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www.jeneehalstead.com

Article by John Duffy
MyRuralRadio.com Contributing Writer


On her song “Raised by Wolves,” Jenee Halstead sings in a near whisper that “…nothing can hurt me now.” And when she does, you want to believe it; so fragile is the voice singing and the music floating underneath. It’s the title track on her latest album, and represents a dramatic change in Halstead’s sound, one that indicates an ever-growing talent.

Born in Spokane, Washington, Halstead moved to Massachusetts to attend Berkley College of Music in what must rank as the shortest attendance at the revered institution. “Three days…then I dropped out.” What the place had to teach, she figured she could learn on her own. “I just wanted to make albums and write songs, and I knew I don’t have to spend $46,000 a year to learn to do that.”


Her greatest music teacher was her own ears. “My dad was a music junkie. He had Stax, Beatles, everything…Dylan, Sonics, Kinks, all kinds of garage rock,” she remembers. “That was my greatest joy…listening to those records. And at one point I decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life.”

Pop classics like Thriller and Songs in the Key of Life, as well as the work of folk icons like Rory Block and Nick Drake were particularly impactful. “Patty Griffin’s album Living with Ghosts; that record really twisted my head around.”

Her 2008 debut disc River Grace went down the road of country, folk and bluegrass, as did the EP that followed it in 2010. But before too long, Halstead worried she was boxing herself in. “I just didn’t want to get bored, or become predictable. I know you have to be consistent in order to grow fan base, but I guess I am still finding my sound.”

While she still loves and plays the rootsier songs of her early career, Halstead certainly listened to more than one kind of music growing up. With Raised by Wolves, gone are most of the acoustic touches and gentle melodies, to be replaced by an almost bluesy, atmospheric approach that revels in mystery. It also features the very conspicuous, very non-folky use of vintage drum machines. Originally, the choice was one of necessity.

“It came down to money,” she laughs. “I wanted to spend what little money we had to work with on people that could play Wurlitzers and Dobros and upright bass.” The more the sessions progressed, however, the more the artificial sounds helped shape Halstead’s new direction. There is a cool, detached, ethereal sound the beats bring when contrasted with Halstead’s rugged electric guitar and honey-sweet voice; between a programmed beat and a muted banjo.

“In truth it opened the door for other things. If things had stayed really folky it might have been harder to fight my way out of that box.”




Maverick Magazine says: "For those who like a voice packed with an emotional charge, yet soft on the ears, as well as mesmerically told stories a little on the enigmatic side, then Jenee Halstead, made of utterly raw, singer-songwriting talent, will take you on an immensely enjoyable journey."
 



Available as a digital download only, this five song EP spans country music in all of it's facets from noir to Western Swing. Local Boston musicians Lyle Brewer (guitar), Jim Fitting (harmonica), Julie Metcalf (fiddle), Greg Glassman (drums), David Wax (jarana), Tom Combs (guitar) make this EP sing. Produced by David Piper.
 



Jenee's debut album released in 2008. Andy Fife of Q Magazine describes it as: "Warm and personal, her Emmylou Harris-like voice beckons the listener into the country folk songs with an invitingly crooked finger."
 



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ADAM TAYLOR
ANDREA DAVIDSON
ANDREA DAVIDSON
ANNALISE EMERICK
ANNALISE EMERICK
BLACK COFFEE
BLACK COFFEE

BRETHREN
BRETHREN
BRI ARDEN
BRI ARDEN
BRIAN CARROLL
BRIAN CARROLL
BRITTANY OPPERMAN
BRITTANY OPPERMAN

CARRIE WELLING
CARRIE WELLING
CHRISTINE HAVRILLA
CHRISTINE HAVRILLA
COLEBROOK ROAD
COLEBROOK ROAD
DANA ALEXANDRA
DANA ALEXANDRA

DANIELLE MIRAGLIA
DANIELLE MIRAGLIA
DARRY MILLER and the VEIL
DARRY MILLER & the VEIL
DREW NUGENT
DREW NUGENT
DR. SLOTHCLAW
DR. SLOTHCLAW

DYLAN JANE
DYLAN JANE
HAYLEY SABELLA
HAYLEY SABELLA
INDIAN SUMMER JARS
INDIAN SUMMER JARS
JAKE HILL
JAKE HILL

JD SAGE
JD SAGE
JENEE HALSTEAD
JENEE HALSTEAD
JENSEN KEETS
JENSEN KEETS
JESS KLEIN
JESS KLEIN

JESSICA SMUCKER
JESSICA SMUCKER
JOHN KANE
JOHN KANE
JOHNNY MAINSTREAM
JOHNNY MAINSTREAM
JOSH CHRISTINA
JOSH CHRISTINA


KATIE ROBINETTE
KAYLA KROH
KAYLA KROH
KINGSFOIL
KINGSFOIL
LAURA REED
LAURA REED

LOVEBETTIE
LOVEBETTIE
MALLETT BROTHERS
the MALLETT BROTHERS
MARK DEROSE
MARK DEROSE
Matt Wheeler
MATT WHEELER

MIEKA PAULEY
MIEKA PAULEY

MIKE SHARP
MOSNO
MOSNO
The OK-OK's
THE OK-OK'S

LONE WOLF PROJECT
PHIL FREEMAN
RED ROOSTER
RED ROOSTER
RHYNE
RHYNE McCORMICK
RYAN PETERS
RYAN PETERS

SARAH BLACKER
SARAH BLACKER

SLACKWATER NEWS
SLIMFIT
SLIM FIT
STEVEN COURTNEY
STEVEN COURTNEY

SUZIE BROWN
SUZIE BROWN
SWEET LEDA
SWEET LEDA

the CARDBOARD CROWNS
The Penny Black
THE PENNY BLACK

The Wild Hymns
THE WILD HYMNS
THE CULTIVATORS
THE CULTIVATORS
THE JANE
THE JANE
THE SUBSTANCE
THE SUBSTANCE

THE VANITY BELLES
THE VANITY BELLES
TOY SOLDIERS
TOY SOLDIERS

VIKING MOSES
VOODOO PHARMACOLOGY
VOODOO PHAMACOLOGY


WAYNE SUPERGENIUS
Camela Widad
WIDAD


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