judd, she will be joining City Girls/Country Music at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles this Saturday!
CGCM: Are you originally from LA?
Heather: No, I am from Kansas City. Born in NY, raised the early part of my childhood in Connecticut originally.
CGCM: What led you to start pursuing a career in music?
Heather: I think it just always seemed like it was a part of me, so I started to perform out after writing some of my own music.
CGCM: How have you dealt with being a woman in a male-dominated industry?
Heather: I think women are slowly being “heard”, there is also an indie market nowadays with a wide open pasture for women to be recognized without the need for a major label.
CGCM: You were adopted and recently got to know your birth family. How has this affected your music?
Heather: Oh dear, this is a novel needing to be written, really. Well, my mother was a musician herself, and my dad’s side of the family was also in the entertainment business-so, I guess my love of music was passed on genetically. I used my mothers guitar (that my cousin Ginny kindly drove down to present to me) on a couple of tracks on my upcoming record.
I think about my mother every time I perform now. She has passed, and in many ways I want to honor her by doing what she should have been doing for the remainder of her life, if she were still alive today.
CGCM: What’s next?
Heather: I have a single coming out soon, and a new record release and upcoming tour..so that’s plenty!
Photo by Neil Kremer Johnson
This was one of those shows that started out on a hectic note for me. I drove up from Boston with my husband and, of course, couldn't find any street parking. Our only option was to hand over our car to an attendant at an underground "no ins-and-outs" garage. As other cars waited behind us, I frantically unloaded my gear from the trunk, swapped out my sneakers for my fancy boots, and grabbed my faux fur-collared stage jacket. I realized too late that I had left my jeans folded neatly in the backseat, so I ended up playing my first ever show in yoga pants, which was... quite comfortable actually. It was the mullet of outfits - stage on the top and couch on the bottom.
At the venue, I realized I was missing some important gear as well. In response to this realization, I did what years of experience in the music world has taught me to do - ordered a whiskey. Immediately after that, my DSLR camera died. Se la vie.
With the help of that whiskey, I managed to carry on with my set. Then like a Brooklyn angel appearing from the crowd, Megg Farrell came to the rescue, jumping in on sound and helping the Snowy Mountain Sisters set up.
As I adoringly watched Megg and The Sisters put on a hell of a show, what started out as hectic night turned into a heartening music memory packed with amazing women doing their thing. The moral of the story is that if you're feeling frazzled, go to our Spotify playlist, pick a woman, and go see her play a show! You won't regret it.
Follow Megg Farrell on Instagram and Facebook. See her next at Bar Velo on December 18.
Follow The Snowy Mountain Sisters on Instagram and Facebook. See them next at The Penrose on December 15. Individually, the band members are making some great work, so make sure to follow Kendra Jo Brook here, Brittany Brook here, and Allison Kelly here. Also, keep an eye out for Brittany and Kendra Jo's original play The Wasp & The Raven, which was workshopped in London in November and will be premiering next year in the US.
Finally, I'd like to give a huge shout out to Skinny Dennis for providing such a great spot for country music in the heart of the city! Thank you for having us!
Meet Megg Farrell
About 6 months ago I was sitting on my bed in Los Angeles, rummaging through Instagram looking for country acts in New York City. I stumbled across a video of Megg Farrell and instantly fell in love. Megg's honky-tonk style is right up my alley and her witty songs delivered with smokey vocals have been stuck in my head ever since.
She will be playing our first NYC show tomorrow at Skinny Dennis in Brooklyn!
CGCM: How long have you been living and playing music in New York?
Megg: I've been performing for about 14 years.
CGCM: You just wrapped up a tour of Russia. What was your favorite moment form the tour?
Megg: I think our final performance was really special. The band was so tight after having done so many shows together. All our arrangements were ingrained in our brains but we also knew it was the last night so everyone gave it there all and added new energy to each tune. We did an extended set and really gave our all to that audience. They seemed to really appreciate it too. It was a great way to end such an amazing tour.
CGCM: How do the Russian audiences compare with the ones here in the US?
Megg: They were very respectful but that also may be because of the difference in the gigs. Out there we were booked at large concert halls where people sat quietly and listened. In America I tend to play rowdy bars where you have to fight with the audience to be heard. They were very attentive. One thing they did that Americans don't do as often they would clap in unison after a song was finished. I think it was to show they were excited but it was definitely odd for us!
CGCM: What’s next?
Megg: Our album is coming out in February with Dala Records. I'm working on getting Sweet Megg out there!
Meet The Snowy Mountain Sisters
Raised on a ranch in Montana, Kendra Jo and Brittany Brook spent their childhood playing bluegrass with their family at community events. The sisters now live in New York City where they perform as actors, singer-songwriters, and musicians in their female-dominant bluegrass collective, The Snowy Mountain Sisters. They've both produced and released their own singer-songwriter albums and are currently applying for grants to produce the first Snowy album, made 100% by female-identifying artists!
Kendra Jo and Brittany Just returned from London together, where they were invited by Jeremy Harrison of Rose Bruford College to develop their newly-written play, "The Wasp and The Raven” in his classroom of Actor-Musicians Master students.
We are excited to have The Snowy Mountain Sisters join our first NYC show and got to know a little more about the them in a conversation with Kendra Jo.
CGCM: You are sisters from Montana. What made you take the leap to move to New York City?
Kendra Jo: I came to NYC in 2012, and it was kind of a whim of a decision. Many of my classmates were coming to pursue musical theatre, so I thought it might be the right place. I thought if I didn’t at least try New York that I would end up regretting it. No regrets!!
And then after I got here, I realized that I needed my older sister here too to make things happen! So, I begged her and her husband to move, and they did! And thank goodness, because Britt’s been my best pal and my business partner for many years now.
CGCM: When did you start playing music together?
Kendra Jo: We’ve always played music together. I can’t really remember a time when we weren’t singing or dancing or playing an instrument together. Music is a large part of our family, so it’s always been there for us.
As for the Snowy Mountain Sisters band — we formed in 2015 as a bluegrass collective for women. We wanted to make a group where we could collaborate and perform with other women!
CGCM: Who are your musical influences?
Kendra Jo: For me, Dolly Parton is my greatest influence. I learned how to sing with my true voice by listening to her. She’s the greatest storyteller and songwriter of all time! Alison Krauss was a huge one too— I saw her in concert with Union Station when I was seven, and that really got me turned on to fiddling.
Britt is CRAZY about Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile. Those are two of the greatest songwriters as well, so I see why Britt is a gifted songwriter. Britt’s been writing songs since she could talk. We were very religious when we were kids, so she would write praise songs and sing them at church. Pretty cute.
CGCM: What's next for the band?
Kendra Jo: The band is busy! We play around the city several times a month. Our next show will be at the Penrose on December 15th!
In the new year, we will be teaching a 6 week songwriting workshop to girls, ages 8-13, here in the city.
Brittany is ready to put out another EP, featuring the Snowy Mountain Sisters. It will be titled “At Least the Point is Living”.
And in 2020 we will be recording an album with the Snowy Mountain Sisters, featuring original songs of our band members, as well as other female-identifying artists in NYC. Super excited for that one!
Landsdowne Street is a busy, bar-lined street in the shadow of Fenway Park. I was excitedly headed to Landsdowne on a cold and rainy Thursday last week for CGCM's first Boston show at Loretta's Last Call, but as I turned onto the street, its normally bustling sidewalks were empty. Apparently, our bar hoppers were scared away by the rain. I began to worry that the night would be a dud, but my fears proved to be unfounded. The crowd was small, but the vibe was big and our lineup of incredible women absolutely rocked the house.
Haley Chic kicked off the show with a mellow presence that belied her powerful vocals. She performed her latest release Slow Down and some unreleased songs that I'll be chomping at the bit to download as soon as they are released. One line that stuck with me was "You're not a fan of east coast winters. Guess you'd rather be in alone in Arizona." Facing my first east coast winter in 15 years, you can probably understand why. See Haley at Hennessy's of Boston on Tuesday, November 26th.
I (Cindy Jollotta) hit the stage next. I started with Leave Slow, my lively honky-tonk-meets-alt-rock song that is a good way to introduce new audiences to my sound. However, knowing that Bostoners really like to hear songs they know, I made sure to include a couple classics from Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. You can see me at Skinny Dennis in New York on December 7th.
Josie Toney started her set with some downright thrilling fiddling. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face the whole time she was up there. Clearly her comfort zone is toe-tapping honk-tonk, but she also played some beautifully mournful tunes with lyrics like "nobody's gonna cry for me but me." Oof. See Josie at Sally O'Brien's in Boston on November 21st.
Ashley Jordan closed out the show with violinist Kathryn Skudera Huddad. What a way to end the night! Ashley's energy put me to shame as she played a series of ever more exciting foot-stompers. They played some of her Ashley's popular originals and did an epic cover of Shipping Up to Boston with a vibe I can only describe as badass. See Ashley and Kathryn at Quinn's Irish Pub in Worcester on December 6th.
Meet Haley Chic
Haley Chic will be kicking off City Girls/Country Music's show tonight at Loretta's Last Call! She has been making her presence known in the country world all around Boston, being featured on both of Boston's country radio stations. We're so excited to have her for our first Boston show!
CGCM: You have played in both Nashville and Boston - how do they compare?
Haley: In Nashville, there is music everywhere and almost everyone you meet is either a musician or working/wanting to work in the music industry. You all have similar dreams and goals. Most people are from out of town so it is a very tight knit, family like community. It really is an amazing place. In Nashville, I had so many opportunities to play my own songs live and listen to/collaborate with other songwriters. In Boston, I have been able to profit more from my shows while still being able to play my own songs. But really, nowhere is like Nashville.
CGCM: How do you feel about writing music on your own versus collaborating on a song?
Haley: When I write alone I feel that it is more from my own personal experiences. When I write with others I am able to branch out more and see how others might feel on the subject. My latest release "Slow Down" is available on Spotify and Itunes.
What are projects are you working on right now?
I'm really enjoying working as an event planner in Boston while still being able to write my own music, record and play shows a few times a month. My next original showcase will be at Hennessy's on November 26th in Boston with many other talented songwriters.
Meet Ashley Jordan
Ashley Jordan is a badass Boston-based singer-songwriter with a long list of accolades: 1st round Grammy nomination, 2-time Nash Next National finalist, Boston Music Awards Country Artist of the Year, and more. She will be closing out City Girl/Country Music's Boston show tomorrow, November 7th at Loretta's Last Call. Don't miss it!
CGCM: How did you get your start playing music?
Ashley: My very first time singing on a stage was in middle school for a talent show. I was always painfully shy – so my family was shocked when I marched out on stage and belted out an Avril Lavigne song. I got a lot of attention from that one little show (including local newspapers) and I realized how comfortable I was on a stage – so I started taking vocal lessons and learning to play the guitar. Once I learned the guitar, I started writing my own music and that’s really the start to everything for me. My mentor was a singer-songwriter who performed in the subways of Boston, so once I had enough original music under my belt, I started street performing (called “Busking”) in Harvard Square and around the Boston area. I’d try out my new songs and some covers – and I gained experience and also made money - and I was only 13/14 years old. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a brave thing to do as a young girl and I learned a great deal! I started getting business cards thrown into my guitar case and offers to come play in venues – and that’s pretty much how I started playing music professionally.
CGCM: How does playing around Boston compare to your experience playing in Nashville?
Ashley: Both cities are amazing to play in and I am so grateful for those opportunities.
In Boston - you have a couple of elements which makes it unique. First of all, for sure there is the hometown crowd vibe. As I said before, I grew up in this scene, busking in Harvard Square and other locations around Boston. The people from Boston, Worcester, the Cape and Springfield areas are amazing people - they work hard and they play hard and they expect talent. When they love you - they love you! In the early days it was a bit intimidating - I was this young girl trying to figure things out and sometimes I got it right, sometimes not so much. The local crowds always let you know which was which - lol!
One thing I loved about the Boston scene back then is that every now and then, people would yell at me and say “you’re a girl - you can’t play that song” and that would fire me up. I’ll always remember this one time I got yelled at for playing “Shipping up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys. I knew right there that I’d ALWAYS play that song and I’d embrace it’s energy and its power. Flash forward to more than a decade later and it’s now a staple in my band’s roster for our performances. We bring the crowd into it - and we dance as we play because that song deserves it!
And of course, it’s pretty much an epic time to be part of Boston sports if you are a local sports fan. The last few years you can just see/feel the energy levels across the whole State grow and grow. I remember we had a residency this past year in Boston and I think there was a Bruins NHL playoff game almost every week of our residency on the actual night. We eventually had to design our set list around the game!
