Jenny Labow
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Jenny Labow

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1997

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Established on Jan, 1997
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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Oct
23
Jenny Labow @ Osage Casino Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Oct
03
Jenny Labow @ Osage Casino Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Oct
02
Jenny Labow @ Osage Casino Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

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Jenny Labow
...everything but you
Jenny Labow
Several months ago, Dave Percefull pulled me into his Yellow Dog Studios to play me some of the new Jenny Labow tracks. He was clearly excited about them, not only because his studio got to polish them but because they were worth polishing. Even before mixing and mastering, the songs clearly had a new pulse -- something Labow's solo career has never exactly been guilty of having. She's got a full-fledged band now, one that not only played the record but plays the shows and helps write the songs. So "... everything but you" is certainly more cohesive than Labow's debut, "Flourish," and the brand of adult contemporary pop she plays at least bristles with real rhythm this time out. Still, though this record gets closer to it than she ever has, Labow is short of a distinct personality to push her music through the throng of Lilith Fair waifs clogging the lobbies of record companies nationwide. The songs on this follow-up are beautifully composed and pretty, but only a handful have textures that stick to you. The most surprising -- and most effective -- is "Heaviest Thing," certainly the heaviest thing she's recorded, with a decidedly rock beat and electric guitars that work hard enough to occasionally squeak. Her vocals are pushed forward, and she sounds strong and alluring. It's an exciting few moments that punctuates the rest of the Eva Trout hum. - Tulsa World


Jenny Labow reaches for the stars
Posted Jul 8, 1998

Flattery still can make Jenny Labow blush.



This may seem surprising, considering it has just been one week since the 25-year-old Tulsa singer performed onstage with Martina McBride, Sarah McLachlan and an Indigo Girl.



Hot off the Oklahoma City Lilith Fair ticket and one year after the independent release of her popular CD 'Flourish,' Labow greets the possibilities of her blossoming career with endearingly nervous laughter, red cheeks and true modesty.



'I know that if I didn't do this (write music and sing), I would be empty. That's my work and my life,' she said. 'Drive is my, and everybody's, constant struggle - evaluating my drive and keeping it intact, how much I have and will it be enough. Wherever I am in my career is a direct reflection of how much drive I have, and I judge myself by that.'



Labow may be remembered by some OSU students as the lead singer of the now-defunct band Glass House. The band frequently performed at such Stillwater venues as Eskimo Joe's and The Wormy Dog Concert Hall.



Labow said she's confident she made the right decision by leaving Glass House, but she misses being in the band, which broke up primarily due to creative and goal-related differences.



'I see other bands and think of my band, and it's like, God, I wish I was in a band again. But it's like being a senior in high school - you just don't want to graduate, but you have to graduate to move on with your life,' she said. 'I had to graduate; I had to get out. I couldn't be 30 and still be in a band. I personally knew that I had more to do than be a band member - creatively, emotionally and spiritually.



'I lost sight of what I really wanted, and finally, it was like, 'I gotta go this way.' I had to follow my own path.'



Labow still performs with two former members of Glass House, guitar player Brad Mitcho, and drummer Scott Taylor, both of whom played with her at Lilith Fair.



'They also have their own projects,' she said, 'but I'm glad I still have a chance to play with them. I'm waiting for the day I can give them an offer they can't refuse.'



Labow's first significant foray into the popular music scene was as lead singer for 'The Fifth Hitchhiker,' a band she started with her friends when she was 14 years old. The band's first gigs were school functions at Stillwater Junior High School, where the members were students.



Labow joined Glass House while still in high school, and after graduation, spent one semester as a flag girl and bass clarinet major in the OSU marching band.



'That was a very confusing time for me,' she said. 'I auditioned for a voice scholarship, but they didn't give it to me. They didn't really have anything for me but to be in the choir, and I didn't really want to be in the choir.'



So she took bass clarinet scholarship instead.



'I got a lot of good experiences out of it, but I was pretty distracted with what I would rather be doing,' she said. 'I didn't understand why I was playing the bass clarinet when I wanted to sing.'



Labow continued singing with Glass House, but left school to move to Tulsa and work full time with the band .



'I just ended up doing it backwards - I went to college and then realized I wanted to do my own thing. I love learning, and I love the classes, and I might go back to school someday. But for now, I'm happy where I am.'



Now in the second year of her solo career, Labow has been working on her second album since last fall with Los Angeles producer David Cole and arranger C.J. Vanston.



'This has been the greatest experience I've had,' she said. 'I learned how to handle myself and how to get what I really want, musically and professionally.'



Labow said her first few weeks working with seasoned professionals were intimidating.



'I had these investors who were investing their money, and I was just sitting in the middle of all these people trying to figure out 'what's going on here,' and they all wanted me to do something and to help me in some way, and I was responsible for putting something out.



'I learned that if you don't say exactly what you want, you will get overridden no matter what.'



After numerous sessions during a period of a few months, Labow realized the sound she was producing wasn't quite her own. She said that getting up the courage to approach her colleagues took some time, but was worth the effort.



'It was kind of an expensive lesson,' she said, referring to the hours and money spent up to that point. 'But I sat with it for a while, and then I thought, 'this isn't what I had in mind.'



'I had to fight not to be overridden. I felt like kind of a bitch at first - kind of bratty. Here were all these men helping me and paying for me, and other musicians that work with people like Celine Dion, and here I was, just me, trying to tell them I wanted something different.



'I was star-struck at first, and I had to get over it. Now I'm totally over it.'



Labow expects her CD to come out by early 1999. She said it may or may not be released by a major record label.



'As of now, I'm just going to make the album however I can make it,' she said. 'My demos are on the loose in L.A., and there are some different possibilities with labels. But I want my CD to come out by early in the year, and if a label hasn't signed on by then, I'm going to make it anyway.'



Labow said that while her experience at Lilith Fair was wonderful, she has mixed views on the hype surrounding women in rock.



'I'm so grateful that this exists,' she said. 'And I went up to Sarah (McLachlan) because I had to say, 'thank you Sarah, thank you so much. It's such a wonderful thing.' The whole atmosphere was mostly run by women - it was so calm, so relaxed. There was a woman stage manager and everything. So I love it.



'On the other hand, I'm waiting for this whole woman thing to pass so I can come out as an artist and be recognized for myself. Like Tori Amos and other artists, I'd like not to have to be part of the whole women in rock thing, because it's not going to last forever.'



Labow, who was raised in Toronto until she was 12, counts fellow Canadian McLachlan among her musical influences, which also include Fiona Apple, Tracy Chapman and Madonna.



'Madonna, she's like Bert and Ernie to me,' she said. 'I remember singing all those songs and asking everyone, 'Don't I sound like Madonna?' Then there was my mother saying, 'I don't really like that Madonna's voice,' and me standing up to her saying, 'Well, I like it.'



'There are all these other women singers who I love, with great voices and talent. But when you put Madonna in there, she's just way above the rest somehow; she's the queen. I went through a hate-Madonna phase - around the Vogue time, but now I'm back again. I feel like we have a connection, no matter what she does - whether she's singing a song or doing a video.



'With Madonna, the guys' jaws are dropping and the girls are empowered. She did it all herself, too.'



Labow said an even more important influence in her life has been her mother.



'My mom, she has always been stronger than me, and I try to glean off her what I can,' she said. 'When ever I start to feel sorry for myself, I'm not allowed. That's a pet peeve of hers - self pity.



'Also her voice is an influence. She's an opera singer, and her voice has always been inspiring.'



When she's not performing or rehearsing with the band, Labow takes ballet and voice lessons and practices guitar and piano. To work on her voice, she sings jazz and classical pieces.



Labow said she is on hiatus for a few weeks but plans to start performing again in July. She usually plays two to three gigs a week and is planning at least one Stillwater performance date.



Her music is featured in an independent film, 'Chillicothe,' in which she also has a role. The film has been submitted to the Toronto Film Festival.



This year has been perhaps the busiest of her career. Flying to and from California every few weeks for six months, acting in a movie and writing a new album has been nothing but challenging, she said.



For a young woman who was embarrassed as a teenager to have been voted 'best looking' of her eighth-grade class ('I won because the teachers voted,' she says), Labow has grown into her skin as an artist who puts a premium on heart and soul in every performance and in every album. - O'Colly


Promising singer taking steady steps toward stardom
George Lang • Published: April 27, 2001
TULSA - For a singer of great promise with two independent albums of soaring progressive pop behind her, Jenny Labow's musical roots are as humble as they come.

"I think that the first things I listened to were 'Saturday Night Fever,' 'Grease,' then Pat Benatar after that," said Labow, who will perform a solo acoustic set at 9 p.m. Saturday at VZD's, 4200 N Western.

It might sound like a typical musical menu for a suburban girl growing up in the late '70s, but the influence of her mother, an opera singer, and a brother who repeatedly recorded her singing helped broaden her musical aspirations.

"When I used to sing at my house in Toronto in the bathroom, my brother would put a tape recorder in there and say, 'Just sing like you normally do and I'll tape it.' I was too shy to do it. I'd get in my closet and sing Heart and Madonna songs. He was trying to encourage me, but of course I was singing in, like, 10 different keys."

In the early '80s, Labow's family moved to Stillwater, where the locals thought she was a freak because she dressed like Madonna circa "Desperately Seeking Susan." When she was 17, she began singing in Glass House, a Tulsa pop band that gained a strong local following for Labow's strong voice and stage presence, as well as the musicianship of future Mollys Yes members Brad Mitcho and Scott Taylor.

She said Glass House produced some excellent original songs but was pegged as a disco cover band, opening for KC & the Sunshine Band in the early '90s .

"We got pigeonholed as a cover band, but we had a tape out of original songs," she said.

The band stayed together for seven years, but Labow had a batch of songs that didn't fit the Glass House mold. Hoping to develop a more expansive, dramatic pop sound, she turned to Jeff Quimby, an early drummer for Glass House who had built a career as a producer and musician in Nashville.

Produced by Quimby in 1997, "Flourish" is a marvel of atmospheric pop in the vein of Labow's fellow Canadian, Sarah McLachlan. Songs such as "January" showcased Labow's clear soprano, surrounded by pristine production, string washes and her multitracked background vocals. Through constant club dates and support from area radio stations, Labow secured a reputation as an up-and-coming local talent and was invited to perform on the second stage during the Lilith Fair's 1998 stop in Oklahoma City.

"When I made 'Flourish,' I couldn't believe it," she said. "The caliber of musicians was amazing, and I was just ecstatic. I knew I had something to put out there. People that knew me and were close to me saw more of me in that record than they had in the past, and it was a freeing experience."

Last year, Labow followed up "Flourish" with "Everything But You," an equally assured collection of nine new songs co-written with her brother, Benji, and her then-bass player, Paul Cristiano. Quimby's production was leaner and tougher, and Labow proved capable of rocking on songs such as "Mosquito" and "Everything's Covered."
Although her fans have been predicting incipient stardom ever since her days in Glass House, Labow is taking the climb slowly. She has met with representatives from Universal Records and Warner Brothers, but nothing solid has happened yet with a major label.

Labow is working with Nick Wheeler of Stillwater's All-American Rejects on some new recordings of her songs, trying to put together a new band for some record company showcases. Meanwhile, songs from "Flourish" are being used in MTV's late-night series "Undressed," and she played a showcase at this spring's South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin.

Labow has also been dabbling in acting, appearing in "Chillicothe," an independent film shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival. While the film did not receive a theatrical run, Labow said it will be released on video soon.

"It has me on the cover and it has two of my songs in it," she said. "The director, Todd Edwards, heard my 'Flourish' CD, and he wanted to use my songs. Then, he goes, 'Well, do you want to be in it, too? Have you ever wanted to act?' and I got cast as his ex-girlfriend.

"Then it ends up getting into the Sundance Film Festival," she said. "I go and do one little thing for fun, and it becomes an amazing thing."

At this point, Labow is just looking for that one thing that pushes her over the top.

"What I'm in need of right now is something to go from local to national," she said. "I'm not a band - I'm not going to be the Dave Matthews Band, where I tour the whole country constantly. I just have to go figure out exactly what I need to do.

"It could take a lot of little steps, but with as many people as I have talked to, the next year or the next two years could be interesting." - NewsOK


