Jenny Brooks
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Jenny Brooks

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Country Singer/Songwriter

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"Brooks CD, Besh Products featured in local stores"

You can buy more than fresh local produce at Rouse’s Market this holiday season.

New products introduced recently at the Thibodaux-based grocery store chain include the debut CD from Jenny Brooks, daughter of Slidell Mayor Ben Morris and a rising star on the country music scene in Nashville. Also available is a new line of vinaigrettes and sauces from Slidell native son and Food Network star, John Besh.

Owner of four highly acclaimed local restaurants, Besh introduced the products for at-home chefs wanting to reproduce the intense flavors used in his kitchens. The vinaigrettes draw inspiration from the region’s roots, with names like Pepper Jelly, Louisiana Sugar Cane Vinaigrette, Wild Flower Honey and Creole Mustard, as well as Spicy Young Garlic and Parmesan Caesar.

As for the Brooks CD, the store generally does not carry a large line of music or videos.

“Last year we had the ‘Who Dat?’ compilation, and we sell some DVDs, but that’s about it,” said McDowell. “This is a pretty big deal, because she’s so well-known in the community.”

According to Rouse’s spokesman Tim Acosta, it’s not that unusual.

“We are 100 percent committed to local fisherman, farmers, and other vendors,” said Acosta. “By offering these items to our customers we are expanding on that commitment.”

Brooks will hold a CD release party at the Louisiana Music Factory on Decatur Street in New Orleans on Saturday, and has appeared on various local television programs all week promoting the disc. Besh’s products are currently available only at Rouse’s or at each of his four restaurants, but will also be available online in the near future.
- St Tammany News


"Shining Bright: Slidell Daughter climbing up the Nashville ladder"

Slidell Mayor Ben Morris has made no secret lately of what he plans to do upon leaving public office. I'm going to drive my daughter's tour bus," he has said on numerous occasions. Morris' daughter is country singer Jenny Brooks, who is hoping to make a splash in Nashville.


A graduate of Slidell High School, Brooks has been performing since she was a child, singing and dancing at the New Orleans World's Fair, for the New Orleans Saints and at Walt Disney World, among others. She didn't start professional vocal training until she reached high school and decided to join the choir.

She went to several state vocal competitions and was named the All-State soprano winner in an honors event. Her voice coach at SHS was Kathy Long, now the chorus and classroom music director at Carolyn Park Elementary School.

"Jenny always had a very strong voice and was a joy to work with," said Long. "She was very energetic and was always willing to help out with school productions."

Brooks studied dance for 15 years with dance teacher Sherry Terry and credits Terry with helping her develop her stage presence. After graduating from college, she took a job in pharmaceutical sales, but she eventually left the well-paid position to pursue her music dream full time.

"I said, "I've just got to try this",she said. "My boss didn't believe me." She landed a job as a lead vocalist with Celebrity Cruise Lines. Still, she was cautious and didn't officially quit her sales job until the rehearsals started, wanting to ensure the job was legitimate. She stayed on the ship for seven months, sailing around the Mediterranean, singing and dancing in a production cast.

Brooks called the experience "phenomenal," and after traveling back and forth between Slidell and Nashville for several years decided to relocate permanently to the Music City about six years ago. She moved into a subdivided house in an area that was, as she puts it, "on its way to gentrification." The house next door was broken into the very day she was moving in, which didn't go over too well with Brooks' mom, who was there to assist her daughter in the transition. "It was a little scary," said Brooks. "But Keith Urban lived across the street, so I figured it couldn't be too bad."

Brooks began performing at venues all over Nashville, including Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, where she performed for over a year. The legendary "honky tonk" is located across the street from the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium. Opry stars were known to drop in between sets, and many country music superstars, such as Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline, are believed to have gotten their start there.

She's also performed at numerous music festivals around the area, most recently the Rivers & Spires Festival in Clarksville, Tenn., where she opened for the hit country group, Lonestar. Brooks calls the performance "the greatest moment in my career, so far." The occasion also helped her not to feel too bad about not being chosen for "Nashville Star," the country music reality series similar to "American Idol."

