MusicDish e-Journal - September 18, 2019
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Jennifer Brantley: On the Other Side And Beyond
By Timothy Peters
(more articles from this author)
2004-06-26
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

Jennifer Brantley says she is obsessed with writing great songs. It shows. On the Other Side, her compulsively listenable new CD for Blue Room Records, demonstrates that the young Nashville-based singer and songwriter is equally committed to the craft of making great records.

Produced by legendary guitar man and studio ace Tommy Spurlock (George Jones, David Olney, the Band, Delbert McClinton), along with Scott Partridge and Jennifer's husband and songwriting partner, David Hand, On the Other Side showcases Jennifer's mastery of a range of tempos, moods, arrangements, and vocal dynamics. It mixes classic country instrumentation (acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, pedal-steel, bass, and drums) with a soaring vocal range that is equal parts country, rock, and pop.

'You Left Me Crying' presents a perfect example of her mature song-craft. It starts with a plaintive "Oh baby" backed by strummed acoustic guitars and builds to the shimmering chorus of the title phrase. It's the kind of record that the Mavericks at their best used to make. No wonder 'You Left Me Crying' has found a home on Americana radio and internet sites like MP3.com and GarageBand.com throughout the country.

Other tracks on the Other Side offer strong competition. 'She Will Survive' rocks with a John Mellencamp meets the Bangles fervor; its chorus "She will survive/she'll see the changes/she will survive/the rearranges" exemplifies Jennifer and David's way with lyrics: catchy, clever, and meaningful.

Another standout track, 'I Need a Place' has a sinuous rock beat, spurred by the terrific Rick Lonow on drums, while "She's Just Fine in Her Mind" and the bouncy, mandolin-driven "Why Did It Take So Long?" have an almost Beatles-like vibe, in keeping perhaps with Jennifer's side project, the Folkswagon Beatles, an Opry-affiliated roots offshoot. In fact, many of the cuts on the CD could fit into a classic rock format as easily as a contemporary country or Americana rotation.

I asked Jennifer about her obsession with the craft of songwriting: "It's simply the challenge of taking a thought, idea, belief or what have you, and condensing it to lyrics, melody and chord structure. It's a process I work on all the time. I have been through a lot and it's very therapeutic as well. Being around so many good songwriters has helped tremendously. I have been listening to great songwriters for years on my stereo but nothing beats seeing some of the writers on stage right in front of you with nothing but a small band or just a guitar."

Many singer-songwriters feel obliged to be poets and end up writing too many lyrics and neglecting the music; but Jennifer leave lots of space in her songs for the music and instruments to stand on their own.

"In Nashville, industry people always say that someone is either a great singer or a great songwriter. I work on trying to be both. I do make an effort to try to economize my words. Harlan Howard once pointed out to a friend of mine that he needed to decide if he wanted to be a songwriter or a poet."

Jennifer credits husband David Hand for helping her fine tune the songs and the recordings: "David helps me a lot when I get stuck on something. He's also added a lot of the bluesy tones and vibes to the songs, and he's good with guitar riffs and bridges and other finishing touches."

Still, song-craft alone does not explain the pull of On the Other Side. The emotional honesty of the vocals and lyrics reflect hard experience - with relationships, with society, with life and hard-won wisdom.

Some of your lyrics portray deep attachments ('Did It for You'; 'You Left Me Crying') while others celebrate independence or triumph over the pain of a former attachment ('I Need a Place;' 'She Will Survive'; 'Cowboy'): do you consciously explore these themes in your work?

"Yeah, both 'Did It For You' and 'You Left Me Crying' are about some bad relationships I have had and some of the martyrdom I experienced at the time. I was always looking for that perfect someone else to make me happy and save me, so to speak, and of course I was let down. When I met David, my husband, he told me early on that he didn't possess the power to make me happy, that it was up to me.

"I also try to reflect on the wisdom and strength one can get through working through adversity and turning things around and helping others through the same difficulties. That is basically what 'She will Survive' is about. It's also a spiritual song. 'I Need A Place' is kind of where I am in life. 'She's Just Fine In Her Mind' is about a combination of people I have known that were on very destructive paths and refused to see it or do anything about it."

Jennifer cites Emmylou Harris and Patsy Cline as vocal influences, but listeners may also be reminded of Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, and in songs like the title cut and "I Need a Place" the ethereal voice of the Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins. The lovely, lilting 'Did It for You' evokes the harmonies of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, but there's not a cut on the album that sounds like an imitation of someone else. That might be because her interests and influences from John Lennon to John Coltrane are as wide-ranging as her background. I asked about her personal as well as musical roots.

"I didn't have a very stable childhood. We moved around a lot. When I was very young we moved out to California from Mississippi. and then later we moved back to Mississippi then back to California and repeated this pattern for many years. So I spent a lot my youth in some dramatically different cultures and I had to face a lot of varied and often chaotic environments. My family was almost run out a small Mississippi town because I had invited some black families to the Baptist church where we were members.

