Monday, November 19, 2018

Rebecca Jed - Mom, Rancher & Outlaw Singer - Doing It Her Way

Again nominated for an Ameripolitan Outlaw Female Award 2019, Rebecca Jed is a busy lady and we finally talk while she's on the road from a gig at Jimmy's in Lebanon, Tennessee, where she was invited to open for Rockabilly quartet Hillbilly Casino to New Orleans for her next gig. Balancing life, living on a ranch, being a full-time mom and pursuing a full-fledged calling in music evoke the early days of Loretta Lynn. That little tour will bring Rebecca Jed also back into Texas this Saturday (11/24) when she will be playing Giddy Ups in South Austin.

  Growing up on two ranches in East Plano, Texas and in Mountain View, Arkansas, latter again her new home, she felt an urge to roam: "I grew up pretty sheltered, so when I turned 18 I wanted to see the world," she reminisces and adds that Los Angeles was not her calling: "After some years I got a U-Haul hinged it to the back of my Suburban and drove halfway across the country to Nashville, where I lived for 12 years."

Engrained with a love of traditional country music thanks to her late dad, who would always play the favorite songs on the jukebox, she got really stung with the virus after seeing Willie Nelson in Houston. "It wasn't one of his best shows, actually some people walked out during the show, but from then on, I knew what I wanted to do." Playing in Music City, USA on the now-famous Broadway and in bars on the East Side, Rebecca didn't do it the industry way. Writing her own songs without co-writers, releasing her own three  albums not even trying to get a record deal, she tried to keep her independence. Doing it on her own all this time may have contributed to her second nomination as an Outlaw Female for the Ameripolitan Awards. "I was also nominated last year, and I think I am where I want to be with my music career."

Preferring to play her guitar with her own nails instead of a guitar pick, an earlier scheduled interview got postponed because she had to have her nails strengthened, which brought us to a completely different topic after her visit to the nail salon. "Can you imagine, I'm having my nails done, and somebody on the radio is singing a cover, a cover of a Garth Brooks song." Both agreeing how odd that is, I told her that I quit being a member of the Country Music Association (CMA), when they started to "promote" Garth Brooks.

From there on, our conversation starts to meander to what's real in country music and who has influenced her. And to my surprise, she asks me what my favorite Loretta Lynn tune, a staple of Rebecca's live shows, is? Having recently watched some old Hee Haw shows, due to the death of Roy Clark, I burst out "Your Squaw Is On The Warpath Tonight," a rendition Loretta did in one of the first shows I just saw. We both agree, that a song like this would be unthinkable in today's political correctness. From there we "visit" Texans Billy Joe Shaver, Kinky Friedman, and Ray Wylie Hubbard, who is actually nominated in the Outlaw Male category for the 2019 Ameripolitan Awards and the founder of the Awards, Dale Watson.

Comparing her vocals to a "raspier," blues-tinged version of Tanya Tucker who had a hit with the Bobby Borchers and husband & wife, Ed & Patsy Bruce penned song "When I Die (Let Me Go To Texas)" which is also part of Rebecca's live show, leads us to other female influences, and Kitty Wells is mentioned. With one of the first (if not the first) female-empowering song in country music ever, the over 66-year old tune and hit, written by J.D. Miller "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" hasn't lost anything in meaning over the years.

That acceptance of a strong female also shines through in her own compositions, like in "Cowboy Up," where she asks her man to be strong, or in "Alpha Wolf" where she insists that she won't "be chained or tamed" but shows some vulnerability in her wish that she's derailed through love in "Wreck My Train." Asked if she normally writes the music or the lyrics first, or combines the two of them, she admits that all three ways have happened to her when sitting down to write her songs.

To sum it all up, that lady knows what she wants and she's doing it her way.

Gigs Coming Up:
Mon 11/19 - Circle Bar, New Orleans
Tue 11/20 - The All Star Covered Dish Country Jamboree, New Orleans
Fri 11/23 - Goodnight Charlie's, Houston
Sat 11/24 8:30 pm - Giddy Ups, 12010 Manchaca Road, Austin
Thu 11/29 - KABF Radio, Little Rock - Ken Murphy Show

The voting process for the 2019 Ameripolitan Awards is currently going on, and you can do it here:

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