Jenna Rae from Merriam, Kansas is best known for her “genuine, honest, and straightforward” songwriting. Her vocal tone is unique and has most often been compared to Iris Dement, Kitty Wells, and Tammy Wynette. Her songwriting journey began when she was in college playing the tenor saxophone in the Pittsburg State University marching band. She started learning banjo in between studying for nursing exams and formed a folk rock band named “Deadeye”. Jenna learned she had a passion for songwriting and when Deadeye was not able to play as often as she wanted, she started playing solo shows. Shortly after, she met Martin Farrell Jr. and I guess you could say the rest is history.
After four years of full time nursing work, Jenna cut back on her nursing hours to pursue music. In July of 2018, she released her debut album “Workin’ Woman”. The album received rave reviews from Europe’s Country Music People Magazine (see below) and “She Started Drinkin’ Again” was named one of the top country songs of the year by Rocky Mountain Radio. “Love Havin’ Company” was featured on an upcoming artists list by Ditty TV and River Trade Radio said the album was one of their favorite 2018 releases.
“Inspired by Merle Haggard's "Workin Man Blues", I wrote a song about being a workin woman. As a registered nurse by day and musician by night, being a workin woman sums up the past few years of my life pretty accurately. Without realizing it, I had written a handful of songs that were all stories about work.
Being a young woman in today's America holds many opportunities that weren't there for women 30 plus years ago. I hope "Workin Woman" inspires women (and men!) to dream of what they want and work their butts off to get it. Life is too short to do anything less.
The 12 track album was recorded over a three week span in the woods of Aitkin, Minnesota on Tame Fish Lake. All of the acoustic guitar, vocals, drums, and saxophone parts were recorded by me. Electric guitar, bass, piano, harmonica, and mandolin were recorded by Martin Farrell Jr. Three tracks feature the dobro man from outer space Chad Graves (of the Hillbenders, Breakfast Sides) including the songs "Here In Kansas", “How to Drive Your Woman Mad”, and “Workin Woman”. Pedal steel player Mike Poholsky (of the Twang Daddies) is featured on three tracks including “Wanna Hear More”, “She Started Drinkin’ Again”, and Dreamin’". The album was produced by Martin and me out of our self designed recording rig that we call Tame Fish Studios.”
Jenna also plays with a hard driving bluegrass quartet called “Unfit Wives” with Kahlen Mitchell on bass, Shannon O’Shea on fiddle, and Monica Greenwood on Mandolin. The band’s first show was billed as “Jenna Rae” in January of 2019, but the band surprised the audience by announcing they had formed a four piece bluegrass band called “Unfit Wives” and they were going to be playing together a lot more. Each member has brought their own original songs to the band and the ladies have been booked solid for the spring and summer. Follow them on facebook and instagram or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for booking.
Jenna also took a tour to Europe this past spring with the “Lost Cowgirl Revue” which consisted of four individual songwriters including Joy Zimmerman, Julie Bennett Hume, and Kristin Hamilton. Each artist plays solo and in their own separate groups and came together for this special tour of Germany and The Netherlands in March of 2019.
Jenna is almost finish writing songs for her second record. Here is one song that will be on the record called “Gotta See It All”. This was recorded live in the Lost Cowgirl Records studio.