Hopefully some of you will have read my recent article introducing you to Nashville’s Jenny Tolman, an artist we have been a fan of for a while now here at Belles and Gals (https://bellesandgals.com/2019/06/11/introducing-jenny-tolman/) .
With her album “There Goes The Neighborhood” due for release on 19th July via Old Sol Records (and available to preorder now via the following link https://ONErpm.lnk.to/TGTN) I was eager to ask her more about this project and about her career in general, and am grateful she found time to answer my questions!
1. LH I like to find out where my interviewees are when they are responding to my email questions, just to set the scene! So let’s start with that one please!
JT Right now, I am sitting in the “B Studio” of my home- it’s where a lot of the photo/video editing gets done by my sweetheart/producer, Dave Brainard- aka “Swiss Army Dave”. He’s working at his computer, piecing together the “Jennyville Junction” on photoshop. You’ll hear about that soon 😉 There’s two sky lights in here, so it’s beautiful to sit in when sunny, or rainy. Today, it’s sunny 🙂
2. LH I’m eager to find out more about your upcoming album ” There Goes The Neighbourhood “. The tracks you’ve made available so far indicate it’s going to be a lot of fun while at the same time contain more than a smattering of poignancy……how would you describe the mix of tracks?
JT “There Goes the Neighborhood” is based in an imaginary town that I like to call “Jennyville”. Jennyville is full of characters and that allows me to step into different narratives, and tell lots of different stories from different points of view. I do love to use humor to relax people, a lot, because once you make people laugh, they are comfortable with you. Once they’re comfortable, they are more open to hearing what you have to say in the poignant moments. Plus life is better with a sense of humor with your dose of reality!
3. LH Are there any particular songs from it that haven’t been released yet which you are especially excited for us to hear?
JT I’m very excited for everyone to hear “Tulips”. It’s one of my favorite productions on the album because it has so many different sections in it- a double time, a horn section, and a can-can! It is actually available to be downloaded now, when you pre-order the album on iTunes!
4.LH I know you admire the writing of Brandy Clark who has said that “there’s a grain of truth” in all her songs. Is that the same with yours?
JT There’s definitely a grain of truth (gluten free, of course) in all of my songs. Every story is taken from either my own life experiences, or my co-writers’ experiences, or something you hear about/see. I think there’s always real life in any story you hear.
5.LH It seems that your producer/co-writer Dave Brainard really relates to you as an artist and understood what you wanted to achieve from the album. How did you come to be working with him and how did you enjoy the recording process?
JT Dave and I met a little over four years ago at a bar in Nashville. I was playing a songwriter round, and after the show, Dave came up to me to say how much he loved my voice and ask how he could help. We ended up writing together and continuing to do so, while recording what we were writing because we were so excited about them! Somewhere along the lines, we realized that a lot of what we were writing lived in this character world, which became “Jennyville”! Dave has allowed me to expand the edges of my creativity and discover a totally unique sound that nobody else has. We’re very lucky to have found each other!
6.LH Who else have you co-written with for the album, and has the collaborative process helped you develop your skills?
JT Rory Bourke, John Goodwin, Aaron Raitiere, Mary Haller, Mark D Sanders, Sophie Sanders, and Rob Hatch are all of my fellow writers on the album. Co-writing definitely allows the song to go in a totally different direction that I would’ve never thought to take it without them. I am very thankful to be surrounded by such incredible writers that push me further every time we write together. They are so talented!
7.LH You’ve always been surrounded by music haven’t you, growing up in Nashville and having a father in the business. But as an artist yourself has anything about the music industry surprised you so far (in either a good or bad way!)
JT The thing I’ve been most surprised about is how many ways there are to be successful. You always hear about how hard it is, so that’s to be expected, but I feel like with the internet and technology nowadays, there’s so may ways to find success in your own way. For example, I wouldn’t have necessarily been able to do this interview with you, if it weren’t for the internet and all of the different music outlets there are these days!
8.LH What can those attending your album launch at Nashville’s City Winery on 15th July expect?
JT Expect to be taken to Jennyville!!! We are also honoring the songwriters on the album, so I’m very excited for that to be the focal point. None of this could’ve been possible without themes it’s very important to me to shine a light on their talents and contributions to this whole team.
9. LH What is the rest of 2019 looking like… and do you have any plans to visit us here in UK anytime soon?
JT I’m currently building out my touring schedule for the rest of the year, as I just signed with a booking agent! I definitely hope to get over to the UK very soon, as I know y’all love your country music!!! I can’t wait!
LH Lots for you fans to look forwards to then… fingers crossed you’ll make that trip across the pond happen!
Thanks you for such a great interview!
There Goes The Neighborhood’ Tracklist:
1. Ain’t Mary Jane (Dave Brainard/ John Goodwin/ Jenny Tolman
2. So Pretty (Mark D. Sanders/ Sophie Sanders/ Jenny Tolman)
3. Five Dollar Car Wash (Dave Brainard/Jenny Tolman)
4. High Class White Trash (Dave Brainard/ Jenny Tolman)
5. My Welcome Mat (Dave Brainard/ John Goodwin/ Jenny Tolman)
6. Forecast for Gossip (Dave Brainard/ Jenny Tolman/ Bill Whyte)
7. There Goes the Neighborhood (Dave Brainard/ Mary Haller/ Jenny Tolman)
8. Till My Tank is Empty (Dave Brainard/ Aaron Raitiere/ Jenny Tolman)
9. Work It (Rory Bourke/ Dave Brainard/ Jenny Tolman)
10. Postcard from Jennyville (Dave Brainard/ Jeff Silbar/ Jenny Tolman)
11. Tulips (Dave Brainard/ Rob Hatch/ Jenny Tolman)
12. Love You Too (Jenny Tolman)
13. Used To My Cookin’ (Dave Brainard/ John Goodwin/ Jenny Tolman)
Interview conducted by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)