Jessie Veeder
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Jessie Veeder

Watford City, North Dakota, United States | INDIE

Watford City, North Dakota, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Folk


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"July Reviews"

July Reviews
Jessie Veeder & Brooks West

By Chris Rausch
Associate Music Editor

Jessie Veeder
A Place to Belong
Barking Dog Records

Jessie Veeder -- should we be so lucky -- will have a long, healthy career, and eventually succumb to an innate desire to record an album of torch songs, brimming with pain, seduction and candlelit lounges at 3 a.m. Because, underneath the prairie-swept atmosphere on "A Place to Belong," is a woman so smoky, it's a wonder the calm, icy landscape she sings about doesn't reject her on principle.
Unless, of course, she rejects it first, which seems to be the point. For every countrified inflection, and every sad Dobro strum, is an urge for release and a struggle against escape. The voices in her songs yearn for more, dream of California, and wait for the cruelest of winter to pass, then turn around and realize that "the chill can't stay." If Veeder is the embodiment of young North Dakota, feverishly searching for the title of her album, it paints a haunting portrait of a generation in flux -- frostbitten and winking. When easy contentment is typified with, "I'm just dreaming safe for living's sake," and leaving is equated with a deep sense of hurt, and it all happens within the same three and a half minutes of pop music, the contrast is both impossible and utterly believable.
Veeder is a siren of the first order - a gorgeous voice that, like the ice in "Winter Nights," pulls you under and refuses to let you go. "A Place to Belong" allows her a venue to put the goods on display but, like the characters in her lyrics, the record is nearly unable to hold her, and in its finest moments -- such as the day-dream antiquity "Movies" -- the seams appear ready to burst. She needn't worry too much, however; whether she stays or goes; it would be hard not to follow.

© 2005 High Plains Reader
July 28, 2005
Vol 11, Iss. 45

- High Plains Reader

"Weekend Watch"

Add another name to the talented stable of young female singers who've emerged from Fargo's Barking Dog Records. Jessie Veeder's debut, "A Place to Belong," crackles with the same earthy spirit as Brenda Weiler's first offering back in 1997. Veeder's Watford City voice doesn't carrry a country twang, but the songwriter gets a kick from producer Mike Coates, members of davis?, Debora Harris and other local musicians. Her subtle combo of contemporary country and pop should secure her some play on local radio. - Fargo Forum

"Coffeehouse Concert"

Last week, darling North Dakota college student Jessie Veeder played in the SUB. To make the long drive, she hitched a ride with her father, who looked on proudly from the small crowd throughout her set. “He’s the one who taught me. He’s my major influence,” the young Veeder said of her dad after her show. Additionally, he credits the remote, which sounds a lot like “remoot” when he says it with a slight North Dakotan accent, location of the Badlands in which she grew up for the development of Jessie’s unique sound. “Isolation helped develop her musical stylings,” he said.

The 21-year-old singer/songwriter released her first album when she was 16, and her next release is due out in the coming weeks.

During the show, Veeder played some amazing original acoustic material, and a few covers by the likes of Lyle Lovett, John Denver, and even Elvis. Her father smiled when he heard the Presley tune and said, “I’ve never heard her do an Elvis song before. That’s cool.”

Veeder finishes college this semester and hopes in the coming years to be “keeping music in my life, hopefully doing it for a living,” just as long as she is “in a place in my musical career that I’m comfortable with.”

Judging by how comfortable Jessie Veeder is with being on stage and interacting with her audiences, big things can be expected from this small-town girl.

Come out tonight, please, and support the final show in the CoffeeHouse Concert Series. Student Activities works hard to set up events to keep the student population entertained. Attending a free St. Patrick’s Day musical set is a great way to say thanks and give them feedback for next year.

- The Boise State Arbiter

"Veeder releases her first CD"

Veeder Releases Her First CD
New release a dream come true for young songwriter, singer

There is a voice on the prairie and if you listen closely it will carry you back to a youthful time and place we all find ourselves yearning for from time to time....... How did I grow to be so old when the past is still so near.... writes singer/song-writer Jessie Veeder of Watford City.

Jessie is about to release her first CD titled "This Road.' An accomplishment at any age, but even more impressive for someone not yet graduated from high school.

There are seven songs on the CD which will be available around the first of the new year. The songs included in "This Road' were all written by Jessie and best of all were written from the heart.

"My father taught me to play guitar when I was 12 and has been behind me all the way. I started writing poetry when I was very young. By 15 I was putting poetry to music and some of these early works are on this CD," commented Jessie. "Growing up on a ranch in North Dakota will always be a big part of who I am, and many aspects of my prairie existence are reflected in my music."

Jessie has performed for several major audiences in the Plains states. Last year she sang at the National High School Rodeo in Gillette, WY. Jessie recently opened for the Wilkinson's at the amphitheater in Medora. The Wilkinson's are a musical group that has been nominated has been nominated for the Country Music Association's Horizon Award.

Jessie described her Medora experience as a magical setting for a North Dakota performer. "It was a beautiful evening and that view overlooking the Badlands is magnificent. I think the audience could feel this special aura too. I felt a connection to the audience that night and I think they felt it too."

Jessie was accompanied by Tim Melby, Mike Enderud and her father who had this to say of the concert. "She really knows how to charm an audience. She connected with the Medora audience and they loved her. They gave her two standing ovations."

Her father played a major role in the production of the 'This Road' as did local recording artist Tim Melby of Melby Studios in Watford City.. Melby arranged each piece of music for Jessie and also layered the instrumentals for the background music.

"Gene was the executive director and took responsibility for the overall creative decisions," commented Melby. "His perspective and creative choices added tremendously to the final product."

"During the course of creating the CD Jessie and Tim developed a sort of artistic familial relationship that was interesting to watch evolve," shared Gene. "We could have recorded this music anywhere, but the individual attention and artistic sensitivity Tim shared with Jessie would have been impossible to duplicate."

'This Road' as described by Melby has an Alternative/Folk sound. "This is a very creative and entirely original album that evokes Jessie's deep sensitivity for life on the prairie. Because of this originality it was an intriguing project and working with Jessie and Gene made it a totally pleasurable experience."

Though Jessie has yet to choose a college her plans include courses in writing and journalism. "I love writing, poetry and want to continue my writing and my music while in college. In the meantime I will continue to play at folk festivals and other musical events around the state."

There is an artistic grace that is consistent throughout 'This Road.' Jessie shares an introspective honesty which she expresses through her provocative lyrics and soulful melodies.

'This Road' is poetry set to music, prairie-born, and like a prairie wind is filled with the promise of greater things to come.

- Bismarck Tribune


"Sundown" on the Chillout Compilation CD.



Sounds like dirt roads and dust, wind and wheat fields, hope and home...[url][/url]

"Jessie is one of the most intuitive and instinctual artists I have ever worked with. She’s prolific. And her songs are great.”

-David Swenson, Makoche Studios

Jessie Veeder, 29, has been a symbol of folk music in the badlands of Western North Dakota since she released her first original album, "This Road," when she was only sixteen years old. It was an effort that sparked the interest of music enthusiasts and took her from performing at fairs and festivals around her home state to managing a national college and coffeehouse tour with a booking agency out of Nashville.

With unique and interestingly beautiful vocals, Veeder’s lyrics swell with references to her own life experiences growing up on a working cattle ranch in the rugged land of Western North Dakota. Veeder’s ability to captivate audiences with stories of her love for the landscape, the culture and the people of small town America is what pulls at the heartstrings of audiences across the globe and made her 2005 release “A Place to Belong” a success.

“A Place to Belong” put the small-town singer behind the wheel of her Chevy, navigating the highways and interstates from the ranch to Chicago, Fargo to Fort Worth and everywhere in between singing the stories of the people and the isolated landscape of her home.

Today Veeder’s home is all but isolated. The buttes and creeks of her family’s ranch and the town where she grew up sits on top of one of the country’s largest oil reserves, and Western North Dakota, Veeder’s home, has found itself in the middle of one of the biggest economic booms the country has seen.

After the release of “Jessie Veeder Live” an album recorded with her father’s hometown band, Veeder moved home to her family’s ranch to live and write about the changing life there and to make music with the people who have influenced her from the beginning.

Veeder’s latest release “Nothing’s Forever” is a 13-song anthem rooted in the acoustic guitars, dobro, steele, and bass work of local musicians and backed by the poignant harmonica and harmonies of her father. The single “Boomtown,” an homage to the people working to make a living in oil country, has put Veeder in the spotlight as a feature in various news programs and national and international documentaries.

But beyond the music it’s Veeder’s story that has gained her a global following. Her popular website “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…” chronicles life on the Veeder Ranch and the success of her website has landed her a job as a weekly columnist in the Fargo Forum and as a commentator on Prairie Public Radio.

“Jessie tells the story of us,” said David Swenson of Makoche Studios out of Bismarck who worked with Jessie to produce an album that he describes as one of the best to come out of their studio. “Jessie is one of the most intuitive and instinctual artists I have ever worked with. She’s prolific. And her songs are great.”