JJ & The Foreign Cowboys

JJ & The Foreign Cowboys

 New York City, New York, USA
BandCountryAdult Contemporary

Contemporary country mixed with 'rootsy' pop-rock. Sugarland meets Martina McBride.

Biography

After independently selling over 36,000 copies of their first full-length CD "Be the Wild in Me", JJ & The Foreign Cowboys are poised and determined to make big noise with the release of their second, self-produced album " Hello wherever you are..". They were named one of "America's Best Independent Artists" by PCT Music in 2005, and have since been widely embraced by college and public radio stations across the country. In 2006 they captured a Top 5 spot on Indie Artists Radio's Most Requested list with the single "Hold On".
Hitting the airways in April, "Hello wherever you are..." surely won't disappoint. It's overflowing with strong melodic hooks and catchy grooves rooted in a mix of contemporary country and pop-rock. It's upbeat and witty, yet also vulnerably honest and wonderfully sad. "This album is a lot about relationships and letting go", says JJ. " My favorite albums are the kind that take me up and down, I'll play them over and over just to keep riding the emotions. And that's what this record does for me. We put our laughter, our tears, our hopes and dreams, as well as our struggles in there. Its full of the messy truth that simply makes up the reality of our life."
JJ & The Foreign Cowboys hit the New York music scene in late 1998 when they landed a two-year residency at The Gold Rush, a country dance club in the heart of Hell's Kitchen. JJ formed the band with Danish keyboardist/songwriter Jorgen Kjaer (now her husband) when she was approached by the club's manager after he heard her perform as a guest artist. From early on, the pair felt a natural chemistry working together. "When I first met JJ" Jorgen recalls, "I could see immediately that she was a great performer. It struck me how passionate and real she was about her music. Plus, I was really attracted to her style of country. So when she asked me to put a band together and write with her, I was eager to get started, and inspired by what it might become." "Jorgen was a dream come true for me." says JJ, "I knew he was the right guy for this project, but the honest truth is I had a huge crush on him since the day we met, and I was looking for a reason to spend more time with him. The fact that he was a super-talented musician and songwriter was just a bonus!"
"Hello wherever you are..." reflects the combination of the pairs' varied musical backgrounds. "As a kid, I liked to sing along with the Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers records that I dug out of the bottom of the stereo." recalls JJ, "I loved the story-telling and the sad sound of the fiddle and pedal steel. Somehow I felt like this music magically knew me, and was a part of me."
By the time JJ and Jorgen were performing regularly, Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks and Faith Hill were topping the charts. "I am strongly influenced by 90's country music,too." says JJ, "These are the artists we were covering most often, when Jorgen and I started writing together. Naturally that had an influence on our original stuff--we wanted our songs to blend seamlessly with our cover repertoire at that time." Jorgen on the other hand, studied and performed all kinds of music from classical, to pop, rock and even jazz. "I really like today's country music", offers Jorgen, "and you can tell a lot of the writing is guitar based. I enjoy writing on the guitar, but my first instrument is piano so I tend to rely on that color in our music."
Contemporary country influences shine on the single "On the Radio", and "The Girl Inside", while you'll hear hints of early country in songs like "Talk to Me" and "Butterflies". They explore the trials of long-term relationships with "Waiting On You" and celebrate the magic of deepening love in the intimate ballad "A Small Piece of Heaven".
"We wanted a high level of production for this record, but wanted to maintain some of the raw elements of our live performances." says Jorgen. And they do just that with honky-tonk tracks like "Another Get Lost Song" and "Barnburner". "We've spent a lot of time playing bars" he adds, "We're used to long sets, and high energy gigs where people want to dance. Ultimately that's what we're about--that's our history, so we wanted to preserve some of that energy in this record."

Lyrics

On the Radio

Written By: Jennifer Johnsen, Jorgen Kjaer

Babe, I know it's one of those days
where life seems unkind
You doubt what you are doing
you're feeling left behind
All your friends got kids,
houses and cars
And all you've got to show for it
is this old guitar
But baby listen to the way it sings
When you pick it up and you
strum those strings

Baby wait and see,
I know its meant to be...

One day you'll be on the radio
One day you'll go on the road and make this country sing!
One day you'll be on the radio
I know it in my heart,
I can feel it in my bones
One day you'll be on the radio

I know they say the odds are
stacked against folks like you
Because we're living in a world
where dreams don't come true
But babe I promise
that I'll be right here
Together we'll share
al the blood, sweat and tears
So let it loose, just let it fly
This world needs what you hold inside

Baby wait and see,
I know its meant to be...

(repeat chorus)

The Girl Inside

Written By: Jennifer Johnsen, Jorgen Kjaer

I've read all the self-help books
I could find
Had conversations with God and
let psyshics read my mind
After all that searching the answer was right here to find
And the only one who could help me
was the girl inside

The girl inside has no doubts
about herself
She won't give up or put her
needs on the shelf
She loses and cries at least
once a month
But isn't afraid of loving too much
The girl inside...

Don't have all the anwers
every minute of the day
But there'd be no point in livin'
If I always got my way
Giving up is not the answer
Its giving it all one more time
And if I need someone to turn to
I turn to the girl inside

The girl inside has no doubts
about herself
She won't give up or put her
needs on the shelf
She loses and cries at least
once a month
But isn't afraid of loving too much

The girl inside lives in
sweaters and jeans
And wears comfortable boots to walk towards her dreams
She burns with a fire that
no onecan put out
We're one of a kind, the girl inside

Giving up is not the answer its
giving it all one more time
And if I need someone to turn to
I'll turn to the girl inside

(repeat chours)

Barnburner

Written By: Orville Davis, Kid Dakota Music BMI

Gonna build me a cabin
On top of the hill
Sit on my front porch
strummin' my guitar
Doin' just what I will
Build a big old barn
at the bottom of the hill

Gonna tell all my neighbors
For twenty miles around
Anytime I'm home,
you're always welcome
Just bring a friend on down
Bring one or two
We'll have a barbecue

We're gonna have a real barnburner
when the moon is high
A fiddler and a guitar picker
They'll play and play it all night
Everybody's gonna dance
and have a real good time
we're gonna have a real
barnburner 'til the mornin' light

Oh, its a changing world
we're living in today
Seems nobody can have a good time
In a simple old fashioned way
Let me tell you now
I wanna show you how

(repeat chorus)

Discography

EP- JJ & The Foreign Cowboys, released 2001
"Be The Wild in Me",released 2004 (*over 36,000 sold!)
"Hello wherever you are...", March 2008 release
Commercial radio: single "Hold On"
Commercial radio: single "On the Radio"

Set List

2 hours of original music
4 hours of cover music

Covers include hits by: Deanna Carter, Jo Dee Messina, Shania Twain, Sugarland, Kim Richey, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Kenny Cheseny, Rascall Flatts, Garth Brooks, and Keith Urban.