Concert: Jenny Labow
When: 9:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Woody's, 8178 S. Lewis Ave.
Tickets: $5 at the door
During a recent rehearsal for the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a friend of the band's dropped in from Kansas City. When the conversation wasn't densely scatalogical, the members talked about local music, and someone mentioned that Jenny Labow had a new project. Instantly, the new arrival began belting ``January'' off the top of his head, a tune Labow wrote with Brad Mitcho, one of her former bandmates in Tulsa's once-renowned Glass House.
Labow is modest to the last, and she blushes at the notion of having that kind of influence, that kind of reach.
She does, though, and fortunately she's not so modest that she won't pursue her music. Her solo debut will hit Tulsa next week, and the second phase of Labow's burgeoning career will begin.
The last time we caught up with Labow, last year, she and the members of Glass House were discussing the band's mutual decision to break up. Five years of rehashing the hits of the late '70s and early '80s had worn a bit thin for the members, despite the band's large and faithful regional audience. The band split just as its second CD was released, a disc of original music that impressed a lot of people and seeded great hopes for what would follow the breakup.
Several producers in Los Angeles were among those impressed with the sophomore disc. At the time of the band's breakup, they were trying to lure Labow there to cut a solo record. The deal fell through, though, because Labow didn't like the legal arrangements and the lack of control she said she feared she would have over the project.
``If I had ended up working with them, it would have been a great learning experience, but I doubt I would have come out of it with the record I did. I wouldn't have had as much say in how it sounded, and that was the main thing,'' Labow said earlier this week. ``We decided to break up (Glass House) so we could do our own thing, and I wanted to make sure this went really the way I wanted it.''
So she did it her way. Borrowing money from family, she headed the other direction -- to Nashville. There she hooked up with Jeff Quimby, Glass House's original drummer, with whom she'd recorded some demos. Quimby leads a session band there and was eager to produce Labow's first outing and to have the band back her.
``This way I got to do the album exactly how I wanted to,'' she said. ``This album really represents me and my songs and what I can do. It's a good example to carry around with me.''
And that's the next step. After a few CD-release parties in the area -- including next week's at Woody's -- she'll be shopping the new disc, entitled ``Flourish,'' to record companies and industry big-wigs.
Even with a disc in hand that she's proud of, things are still very up in the air. Quimby's Nashville band will be backing her for this string of CD parties, but it's likely not a permanent fixture. After seeing L.A. and Nashville, Labow said she really wants to move to New York.
Until then, she's talking to more locals about putting together a Tulsa-based band again, likely without any ex-Glass Housers. The sound is different from the danceable Glass House days -- it's subtler, more folky.
``The album is much more live- sounding -- none of the sequencers and stuff Glass House used. This is really basic. There's a lot of acoustic guitar, percussion, organic keyboards like organ and piano. The whole thing's really organic,'' Labow said.
The music for three songs on ``Flourish'' was written by Labow's brother, Benji. ``January'' is reprised here, too, and the rest is solely Labow's work.
``My new direction right now is finding what my new direction is,'' Labow said. ``It's me discovering what's best for me, how best to convey myself and what I want to say in the best way to reach people ... This is what I've chosen to do with my life, so I'll take it as far as possible. I'm 23, so I can do it. I mean, David Letterman is out there waiting, and I need to get there.''
``Flourish'' should show up in local stores in mid-March. It will be available at Wednesday's show.
The other members of Glass House are still active around town. Mitcho and the rhythm section -- John Quinn on bass, Scott Taylor on drums -- take turns in two different bands. One, called Blink, features two other prominent local talents: Ed Goggin and Mac Ross from the Groove Pilots. They craft all original music and are working on a CD now.
The other band might seem more familiar to Glass House fans. Called the Plumbers, it's a cover band that Mitcho said ``plays all the stupid party tunes that everyone's used to, only none of us can sing as well as Jenny.''
The Plumbers' first live gig is this weekend at the Bricktown Brewery in Oklahoma City. The Tulsa debut will be March 14-15 at Full Moon South. - Tulsa World


Discography

http://jennylabow.bandcamp.com/ 

Flourish / Renaissance Records 1997

Everything But You / Renaissance Records 2000

Sunday Morning / Yellowdog Records 2007

Crimson / 2015

Photos

Bio


Jenny Labow launched her solo career, making her debut in 1997 with the release of her first album, Flourish. The following year she graced the stage at the 1998 Lilith fair festival opening for such artists as Sarah McLachlan, Sinead O’Connor and Natalie Merchant.

During her third year as a solo artist, Labow made her acting debut at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival in the independent film, Chillicothe, as well as dominating much of the film’s soundtrack.Among her soundtrack achievements, Labow’s song Fade Away was featured in the Warner Bros. film, Origin of the Species.

The year 2000 marked the release of the second Jenny Labow album titled…Everything But You. In 2001, Labow’s Albums were licensed by MTV for programming use.

In 2002, Jenny was considered by major companies such as Maverick Records to play lead roles in prime time shows. Since then Jenny has worked with film composer, John Swihart ( Napoleon Dynamite ), on independent film projects including the film "Daltry Calhoun" starring Johnny Knoxville.

After releasing her album "Sunday Morning" Jenny went back to work writing for a new CD, "Crimson", which is currently mixed and waiting to be mastered. Jenny's Tulsa Band will be showcasing her new music in 2015.


Band Members