More on Jennifer Brantley
* Genre: Americana/Alt Country
* Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
* Website: www.jenniferbrantley.com
* Label: Blue Room Records
* Buy Jennifer Brantley's CD 'On the Other Side'
* Contact Jennifer Brantley
Take a Listen to
Jennifer Brantley's CD 'On the Other Side'

(streaming mp3s)
I Need A Place
You Left Me Crying
She Will Survive
Did It For You

"We also were always performing in church and my mother was the typical show biz parent and insisted on me performing contemporary Christian music with my two sisters when I was younger, which I didn't really want to do. I did like the old gospel music that was rooted in the blues. I saw a lot of the Mississippi Delta and this is where Robert Johnson, Elmore James and B.B. King came from.

"Out in California I discovered the Beatles, Beach boys, where I learned harmony, and Gram Parsons. I lived around San Francisco for a while and saw Haight Ashbury; I spent a weekend at Dana Carvey's house, who is not only a great actor and comedian but also a talented drummer. All of these experiences have brought me to where I am today in my music."

What's next for Jennifer Brantley? "I have already written about four or five songs that are going to be on the next CD. I have co-written one with Jesse Bellamy of the brother duo Jesse and Noah and Ava Larkin, a singer in my band. I'm also going to cut a song written by a friend of mine named Mark Alan. We start recording in July if all goes well."

In the meantime, On the Other Side has arrived and so has Jennifer Brantley.


Home » Music Spotlight » Jennifer Brantley: On the Other Side And Beyond
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=9587
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Music Spotlight

» Hollywood Heavyweights Launch New Christian Music Label

» Round Hill Music And Zync Sign Madge To Joint Venture

» YG PLUS and Gracenote to Bring K-POP to Fans around the World

» Lithuanian Band Grabs Bronze at the Silk Road Indie Music Festival 2017

» HBC Fall Festival Celebrates 12 years of HBC Fest

Music Spotlight Directory



» [2018-09-16] Live Nation Electronic Asia Inks Deal With Budweiser For Creamfields Festivals; Together, Creamfields And Budweiser Will Focus On Building Entirely New Content For Dedicated Electronic Music Fans Throughout Asia

» [2018-08-23] Andy Ma Appointed Warner Music China CEO; Andy Ma Has Also Been Appointed EVP, Commercial And Business Development For Greater China

» [2018-08-23] IndieOn Connects Music To The Blockchain; IndieOn Is Confident Of Creating A "music Miner" Who Listens More And Grow Their Token Value

» [2018-06-23] The 2018 MIDEM Silk Road International Music Alliance Signing; International Music Industries Signing Of A Mutual Resource Sharing Agreement With Shanghai Conservatory Of Music & The China Records Group

» [2018-06-06] Screen Music Connect To Explore The Music Of Film, Television And Interactive Media; Created By James Hannigan, Award-winning Composer And Game Music Connect Co-founder, Screen Music Connect Builds On The Success Of The Sold-out Game Music Conferences

» [2018-06-05] Fred Casimir To Develop BMG's Global Recordings Business; As Well As Building BMG's European Infrastructure, Casimir Was Instrumental In Developing BMG's Recordings Business

» [2018-06-03] 13 Music Label Sold To MTN; DSN Music Spins Off Record Label To Albuquerque Music Entrepreneur's New Group

» [2018-06-02] CISAC 2018 Annual Report; A Comprehensive Overview Of The Confederation's Work To Serve 4 Million Creators And 239 Authors Societies Across The World

» [2018-06-02] MusicDish Announces A Love Electric 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Crisscross Through China With 12 Shows In 8 Cities, Including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Kunming, Jiaxin, Wuhan And Beijing

» [2018-06-02] Darcus Beese Named President Of Island Records; Renowned U.K. Music Executive To Join Universal Music Group's U.S. Label Leadership

» [2018-05-17] Avant-Garde Label Maybe Noise Launches In Beijing; The Official Launch Will Be On May 26 At Magnet Theater With A Performance Supporting Its First Vinyl Release: Png Z

» [2018-05-04] Award-Winning Lithuanian Rock Band Colours Of Bubbles "She Is The Darkness" 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Kickoff In Shanghai Where The Band Will Represent Lithuania During The Country's Signing To The Silk Road Music Alliance
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR


Xprnc Media Announces The 'Rise Above - ON TOUR' Marketing Program Empowering Artists To Directly Connect With Fans In-store At Media Retail

WE BELONG: Marina V & Dan Navarro Release A Beautiful Rendition Of Pat Benatar's Hit

MarilynMusic News September 2019

ProgStock Festival, The American Northeast's Only Progressive Rock Music Festival, Returns To The Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ, October 11-13, 2019

PaTRAM Institute To Record Next CD In Saratov, Russia, Accompanied By The Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon Of The Mother Of God

East Rutherford Metal Band Harvest Falls Debuts New Single And Charity Drive

The Indie Spotify Bible - Contact Information For Over 3000 Spotify Playlists!



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2018 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships