An Interview With Soul-Pop Guitarist, JACKIE VENSON!
Posted On 16 Aug 2017
Meet the soul-pop guitarist, Jackie Venson, who is on tour with Gary Clark Jr., including Sept 14 at Hotel Cafe ahead of her Fall release, “Transends” due out on September 30th.
Venson is upping her songwriting chops on the upcoming release that was produced by Michael Ramos( John Mellencamp, Los Lonely Boys, Paul Simon) and mixed by Boo Mitchell (John Mayer, Mark Ronson, Mississippi All Stars). Jackie just debuted her new single and live video, “Flying” on VIBE. Listen to the track/watch the video.
“The Austin native’s stage presence exudes joy and excitement for life as her blues-y, rock ‘n roll sound carries this tune about freedom and self-acceptance. Her delicate, yet mesmerizing voice and the ease with which her fingers find all the right notes along her guitar’s neck will have your head in the clouds.” (VIBE Magazine)
SheShreds declares: “Jackie Venson is one of the most talented up and coming blues guitarists of her generation. With a gorgeous singing voice, a guitar style that is both dynamic and technically precise, and music that blends genres, she is one to watch out for.”
She recently dropped her live album, Jackie Venson Live, to rave review and features from tastemakers, including Guitar Player, The Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly and Texas Monthly, as well as a cover story for Austin Woman Magazine and a spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Learn more about Jackie Venson in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you? Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
No problem, thank you for the feature. 2017 has been a great year, very busy however. Last September I called up my team and told them I wanted to be on tour once a month every month in 2017. So far so good! The idea was to get the momentum up and boy has it worked!
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
I’m in Alaska and just got done playing the southeast Alaska state fair in Haines. There’s music in the background of the house I’m staying at and it seems to be a playlist of local bands, it’s great. I don’t listen to music while I’m working usually, unless I’m on the computer answering emails and in that case I’d say Donny Hathaway. Same goes for getting me out of a bad mood.
Growing up, have you always wanted to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Yeah I remember listening to my dad rehearse with his band and I would feel like he was having so much fun and that I wanted to have fun like that too.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
Sitting on my arse figuring out what else could make me as happy? Haha honestly I’d probably be married with some kids.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your home of Austin has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
Austin has a lot of great musicians so I definitely think growing up with that standard rubbed off on me. I also think that the genres of Blues, Rock, and folk that are so prominent in Austin rubbed off on my songwriting.
How is your current tour going with Gary Clark Jr.? What have you learned from him while being out on the road with him?
The tour has been really amazing. I’ve learned that no matter what level you’re at, it’s just music! Enjoy it and don’t take yourself so seriously.
This Fall you will be releasing your album, “Transcends.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the whole process? What was it like working with your producer Michael Ramos and mixer Boo Mitchell on it? Their resumes are very accomplished
It was really interesting and fun. I’ve been wanting to record these songs for a while now so it felt great to finally do that. I also had not ever worked with a producer like Ramos and the experience of being open to other people’s opinions and ideas on my music was a great experience. I also loved watching Boo work and seeing him carry out his ideas on the mixing. I’m stoked for people to hear this EP.
What was the inspiration for your newest single out now, “Flying”? How was it filming the video for the song?
The song is just a feeling a often have that we are all connected and in the end everything is going to be okay. The music video was a trip to film, the director had a great premise for it and the crew behind it was really cool, very professional operation.
How do you think that being a musician has helped you live your best life? Can you talk about the joy that it brings you today?
It gives me purpose and the purpose is simple because I see the immediate effects of it. People are so happy when they hear music, they dance and sing along and for a moment all problems are gone. This is the joy it brings me, being able to bring joy to other people.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Do you have any tour dates currently lined up?
Yes I got a crazy schedule. August 24 – 27 Kentucky, Memphis, Asheville and Atlanta. More dates with Gary at the end of September. In October, we will be in NOLA, Houston, Memphis again, Nashville and Washington, DC.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I love Stevie Wonder, he’s just the full package. I like to go with the flow and see what happens so I’m just seeing what comes down the pipeline.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Love and acceptance. The world would be a better place if we just all loved ourselves and accepted each other.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
It’s a rough path but not in a bad way. Honestly if you truly love it and never give up it’s one of the most rewarding lives you can live.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Check out my site, sign up and follow me and I’ll give you a free download. Much love and hope to see you at a show!