Over 20,000 hopefuls tried out in eight different cities earlier this year. Encouraged by her agent, Brooks submitted a video and secured a private audition, enabling her to bypass the hordes who showed up for the open casting calls. "They only select 10 finalists, and they added duos and trios this year, which made it really hard for solo artists," she said. "I'm disappointed, but I feel like the process helped me get attention from some of the right people in the business."

Brooks can also be seen in several country music videos, including "Till I Was a Daddy, Too," by Tracy Lawrence, where she appeared with her daughter, Isabella, 3, and Lonestar's "Let Me Love You." She's also begun writing songs, teaming up with New Orleans native Bud Tower, whom she met when she auditioned for a commercial. Tower has an upcoming release for Hank Williams Jr., and Brooks said he has been "instrumental" in helping her hone her craft. She recently recorded her first single, "Baby Footprints in the Sand," spending $5,000 to release it herself. The song was included on a compilation disk sent to radio stations all over the country, and recently it made the country charts at 129. "I was pretty darn happy with that, considering the shoestring budget we had," said Brooks.

Some major publishers have expressed interest in the song and will shop it to some of the bigger names in country music. Brooks will also include it on her debut CD, to be released later this year.

Meanwhile, Brooks is exploring other avenues of promotion, such as a deal with Tabasco. She came up with the idea one day when she was cooking a pot of red beans and reached into the cupboard for her favorite hot sauce. "I thought, 'hey, I can be the Tabasco girl!', so I just called them up,"she said. "It's a bit outside the box for them, but we're working on it." She submitted a 19-page proposal to the Avery Island company and said the deal is still in negotiations.

Brooks notes that many up-and-coming artists don't usually get paid for performing locally, unless they travel outside the Nashville city limits. Add to that the high costs of studio time, photo shoots, vocal coaches and more, and it's easy for musicians to get discouraged. Sponsors like Slidell auto dealer Robert Levis have helped Brooks defray some of those costs, and she credits them with gratitude on her Web site.

She is especially grateful to her parents for all the encouragement they've shown her through the years. "Without their support, I wouldn't believe in myself or my talent," she said. "They are always there for me." - St. Tammany News


"Local Kids Make Good: Slidell Proud"

Friday evening's "Where Are They Now?" reception sponsored by the Slidell Department of Public and Cultural Affairs was all about pride.

Those on exhibit expressed pride at being recognized in their hometown; parents shown with pride in the accomplishments of their children; and representatives of the community beamed with pride of them at the wide array of artistic achievements on display.

The emotional display in Mayor Ben Morris' face as he watched his daughter, Jenny Brooks, sing an original song dedicated to her daughter, Isabella, illustrated the impact of the gathering.

The exhibit also enabled artists to describe the journey that led to their careers in the arts. Brooks, for example, discovered she might have a career as a singer when she was excused from high school classes to compete at other locations. Winning in those competitions gave her the opportunity to practice her art form-and the added luxury of getting out of school every now and then, she said. - The Times Picayune


"Singer hopes for breakthrough"

Jenny Paige (Brooks) knows she has what it takes to be a country music singing star. She said her eclectic influences, such as Helen Reddy, Aretha Franklin, Patsy Cline, and others, help her bring her pop and country together in a way that hasn't been done before.

Although singing professionally has been a lifelong dream, she just recently started pushing it as a reality. "I actually started out as a dancer at an early age and discovered in high school that I could sing, too". "Dancing was my first love, and I traveled all over the world, Europe, New York, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

When asked if she came from a musical family, she replied, "Definitely not. I don't know where it came from. I am extremely proud of my father (Slidell Mayor Ben Morris) though, of his career and his accomplishments. He's a great dad, a wonderful man, a great police chief, but he can't sing."

Brooks remembers singing in the car as a child and her parents discussing her talent and possibilities. Although she can sing about anything that's thrown at her, she feels that her voice is best suited for country music. "I want to penetrate that market and put Slidell on the map-country musicwise," she said. - The Times Picayune


"Jenny Brooks wows at Kiwanis sponsored concert"

The Kiwanis club of Slidell presented a bang-up concert this past Thursday night in the Municipal Auditorium. With up-and-coming star Jenny Paige (Brooks) to headline supported by several local bands and singers with special guest Charlie Rich, Jr. as an added treat, this was an evening that delivered the entertainment promised in advance publicity.

Jenny, who is also the eldest daughter of Ben Morris, is an entertainer who has all the right attributes to make it big in the field of country music, the genre she has associated herself with. She sings well, has good stage presence, and is good looking. In an earlier interview, Brooks told the Slidell Sentry-News that as she attended various concerts she looked at the performer and said to herself, "I can do that" and on Thursday night she proved her claim.

Performing songs from her own self-titled CD as well as songs from the country music field associated with the female stars of the field, she handled them all with excellent style and solid delivery. She even managed to give the show some production values not seen on local stages, surrounding herself with four girl dancers, various props and several costume changes to give the show the look of the large traveling concerts coming through the area featuring top named stars.

It was a fine evening of entertainment featuring some very talented performers led to the stage by Jenny Paige (Brooks) whose star is rising and in the words of Charlie Rich, Jr., could well be one of the big stars in the country music in the not too distant future. - Slidell Sentry-News


"Country music singer returns to hometown"

Brooks will appear at Slidell High event
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
By Tara McLellan
St. Tammany bureau

Slidell's own Nashville recording artist and rising star Jenny Brooks will make a special hometown appearance March 28 at the Slidell High School Centennial Celebration.

A graduate of Slidell High, Brooks' career has been a lifetime in the making, starting when she was a young girl performing at the World's Fair in New Orleans and for the New Orleans Saints.
"Before I realized my passion for singing, I grew up as a dancer," Brooks said. "Even as a little girl, I loved being on stage performing. I guess you could say I was, and still am, a 'ham.' I loved the challenge of performing on a big stage like at the World's Fair or for the Saints, and you can bet I was loving every minute of it." During high school, Brooks continued working on her career through extracurricular activities.

"I was involved in the Thespian/Drama Club, Swingerette Dance Team and Varsity Cheerleader Squad. Those opportunities allowed me to develop a great sense of confidence as a stage performer, which definitely comes in handy now," she said.

Six years ago, Brooks decided to make her music dreams come true big time.

She packed up a U-Haul and headed to the country music make-it-or-break-it town, Nashville, but never forgot her South Louisiana roots.

"Everything about Louisiana is unique, especially its musical influences," she said. "I moved to Nashville to sing and knew nothing about songwriting. I felt like none of the songs out there represented who I was as an artist, so I began to write my own. I have always been a creative person and as I developed a love for songwriting, my Louisiana musical influences were bound to come out. When I'm creating a song, I can't help but incorporate a little R&B, a little jazz or Cajun flair and a whole lotta' sass and attitude into my music -- it's what I'm all about," she said.
Brooks' list of appearances and accomplishments is long and continues to grow as she continues to grow as an artist.

"I've had some amazing opportunities come my way on stage, but I think my biggest experience is yet to come," she said. "I plan to be on stage at the CMAs -- the Country Music Awards -- someday, maybe even the Grammys. At that point, I'll know I am successful. Dream big, right?"
Her resume includes sharing the Superbowl halftime stage with Doug Kershaw and Irma Thomas, being a lead vocalist for Celebrity Cruise Lines touring the Mediterranean, appearing at countless festivals and concerts -- including a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert for Slidell, being the opening act for Lonestar, appearing as a featured act in the New Orleans Songwriters Festival and performing the National Anthem for all types of sporting and political events, including the New Orleans Hornets, Louisiana inaugural ceremonies and the Little League World Series.
She spent more than a year on the stage at the World Famous Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, has entertained audiences at the CMA Music Festival and appeared in several country music videos, including Tracy Lawrence's current video, "Till I Was A Daddy Too" and Lonestar's "Let Me Love You."

Brooks is also an award-winning songwriter.
"Country music is about life's experiences, and I love to write about that. Everyone can relate in their own way," she said. "Talk about Louisiana influencing my music -- the first and title track of the album is 'Down In The Bayou.' If that doesn't tell you what I'm all about, nothing does. I am an artist who believes in standing up for yourself, being proud of where you came from and what you have become along the way. You won't find me singing any 'tear in your beer' songs. In fact, my husband asked me why I haven't written him a love song yet, and I just had to laugh. It's not the kind of artist I am. I'm full of get-out-of-my-way, loud-and-proud, don't-let-the-door-hit-ya attitude and sass. Women nowadays don't want to hear about heartache and tears, we are a generation of strength and do-it-yourself attitude."

Participating in festivals and events close to home continues to be an honor for this hometown girl.
"I am excited to be a part of the SHS Centennial Celebration in March," she said. "I graduated from Slidell High and have wonderful memories of my time there. Dr. MacArthur was my Thespian/Drama Club sponsor and a wonderful teacher. Mrs. Long was my honor choir director and influenced me as a singer. Principal Joe Buccaran had a great impact on me as a student at SHS. I would have to say by far the most influential person in my life at Slidell High was Ms. Jean Chretien. She coached me as a Swingerette, varsity cheerleader and made me a better person because of her passion for life. I really miss her."

In addition to her appearance at Slidell High's celebration, Brooks is doing a whirlwind tour of the area, giving locals plenty of opportunities to catch her act.

"I will be promoting the album at several events around the area in the next couple of months, including the Amite Oyster Festival on March 21, the Louisiana Crawfish Festival in Chalmette March 28, the Crescent City Classic post-race party April 11 and the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival in New Iberia April 18," she said.
Brooks recently collaborated with accomplished producer Mark Oliverius to release her debut CD, "Down In The Bayou." The album includes 11 original songs written by Brooks and some of Nashville's greatest songwriters and is being sold at more than 30 Rouses stores in South Louisiana and Mississippi.

For more information, to listen to song samples or to find out when and where Brooks will be appearing, log on to Brooks' Web site, www.jennybrooksmusic.com or myspace.com/jennybrooky1.

Published on NOLA.com Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:14 p.m.
Published in The Times-Picayune Thursday, February 26, 2009

- Times-Picayune


"Jenny Brooks CD Review"

Jenny Brooks breaks my heart. She makes a form of country that the marketplace doesn’t seem to have any place for these days, and it’s worse for it. She’s so gung-ho and committed to it that it’s hard not to worry that this will all end in frustration for her. She’s not making honky-tonk; there’s a market for that, though it’s called Americana. She’s making a modern, pop-oriented country, but like all pop, what’s considered contemporary changes quarterly, and anything even five minutes behind the moment is dismissed by Nashville, while the honky-tonk blow it off as too modern and shiny.

The irony is that Down on the Bayou is spirited fun with songs that work every time. Titles that promise too much cleverness (“Cadillaction,” “Dixie for the Chicks”) don’t lean too hard on the gimmick and make it on solid song craft. Clichés turn up more often than you’d like, but there’s no pretense to profundity here, and Brooks sings with such spunk and energy that at least a third of them are forgiven. Her songs are also the sort that will find fans when she plays, and they’ll rightly wonder why she’s not a bigger star. But in Nashville, the country-to-rock ratio changes hourly, and if your ratio’s a fragment off, it and country radio pass you by. - Offbeat Magazine/New Orleans


"BRAVO! Cultural Year In Review"

Who says there's nothing to do in Slidell? Certainly not the thousands of citizens who came out to enjoy all the free concerts, art exhibits, and special events that the City of Slidell sponsored last year.

One of our favorite events was the Where Are They Now? curated art exhibit. The show featured the works of 25 former St. Tammany Parish students who have gone on to successfully pursue a career in the arts. The featured artists inspired children of all ages and showed them the many possibilities of a career in the arts. Included in the show were Marty Sixkiller, an animator for PDI/DreamWorks; Jenny Brooks, a rising country music star...(photo included).

We had an overwhelming response from both people in our community and beyond Slidell for this event. - BRAVO! Cultural & Public Affairs


"Red, White and Boom! Girl Power Rocks the Baton Rouge Riverfront in 2009!!!"

Girl Power Rocks the Baton Rouge Riverfront in 2009!!!

"I am Woman. Hear me roar."

That classic #1 hit by Helen Reddy from back in 1972 may have a little dust on the cover, but its message is no less potent in 2009. The line-up for Baton Rouge's Fourth of July Star-Spangled Celebration is packed full of powerful up-and-coming female vocalists.

The headline act at this year's event is Louisiana artist Jenny Brooks who hails from nearby Slidell. If Brooks looks a little familiar to you, it's because you've probably seen her on your TV. She has appeared in videos airing on CMT and GAC, including "Till I Was A Daddy Too" by Tracy Lawrence and "Let Me Love You" by Lonestar.

But standing in someone else's spotlight isn't in the cards for this singer/songwriter. A seven-month gig with Celebrity Cruise Lines touring the Mediterranean as lead vocalist wasn't a bad way to start. Six years ago, she made the move to Music Row in Nashville to pursue her dream. Since then, she has shared the stage during the Super Bowl halftime show with such greats as Doug Kershaw and Irma Thomas and spent over a year on stage at the world famous Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville.

Brooks recently collaborated with producer Mark Oliverius to release her debut CD Down In The Bayou (2009). Oliverius has worked with such country music mainstays as Lorrie Morgan, Ashton Shepard, and Trick Pony. Jenny's single "Baby Footprints In The Sand" is one of eleven original songs on the release and was included on the CD compilation album Sounds Of The Northshore. - Baton Rouge Advocate


"Love Song To New Orleans CD 2009"

Love Song to New Orleans held an international song competition to pick the best songs about Louisiana & New Orleans. The end result is a flavorful tribute cd with a complimentary mix of blues, Americana, folk, zydeco & jazz with award winning guest stars. Oct. 1 you can purchase the cd through retail outlets in New Orleans Peaches Records, Louisiana Music Factory (online too) & digital distributors Itunes, & Cdbaby.
Visit http://www.lovesongtoneworleans.com for more information. - The Times-Picayune


Discography

Jenny Brooks just completed her debut CD "Down In The Bayou". It is being sold at ROUSES, the largest independent grocery store chain in Louisiana and includes 11 original songs written by Jenny.

The title track to Jenny's debut CD "Down In The Bayou" is featured on the newly released "Love Song to New Orleans" compilation CD featuring some of New Orleans' best songwriters.

Jenny's debut single "Baby Footprints In The Sand" was released to country radio in Fall 2007. It received airplay on nearly 200 country radio stations across the country and climbed the Music Row Chart. Her song is also the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the Songwriter Universe Contest.

She is a featured artist on the recently released CD Compilation "Sounds of the Northshore". Jenny's single "Baby Footprints In The Sand" is included as part of a star-studded cajun artist lineup.

Jenny Brooks has been featured on Nashville's WKDF 103.3 Locals Only Show. The radio show highlights up and coming country artists around Music City.

Photos

Bio

Also visit www.jennybrooksmusic.com

Debut CD AVAILABLE in over 30 ROUSES Markets in south Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ask anyone that knows Jenny Brooks and they will tell you she belongs on stage. She’s been there all her life. As a little girl, Jenny performed at the World’s Fair in New Orleans, for the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Saints, and in Walt Disney World. Since then, Jenny has shared the Superbowl Halftime stage with Doug Kershaw and Irma Thomas and enjoyed the lead vocalist role for Celebrity Cruise Lines touring the Mediterranean. She's been making a name for herself all over the country as she performs at countless festivals and concerts. Jenny Brooks has opened for some of country music's biggest names such as Kenny Chesney, Brooks and Dunn, Jason Aldean and Jake Owen.

