I was a shy kid so I spent a lot of time alone. I began writing songs at 8 years old. Many of the songs I wrote at that young age were silly due to my sheltered mind. When I was 11, my parents divorced and I found myself writing to release. As I grew older my songwriting matured. I recorded my first album, “Perfect Timing” in 1993. I sang in a contest held by Don Reed Productions in Nashville, TN. at the Ryman Auditorium in December 1994 and then the Grand Ole Opry in January 1995. I placed 23 out of 110 contestants – @JanaandtheREBEL
Listen to the Live Interview
Episode #341 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/07/14/episode-341-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW JANA AND THE REBELS
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
I was a shy kid so I spent a lot of time
alone. I began writing songs at 8 years old. Many of the songs I wrote at that young age were silly due to my sheltered mind. When I was 11, my parents divorced and I found myself writing to release. As I grew older my songwriting matured. I recorded my first album, “Perfect Timing” in 1993. I sang in a contest held by Don Reed Productions in Nashville, TN. at the Ryman Auditorium in December 1994 and then the Grand Ole Opry in January 1995. I placed 23 out of 110 contestants.
“Driving Me Away”
This song is about a relationship of how one can’t seem to look
past the flaws or mistakes. She’s telling him that her perception is the truth she knows because he accuses her of lying since his perspective differs from hers. He’s constantly throwing the past in her face and she wants him to see her for who she is today. She’s addicted to his kind of love because he has become a habit to her. In her gaining strength she lets him know he is driving her away. She is worn out and tired of justifying everything. She keeps telling him he is driving her away, but, the pattern repeats itself until she finally says, “enough” and walks away; breaking the control she has allowed him to have over her. To me, when I open my heart to someone, I do so because I feel as if I can trust them with anything: my pains, happiness, past, present, and future. The story of this song occurs after the freshness has worn off of a new relationship. I think sometimes people hold onto things instead of leaving them in the past. Some people find a way to work through issues and some finally have to walk away before they lose their being.
“Damaged Goods” ~ The album title pretty much describes itself.
We are all damaged goods in one way or another. I wrote “Driving Me Away” and recorded it after Jason Jones wrote the music to that song. The power of that song gave me goose bumps the first time I heard the finished product. I decided to form a band; Jana and the Rebels. Rebels name came from a song I wrote, “I Feel a Rebel Coming On.” “Damaged Goods” album has 10 original songs on it. Each song tells its own story.
No two songs are alike.
Some are fast and a bit cocky reflecting of a person overcoming a challenge. Some are slower with emotions that tug at the heart strings. We have fun songs and sad songs. Not every song reflects my own personal experiences, but, are written in my perceptions of situations. My goal as a songwriter is to help others find strengths in multiple situations. I’ve watched eyes fill with tears during performances of our originals. That’s the reaction performers’ hope for. It’s confirmation that the audience is listening to the lyrics, feeling the mood set, and watching the performance. Very few artists will gain monetary rewards for their time and efforts. But, the biggest reward is that special moment of knowing you touched someone’s heart through a song. I believe no matter what situation I am faced with, it will lead me to something better; leaving me to be a more understanding, compassionate person. We worked with Jason Jones at Art City Sound to create an awesome album. Kudos to Jason Jones, Kevin Coleman, Rick Robinson, and Johnni Kennicott for sharing their talents with me.
I live in Salt Lake City, Utah…
There are so many talented musicians and bands that offer varieties of genres. Many are cover bands, but, there are more original songwriters sharing their stories. There are festivals being held all over the valley where musicians can be found entertaining. It is very family oriented here. For the most part, people are friendly to each other. Salt Lake City is surrounded by mountains, water, fitness centers, walking tracks, fine food, and varieties of fun entertainment.
My favorite thing to do is…
spend time with my family. I am very close to my children and grandchildren. My children raised me very well. They presented me with learning opportunities that allowed me to process new perspectives.
It’s a lot of hard work…
to coordinate schedules and pin down venues, but, it is so very rewarding to see the expressions of the audience when one of our original songs touches hearts. Our goal is to build up and be the opening act for Tim McGraw until we earn the spot to have bands open for us.
Pros of being a songwriter, performer…
and team mate in a band include growing in music and in myself. We spend a lot of time together and in some instances are able to finish each others sentences. We have had to prove ourselves to gain a following, but, it has been well worth it. The band has been together less than 2 years and we are truly enjoying the experiences. Once a crowd likes our entertainment, it is easier for them to accept and dance to our new songs we introduce. Cons include the competition of so many other bands who have just as much talent as us and many have more years behind them than we do as a group. Bars and clubs don’t pay nearly as much as a band is worth. It is hard work to carry around a PA system and all the equipment, set it up, ensure the sound is quality, and then tear down after 4 hours. It is expensive to record albums. Sometimes, in efforts of proving our worth, we will play for a low price to a club; like an audition. We communicate as a team and have agreed on a strategy of playing for a club twice before giving up the venue if the money is too low. However, we do believe in helping others and understand that a new business will take some time to build up its patrons.
I am fine with releasing a single…
because there are those catchy songs that are replayed over and over until the listener has practically memorized it. Sometimes, people are only intrigued with one or two songs by an artist; therefore, I understand that it wouldn’t be worth it to them to purchase a whole album if they aren’t interested in more than a couple songs. But, I believe that people who purchase an album as opposed to a single are able to get to know the artist better through the songs they share. I often wonder what someone was thinking when writing a particular song. The best way for people to get to know me, other than hanging out with me, is to listen to he words and feel my passion through song.
Social media is a great way to advertise…
spread the word about upcoming events, songs, and album releases. People are pretty active and spend less time in front of the television where commercials were the popular way to advertise. Social media spreads news quickly, is inexpensive, and caters to everyone because it can be read about at all hours. Some sites allow people to follow their favorites to keep up with them quickly. I have several friends who ask when our next gig is, so, I’ll text them reminders or send a flyer with the information of a venue.
Faith Hill is my idol…
She has a style of her own. She sings from her heart. She carries herself with a soft pride. She is elegant and appears to be a shy woman. She is very talented and can belt out high notes and hang on to them. I would absolutely love to meet her. When her first song, “Wild One” was played on the radio, I was a bartender at the time and several of my customers told me they heard me on the radio. They actually thought I was Faith Hill because our voices sounded alike. That was in 1993. At first, I thought they were joking until they finally repeated the words of the song, “She’s a Wild One.” It was an awesome experience.
I have found that there are a few clubs here in Salt Lake City…
Utah, that refuse bands who play originals and will only book you if they like the cover songs on the set list. I have had to turn a couple down because of this expectation. I want to sing songs I’ve written from my heart, not, promote songs that have been played a million times on the radio. But, as far as being trendy in my songwriting, I don’t follow a specific outline or expectation. When I am inspired by something, then, I allow my thoughts to be consumed in the topic and then write a song.
My favorite music quote or inspirational quote is…
One of my favorites quotes, “It’s all good!” I prefer to view the glass as half full rather than half empty.
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