Jenn Adams
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Jenn Adams

Missoula, Montana, United States | INDIE

Missoula, Montana, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Jenn Adams, In the Pool. If fate is fair, Jenn Adams' first nationally released recording will bring this fine songwriter some deserved attention. The Kansas native's voice stretches with the buoyancy of a good jazz singer and she has the groove and stylings of a bluesy diva like Bonnie Raitt or Joni Mitchell. Her acoustic guitar playing is rhythmic and compelling, and George Marinelli provides superb backup on acoustic and electric guitars. Adams' Nashville-based band is lush and precise; dynamic arrangements set off her sharp-eyed, open-hearted, and literate lyrics. It's a mix of blues, jazz, rock and folk that works. Let's hope there's more to come. - Rani Arbo


Sometimes a chance meeting can trigger an artistic journey that wasn't even contemplated beforehand. That's what happened when, on a whim, singer-songwriter-guitarist Jenn Adams accompanied a drum-making friend of hers to a percussion recording session in a cave in Montana, where she met world music drummer/percussionist Scott Fitzgerald.
"It was absolutely fascinating," notes the Big Sky country native, who used to sing and play guitar at various clubs and coffee houses while in high school and college, but had pretty much hung up her instrument in favor of a 9-to-5 publishing gig. "I watched them set up their recording equipment and got a taste of what it was like to play live again and got totally hooked. It was then that I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: I wanted to write and play music."
And that she did. Having struck up a friendship with Fitzgerald during the cave sessions, the two musicians embarked on a successful concert tour throughout the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. During that period, Adams had also amassed enought spot-on original material to record a CD in 1997 called Water. Showcasing Adams' unique melodic and rhythmic sensibilities, the album, which was released by the German roots music label Taxim Records, received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in Rolling Stone Europe.
Between 1997 and 2001, Adams continued to turn heads with her emotionally compelling, melodically rich music and riveting concert performances. She won first place at the 2001 Founders Title Company Folk and Bluegrass Festival Songwriters Contest in Park City, Utah; and, she was selected as a finalist at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Songwriting Contest in Lyons, Colo., for her song "Everything Good."
Last year Adams released her second CD, In the Pool, on her own White Boxer label, and it's an absolute gem. Infectious melodies, heartfelt lyrics, captivating vocals and warm guitar tones abound as Adams masterfully unifies an eclectic blending of folk, jazz and blues sensibilities into an inspirational, thought-provoking sound that's clearly her own.
"Frosty Horton, my producer, was amazing," Adams says of recording In the Pool. "Scott (Fitzgerald) had introduced me to him and had actually sent him some of my demos- of course totally unbeknownst to me. Anyway, I'd present all these different types of songs to Frosty, and he would bring in these terrific ideas as to how to orchestrate them and stamp them with my signature sound. He really gave me a lot of breathing room."
Much of In the Pool's diversified unity, Adams adds, also comes from the top-notch rhythmic flourishes and nuances of bassist Byron House (Sam Bush Band) and drummer/percussionist Greg Morrow (Dixie Chicks), especially on the socio-political, industrial-sounding "Mozambique is Burning."
"The world and my friends are far more interesting than me," Adams says of her songwriting process. "So I write about them. Also, I tend to have the guitar parts- such as the chord structure and basic melody- ready before the lyrics. When melodies hit me, I like repeating them over and over again in my head. That's how I get them down. For my lyrics, I carry a notebook, and I try to write down thoughts as they occur to me. Sometimes a phrase will hit me after reading something or talking to my friends or listening to public radio. Then I'll ask myself if the melody I've just learned works with the lyrics I'm working on and sort of take it from there."
When working on her tunes, Adams likes using a 1974 Martin D35 that she picked up from a Martin collector in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1980. "It has a marvelous tone," she enthuses, "and it was fun using it in the studio because all it needed was on AKG micro-phone." She also has an Epiphone Emperor archtop, which is featured prominently on In the Pool's cool and breezy "Leave the Light On." In the string department, Adams uses D'Addario medium-gauge phosphor bronzes on her Martin and Thomastik medium-gauge flat-wounds on the Epiphone. She doesn't use picks, preferring instead the warm sound of what she calls "skin on strings." When it comse to technology and its role in her songwriting process, Adams points out that once in a while she'll use an Alesis drum machine if she gets in a rhythmic rut, but that's about it.
"We must be crazy," Adams notes with a hearty laugh when asked how it feels being an independent artist. "There's not a sane bone in our bodies. The hours are crazy. I've spent the past year investing in distrobution. It's Music 101 every day. But seriously, I love it- especially being in charge of my own career and my own destiny."
"Try to have a long-tern view," is Adams' advice to those who are thinking about going the indie route. "Be persistant, and remember that every time you hear a 'no,' you're one step closer to a 'yes.;"
- Rick Petreycik


Jenn Adams took over the stage and the audience with her wonderful sense of humor and trademark brand of bluesy folk. In a set that mostly included songs on her latest album, "In the Pool," Jenn's voice was an incredibly clear and well-trained combination of the vocal tones of Sarah McLachlan with the stylings of Melissa Etheridge or Janis Joplin. Her guitar playing was not to be missed, especially when she pulled out Mona, her Archtop guitar. From the opening tones of "The Garden Song" until the closing ones of "Most Precious Days," it was quite obvious that Jenn's skill at songwriting is strong and versatile, equally emphasizing the music and lyrics. The plaintive tone of "1846" and its accompanying story of a woman pioneer on the plains was especially moving. The wonderful "Little Puffy Clouds" should have already put her near the top of the folk musician list.
Another enjoyable part of the show was Jenn's interestingly varied music style. Most of her songs don't follow the traditional folk route, but instead feature a variety of techniques and sounds, with an obvious blues and jazz influence. That she ably covered both Gillian Welch's "Pass You By" and Jesse Winchester's "Isn't That So?" only emphasized her versatility. "Mozambique is Burning," which she said she wrote after watching The Weather Channel, especially featured a wonderful wail in her voice and a jazz-styled rhythmic emphasis. Although she is usually pigeon-holed as a folk performer, her style is actually quite hard to describe.
Her performance was perfectly backed by local jazz bassist, Clipper Anderson, mostly on acoustic bass, and Brian Oppel, an excellent drummer. Steve Hoke also joined her for a few songs, notably the finale, a cover of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."
Jenn Adams is an excellent musician and songwriter who deserves, and will eventually receive, a larger audience than she currently has. For now, take this reviewer's recommendation and hurry out and see her in small venues while you can.
- Liss Tyson


JENN ADAMS: IN THE POOL
This is the second release by Montana singer-songwriter and guitarist Jenn Adams. She's an outstanding vocalist with a smooth, supple voice, a wide range, excellent vocal command, and sophisticated pharasing. Adams is also a skillful and evocative songwriter, with images that are both vivid and subtle, that communicate clearly but don't give everything away, maintaining an element of mystery. Her sound is a rich brew of folk, pop, blues, and jazz, always groovy and tuneful, with tasteful use of electronic textures, and nice contributions from the backup musicians, including fellow Montana songwriter, John Floridis, on electric guitar. An impressive and satisfying album from a gifted musician.
- Richard Middleton


“Jenn Adams, is addition to being a great guitarist and vocalist, is a great songwriter. Her latest CD “Under the Gypsy Sky” is wonderful and continues telling the deep soulful stories that she always depicts in her work.”
-George Winston

"Lots of artists attempt to fashion a thoughtful blend of folk, blues and jazz, but few do it better than Jenn Adams... Writes passionate songs that brim with confindence, elegance and restraint. Centered on her own acoustic guitar, the arrangements on In the Pool are then colored with splashes of accordion, harmonica and horns, along with electric guitar, bass and drums... Showcases the subtle power of her singing...but it's Adams' original songs that make her an artist to watch"
-Performing Songwriter

"If you haven't seen Adams play, you're missing one of life's greatest pleasures, from the first note of the opening song she has you hanging on her every word."
-Greg Tressel, Rogue Theatre Productions

"Influenced as a child by everything from Joni Mitchell to Miles Davis, acoustic guitar chanteuse Jenn Adams creates music that defies the boundries of the singer-songwriter... With her second album, In the Pool, Adams once again deftly merges contemporary folk with jazz, rock and blues, producing music that is at once familiar and fresh."
-House of Blues Webzine

"Jenn Adams is a storyteller... The results are rewarding as you will find by listening to the melody and lyrics of the songs."
-Boston Gazette

"Jenn Adams is a modern songwriter, her fine lined lyrics and morphology stand out as a genuine talent."
-Rolling Stone

"She's an outstanding vocalist with a smooth, supple voice with a wide range, excellent command and sophisticated phrasing. Adams is also a skilled and evocative songwriter... An impressive and satisfying album from a gifted musician."
-Victory Review
- Various


Discography

Under the Gypsy Sky (2004) Flying Girls Records
Live on the Blue Planet (2003) Flying Girls Records
Performing Songwriter, Editors Choice, Volume Eight
In the Pool (2000) White Boxer Music
Water (1997) White Boxer Music

Photos

Bio

Twisting the corners of folk, blues and jazz into immediately personal songs, Jenn Adams is internationally recognized for her distinctive sound and well-crafted songwriting. Sparsely decorated, bluesy ballads a trademark but by no means a limitation. With an extensive backlog of experience and craft, her songs scale a diverse foundation that refuses to blend into the ordinary. Known for her warm and inclusive live performances, she is widely regarded as on of the most genuine artist on the acoustic circuit.

Story Driven, Groove Conscious, New Folk Blues

Soulful Singer, with a rich, honey smooth voice... only the beginning of the story behind this acclaimed performing songwriter. Raised in the heartland with ample amounts of groove driven, 60's songwriting tradition, she is an award winning, internationally recognized, touring singer/songwriter, with one of today's most original sounds.

Over the last 20 years Jenn has extensively traveled the US and Europe performing in listening rooms, coffeehouses, theaters and many of our country's most notable festivals including Kerrville, Falcon Ridge, Rocky Mountains Folks Festival and Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In 2003, continuing to garnish the respect of her peers, she won the USA Songwriter Awards, top prize for her song "Rosalia".

More "Bio" available @ www.jennadams.com

* Awards
Grand Prize, USA Songwriter Contest; Telluride Folk Festival, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, Kerrville, Falcon Ridge, Mountain Stage New Folk and many more. Also, Performing Songwriter, Editors Choice Awards; We are Listening, 2006 Songwriter Awards and "Just Plain Folks" Music Awards.

* Radio Highlights
Mountain Stage.
WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour.

* Venue Highlights
Club Passim, Boston MA
Bluebird Cafe, Nashville TN
Legion Arts, CSPS, Cedar Rapids IA
Panida Theater, Sandpoint ID
Kentucky Theater, Lexington, KY
The Gorge Amphitheater, George WA
Spokane Convention Center, Spokane WA
Wilson Auditorium, Bozeman MT
University Theater, Missoula MT
Berklee Performance Center, Boston MA

* Online
Interactive website, MP3 downloads, Email notifications

* Distribution
Herman’s Records, CDBABY, The Orchard, & iTunes

* Radio Markets
Servicing Community, Public & AAA non-com radio.

* Managment & Booking:
M. Rubie, mtrubie@yahoo.com, 406-546-8520

"One of this years best unsigned artist"
-Rob Reinhart- Acoustic Cafe Radio