The Louisiana native packed up a U-Haul seven years ago to try her luck in Music City. She spent over a year on the stage at the World Famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. She has also entertained audiences at the CMA Music Festival and appeared in several country music videos, including Tracy Lawrence’s current video “Till I Was A Daddy Too” and Lonestar’s “Let Me Love You”. Jenny has performed the National Anthem for all types of sporting and political events including the NBA New Orleans Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville Sounds, Louisiana Inaugural Ceremonies, and the Little League World Series.

Raised in Louisiana where the music is as hot as the Tabasco, Jenny is redefining country music with her own unique blend of rockin' down-home cajun flair and swampy R&B influence.  Playing over 100 dates a year and selling more than 10,000 CDs independently, she's making her mark and charming audiences all over the country. She is undeniably country offering attitude, sass and irresistible girl next door charm to every performance. Her extensive experience in front of live audiences is evident by her commanding stage presence--she's a total entertainer! She was recently featured in the world's leading country music entertainment magazine, Country Weekly and has appeared on CMT.

Along with being an extremely talented vocalist, Jenny is an award-winning songwriter. She says, "Country music is about life's experiences, and I love to write about that...everyone can relate in their own way." You can catch her performances at popular songwriter venues all around Nashville. She’s a regular on The Billy Block Show and has been featured as an up-and-coming country artist on WKDF’s Locals Only Radio Show. The title track of her album is featured on the new compilation CD "Love Song to New Orleans". Also, her song “Baby Footprints In The Sand” was played on nearly 200 radio stations worldwide and is on a compilation CD raising funds and awareness for Music and Arts programs in Louisiana.

Jenny Brooks collaborated with accomplished producer, Mark Oliverius (Lorrie Morgan/Ashton Shepherd/Trick Pony) to release her debut CD “Down In The Bayou”. The album includes 11 original songs written by Jenny and some of Nashville’s greatest songwriters and is being sold at over 30 ROUSES Market stores in south Louisiana and Mississippi. For more on Jenny Brooks, check out www.jennybrooksmusic.com.

"Jenny's home is on the stage. Whether she's got you singing along to her original bayou tunes or adding her own flair to covers, Jenny will leave you wanting more." Jennifer Byard, Entertainment Coordinator/Clarksville, TN

"Experience the passion and power of Jenny Brooks. Whether she takes you by the hand into the sultry heat of the deep south on a Sunday afternoon, or to an adrenaline fueled Friday night, she will take you--and you will LOVE it!" Mark Oliverius, Producer (Lorrie Morgan, Trick Pony, Ashton Shepherd)

"2009 was our first year to have Jenny Brooks as the headliner of the Star Spangled Celebration at Baton Rouge's USS Kidd Veterans Memorial. She was extremely well-received. Jenny's a fantastic singer with great stage presence. We immediately invited her back for our 2010 show!" Maury Drummond, Director/USS Kidd Veterans Memorial

"Jenny Brooks brings class and elegance to her unique brand of country music. She's as beautiful as she is talented." Billy Block, WKDF Radio/Nashville

"Jenny Brooks is one great singer with a passion for life that shows in her delivery. Looks like another star has shown up in Nashville." Steve Pope, Tuneshop/Nashville

"Jenny is full of energy and you can tell it the first second you meet her. Her song "Baby Footprints In The Sand" is well written, and just an amazing song in general. I think a listener said it best..."That song is about real life" and it is". Melissa Frost, KRRV Radio/ Alexandria, LA

"Jenny's very talented. She does a great job on stage!" Edwin Rojas, Celebrity Cruise Lines

"If anybody's got the drive and talent to accomplish her goals in country music, it's Jenny. She's great!" Jennifer Blair, Jennifer Blair Radio