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Interview with Jenny Casey

Interview
with Jenny Casey, Nashville 06.06.2013
Hello
Jenny, I understand you are from Oklahoma, please tell us about it.
Yes
I am from Oklahoma, I grew up and lived there pretty much all my
life. I went to school, worked, met my husband, and had kids. Then
at some point, I decided I’d like to be a country artist. Actually,
I came to that decision pretty late in life.
What
triggered you to make that decision?
I
always loved music, when I was a kid I played the piano by ear. One
of my secret talents is that I can play with my toe. My mother was an
opera singer, so I listened to all kinds of different music including
country, pop, rock, and of course opera. Then when I had a family, I
would sing while doing housework, just krank up the radio and sing
along. I guess something inside me was telling me that I wanted to be
a singer. I went to school to be a teacher because I had a family and
childeren, and I needed to be responsible for things. I had two kids
before I started college, and then had two more while I was in
college, it was a lot of work. I also helped my husband with his
business, he was gone a lot. It was a very exhausting time for me. I
think the exaustion and the stress of having so much to do made me
turn to songwriting.
One
day, while I was in bed studying, I felt so overwhelmed with life, I
had four kids and was enrolled in college full time. My youngest
daughter, who was two months old at the time, was laying in bed next
to me. I took one of my notebooks from class and started writing a
song. It felt so good to do that, to get the emotions out, afterwards
I felt so relieved, it was amazing. The writing just sort of evolved
from that. I kept on singing around the house and one day my husband
showed up with a guitar. I never played a guitar before, so I started
messing around with it and learning as much as I could. Then I
started singin my songs with the guitar, just a little bit at a time.
One day I got up the nerve to sing before a crowd, that really was
nerve wracking since I had never done that before. Pretty soon
though, I knew that I really wanted to do this.
I
came to Nashville to do some recording, and then visited again,
looking around and wondering if it would be a good place to live. We
would have to move a whole family, six people and change everybody’s
life. But I knew that’s what I needed to do. Then I applied for
teaching jobs and came back for interviews. I remember the day I was
here in 2008 and had gotten some job offers. When I was driving down
the highway I just felt sick, wondering what to do. If I said yes, it
would change everybody’s life, not just mine, I wanted to do the
right thing for my family. We all decided and I accepted a job as a
third grade teacher and we moved and here we are.
I
started teaching and when I had the time, went around Nashville
trying to meet people and just figure out, what to do and how to go
about it. A Bar that was near where we lived had a sign out saying
that they had a writer’s night. I didn’t know what that was so I
asked about it, the guy there was really nice and said yea, come on
by and sing some of your songs. I pretended to know exactly what it
was all about and had no problem doing that. I went home and
practiced and practiced and practiced. I had to remember three songs
and play them on my guitar! It did go well though and they where very
nice there, so I started to do more and more.
Just
within the last year and a half, I got together with someone and we
decided to work toghether. I met this person the first week I moved
here and we stayed in touch all through the years. He is a great
writer and is also an amazing producer. He wanted to do some work
with my stuff because he liked it. We recorded some of my songs and
did an EP, and now we are working on a full lenght album. It will be
finished this summer. It has just some of my crazy, dorky working mom
songs on there. I hope that mom’s and working women can connect
with some of the songs, that guys can laugh about them and everybody
can have some fun. My inspiration for writing just comes from real
life, what I have done all my life, being a mom and working. I found
an outlet in music, hopefully I also found a way to entertain people,
to laugh about real live instead of taking things so seriously. It
has been my therapy, if something is real frustrating, I write a
funny song about it and it makes me feel better.
Do
you write mostly funny songs?
I
have a lot of funny songs, but I also have some serious songs. I tend
to write funny things because it makes me feel better. But I do have
some emotional songs that have come out too. One of them I wrote
before my oldest son graduated from high school and was leaving home
to go to college. For a mom this can be very emotional, I always
dreaded him leaving. So one rainy day I went out on the porch, let
the emotions come out and wrote a song about the changes that where
about to happen. The song is called „My Boy“.
What
other Songs will be on your album?
There
is a song called „The Mother Load“ which is a fun song with
clever lyrics about having so much to do. Another funny song is
called „ Dishman“, it describes that if your husband wants your
attention, he can go and do some dishes, and that will get things
going. It is kind of a rocky – bluesy song. Another song is called
„Flour Sack Dress“, which is a bit more sentimental and is
dedicated to one of my grandmothers. It’s kind of a bedtime story,
a lullaby song. It’s about me telling my childeren about the
bedtime stories my grandmother told me. She grew up on a farm and
used to tell me those wild stories and I never forgot them. They got
passed on from generation to generation, so I wrote the song about me
telling the same storys to my childeren. Then there is a song called
„They Don’t Pay Me Enough“. I’m sure a lot of people can
relate to that! When I wrote that song, I had a bad day at work and
was really exhausted. Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich where having
a concert that night here in Nashville and I wanted to go, but nobody
had the time to go with me. So I went by myself and I had a blast. On
the drive home, I was so inspired by that concert, I wrote the song
on the way, thinking they don’t pay me enough for me to be stressed
out like this.
I
hope, when people hear my songs, they will think, wow, this is
different, I never heard music like that. I hope they will find it
entertaining and fun. It’s just stuff people go through all the
time, but it seems like you never really hear music about it. The
album will be called „Rockin’ the House“. I got the idea for
that name from a lady that gave me five stars on a review on ITunes.
She commented, „I saw her live and she rocked the house“. Plus
I’ve spent years rockin’ around my own house, rocking my babies,
and so on. It just seemed to all tie togehter, so I thought that
would be a good name for the album.
Is
this your first album?
Several
years ago, I did some recordings in Nashville right after I had just
started writing. I put some songs out, wihch was a great experience.
But I was brand new at everything and was just learning. So I would
really consider this my first album. My proucer and I have put a lot
of heart and soul into it, and I think it really represents who I am
as a singer, songwriter, and performer. I have big plans for it and
am very excited to get it released!
Are
you planning to do tours?
I
definitely would love to. I am a mom and have family, but my dream is
to be an entertainer and to entertain crowds. I’m ready to go out
there.
Does
your family support you?
Absolutely!
They came a long way to be here and are 100% behind me. I also have
some musical kids at home, so maybe some day they will be in my band.
Anything
else that you would like to tell people?
I
would like to say hello to everybody, I can’t wait to come and see
you. I’m so excided to meet people and hope that they will really
enjoy listening to my music.
Heidi und Marco Duss for Country Music News International

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