Over the years - I’ve been lucky to have built a good fanbase here and around various locations in New England. The last year or two - we’ve been playing bigger shows in Boston and Worcester, up near Portland Maine, and Laconia New Hampshire and it’s so exciting to see people coming back to all the shows and to get to know so many amazing people who support us.
We had this very touching and powerful moment recently up in Farmington Maine. We’ve spent the last years playing quite a bit up in that area and building some really nice friendships and long-term relationships with a bunch of Promoters. Then we got a call this past September from one of the partners up in Maine who told us that their community and friends/family had been directly affected by that horrible Propane Explosion, which ultimately took the life of Farmington Fire & Rescue’s Captain Michael Bell and injured many others.
We were asked if we would like to be part of a community fundraising event being planned for October to support the families of this Farmington tragedy - and we worked with the committee to help build this event. On the day of the event we loaded up the van early in the morning with the band, my management and production team and the gear and when we arrived, we were overwhelmed with such an outpouring of love and empathy and healing taking place at the event. Before we took the stage, they asked us if we could spend some time with various members of the Farmington Fire and Rescue crew and we had this magical 30 minutes of listening, and laughing and crying and trading stories about my own brother who is a firefighter in Cambridge, MA. We then took the stage with them and we were asked to lead the presentation of gifts and moments of silence prior to our musical performance.
That’s the strength and resilience of the people we are so fortunate enough to play in front of here in Boston and in the New England scene.
Now, shifting to Nashville - that’s a whole other world! There’s nothing like playing in Nashville. Just the stories/legends of how many people have come out of Nashville alone are enough to humble you!
I love playing in that city – there’s such a focus on music, songwriting and creativity. It’s a songwriter’s dream come true. And the level of musicianship is unreal in Nashville too.
One memory I will always cherish is I had a chance to be a finalist in a competition called NashNext which was put on by Cumulus Media. We played to a packed crowd at the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, and in front of a number of industry giants. It’s always a bit intimidating to be looking out and going - “oh, there’s Taylor Swift’s manager”, and “there’s Desmond Child, hit songwriter for Bon Jovi and Aerosmith.”
But nothing beats that feeling of playing those kinds of stages in Nashville. And for Desmond Child to publicly say to me “I used to go see Janis Joplin at these big festivals and you have that same feeling about you,” I was truly blown away and humbled.
We’ve got a few more Nashville stories to tell – but I’ve been bound to secrecy for now and can’t wait to share more in the future (so stay tuned)!
CGCM: What's next?
Ashley: We’ve just come off a couple fun live performances - including a really cool show at the Oberon Theatre in Cambridge. This was our first show where we tested out our new immersive media production. We built a show that included running video on a massive screen behind us, with pre-programmed lights and lasers, really intense digital graphics to give a sense of motion and space and time, as well as a choreographed performance by the a line dancing group called the Plymouth County Stompers from the Jones River Tavern in Kingston MA. It was visually stimulating - and the content we captured with our photographer/videographer Tommy Colbert was crazy cool and intense, so we’re now focusing on taking that show on the road in late winter and early spring.
I’ve been working the past two years to help support a few foundations. In particular - I’ve working to help raise awareness and funding for a group of boys who suffer from a rare pediatric disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The name of the Foundation is called the Beauhawks Foundation. (www.beauhawks.org)
I also strongly support several veterans organizations and I’m starting to work directly with several area animal shelters as I have a strong passion for dogs (and all animals)!
A really big project for me right now is that I am in the process of recording new music. We started back in September - and we’ve got a few more tracking sessions later this month - then mixing in December and January, and hopefully a goal will be to release in the early Spring. My management team and I have been working really hard on some exciting career opportunities surrounding this new material. Because of this, we’ve got to keep it a bit quiet for now - but let’s just say that I’m really excited about what we are creating! I keep wanting to drop a few hints - but I’ve promised to keep following our Team’s mantra of “loose lips sink ships,” lol. Let’s just say that the microphone I’m using to record has heard the lyrics from the songs Heartbeat and Church Bells.
Keep an eye out for updates on my Facebook and Instagram pages, at: Facebook.com/ashleyjordanmusic and Instagram.com/ashleyjmusic.
Thank you again for including me in the showcase at Loretta’s here in Boston for City Girls/Country Music. I am so honored to have been invited and I am really excited to do more with this organization
Cindy Jollotta is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles.