Jill Brzezicki
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Jill Brzezicki

Fort Collins, CO | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Fort Collins, CO | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

May
28
Jill Brzezicki @ Boulder Boulder

Boulder, Colorado, United States

Boulder, Colorado, United States

May
10
Jill Brzezicki @ Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

Apr
27
Jill Brzezicki @ The R Bar and Lounge

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

Apr
07
Jill Brzezicki @ Avogadro's Number

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

Music

Press


Jill Brzezicki (pronounced Brrrr-Zit-Ski) is a Colorado based, Americana singer-songwriter. Country-rock, folk and bluegrass provide the building blocks of her sound, and for those looking for easy reference points, think early Emmylou Harris and the first couple of Mary Gauthier records. She’s got a good, powerful voice and her songs are full of life, either one that she’s lived or maybe it’s a world that thrives only in her imagination. Whatever the truth, it makes for a compelling narrative.

The five year gap between albums (her debut “Consequence of Truth” was released in 2007) has allowed plenty of room for development, as a songwriter and musician. In fact, much of that time has been spent enrolled at the Rocky Mountain Song School honing her craft. “The Horizon” utilizes this growth with a series of songs that feel grown-up and complete. It begins with “Heavy Heart”, a string driven delight, and Brzezicki finds her feet immediately, producing an inspired performance. It’s the first of many; “Dreamer” wanders beautifully and suggests a familiarity with older, European folk traditions and the title track pleasingly chugs along, revealing layers, and feels so urban and intrinsically American, it’s probably best experienced lounging on tenement steps. - Leicester Bangs


Damn Good
Jill, Sarah and Julie of the
DAMN STRAPS know
‘practice makes perfect.’
By Laura Katers
The first time I saw Jill Brzezicki
play guitar was at a local open mic
night. Not too many people were
paying attention then as Jill and Sarah
Wilhelms, her good friend and future band
mate, performed a series of covers that
barely permeated the noisy chatter of the
smoke-filled and peanut-husk-riddled pizza
establishment.
That was five years ago.
Today, Jill Brzezicki fronts the allwoman
folk/rock band, Damn Straps, a
Fort Collins-based up-and-coming talent
on the Colorado music scene. Started back
in 2001 by Brzezicki, along with Jody
Swigris, one of the original members, the
Damn Straps evolved out of a few
women’s love -- and ability -- to play
music.
I asked Brzezicki, an extremely likeable
woman with a hearty laugh,
how the name “Damn Straps”
originated.
“Guitar straps are always
coming undone from the bottom of
the guitar—it’s a huge pain in the
ass because you almost drop your
instrument. At one of our practices, one
of the girls in the band was like,
‘Damn! Strap!’ It stuck, and has since
completely evolved to all straps—bra
straps, sandal straps, backpack straps.”
The Damn Straps have come a
long way from that duo I saw years
ago. At one point consisting of five
women, the band is now a grooved trio:
Brzezicki and Julie Pomerantz on
vocals and guitar, and Sarah Wilhelms
on vocals and bass. Their music is
upbeat and laced with political,
environmental, and
emotional undertones.
And their shows
never fail to draw a
friendly, energetic
crowd, many of whom
have been following
them since day one.
While Brzezicki
sings lead on many
of the songs and
also writes the
majority of original
music, the
harmony and talent
of the three
together is the
band’s real
strength.
“Our greatest strength
is our diversity,” Brzezicki tells me. “All
three of us can sing lead, harmonize, and
play instruments. There is never any one
woman taking the stage, but rather the synergy
of all three of us."
When describing the music she has
been heavily involved in creating over the
past few years Brzezicki says, “Our
music has folk roots. It’s influenced
by songs that have been passed
down for years, traditional songs
that have no ownership, that are a
part of history. We are looking to
create potent melodies that will be
unforgettable, but at the same time,
want them to have a modern taste and
edge.”
Sarah Wilhelms, the newest addition
to the band, “completed the chord by
filling in the missing low end with her
bass guitar and vocal,” Brzezicki
explains. With an edge of soul,
Wilhelms sends a wave of smiles -- and
chills -- through the crowd when she
takes advantage of her low, sultry voice
in tunes like “Stray Cat Strut” and “I
Walk the Line.”
“A few years ago, I
asked Sarah if she wanted to
learn how to play the bass,”
Brzezicki says, remembering
how she just happened
to have one lying around. “I
gave it to her, along with a
self-teach videotape. She
came back two weeks later
tearing it up.”
Describing the
third member of the
group, Brzezicki
observes that “Julie
[Pomerantz], has an
effortless voice with
great range … Her voice
highlights everything else
that’s going on.”
The Damn Straps aren’t
just a band, but a family. Learning the
tricks of the music trade together has made
the group very tight—more like sisters.
And, having someone with upbeat energy
like Jill Brzezicki doesn’t hurt either.
Brzezicki has been playing the guitar
for fifteen years. She decided to learn in
college, inspired by a musician roommate.
“My college roommate was from
Buffalo—into REM bootlegs—I thought
she was so cool. I bought an electric guitar,
cheapo, bright yellow. I learned five
chords or so; then I learned Bobbie
McGee.”
In 2003 Brzezicki was accepted in the
first round of students at the Colorado
Contemporary Music College. She ultimately
received a diploma in music performance
and education and now also
teaches guitar. She tells me, “In one year,
my life was changed. My education in
music gave me the confidence to play with
musicians that were really talented. When
you play with those people, it lifts you to a
higher level of performance and ability
which, to me, is the natural progression of
honing your craft.”
One thing we can expect from the
Damn Straps in the future is a series of
guest sit-in musicians. Lauren Kutcher—
from Denver, who plays a wailing lead
guitar—sat in with the girls at Lucky Joe’s
in Fort Collins a few weeks back and
added a completely unexpected element to
both the Damn Straps originals and covers.
Other musicians expected to jam along at
upcoming shows include a violin and fiddle
combo from Loveland (Nancy
Steinberger and Kerry Claxton) and a
hard-hitting drummer from Boulder.
Advice Brzezicki would give to anyone
on the threshold of making a big leap
and following their dreams? “Learn as
much as you can about whatever it is you
want to do -- whatever you put your time
and energy into. And then practice.”
Check out Damn Straps online www.damnstraps.
com or see them live in December &
January: Dec 14 Connor O’Neill’s with Kerry
Claxton. Ft Collins. 9:30pm. Jan 5 Lucky Joe’s
with Lauren Kutcher. Ft Collins. 9pm. January
28 Avogadro’s Number with Kerry Claxton and
Nancy Steinberger. Ft Collins. 8pm $5 - Weird Sisters West


Discography

2018 Darkness Falls (LP)

2012 The Horizon (LP)

2007 Consequence of Truth (LP)

Photos

Bio

Singer/Songwriter Jill Brzezicki (pronounced Brr-Zit-Ski) delves into her country and bluegrass roots in her third full-length release. Darkness falls delivers traditional bluegrass tracks alongside some of Jill's best new songs and will hit the shelves in April 2018 with a short run of Vinyl as well as CD's and digital download options. 

Jill attended the Colorado Contemporary Music College in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2004 and graduated with a diploma in performance and education. Jill released her debut full length solo CD “Consequence of Truth” in 2007 and released her second full length CD “The Horizon” in September, 2012. As a solo singer/songwriter Jill has enjoyed supporting local and nationally touring bands as well as headlining local and regional venues. Attending and teaching at the Rocky Mountain Song School in Lyons, CO has allowed her the opportunity to hone her skills and learn new techniques in both writing and performing.