Rooted in Country: Jenny Gill on Deana Carter’s ‘Strawberry Wine’
Every once and awhile, a song will come along at just the right moment to make a lasting impact. Although Jenny Gill grew up surrounded by incredible music, it was one of the 90s most surprising hits that became an all-time favorite.
Yes, Gill is the daughter of country superstar Vince Gill, but she has a bluesy, soulful sound that’s all her own. She began performing at just five years old, giving her the perfect stepping stone to finding her own path. After spending time on the road with her parents and graduating from college, she dove deeper into songwriting and began working for a music publisher. In 2010, her stepmother Amy Grant hired her as a background singer, giving her a new sense of confidence in her singing voice.
Now, the 34-year-old seasoned talent is releasing her debut solo EP, The House Sessions. Produced by Vince himself, the project is a culmination of personal experiences that evolved into personal and relatable story-songs.
Growing up in Nashville with a treasure trove of music to explore, it’s easy to hear an array of influences and blues-inspired elements in Gill’s sound. Naturally, that partially evolved from the music she listened to as a kid. When asked to name a country song that was especially influential to her, Gill noted Deana Carter’s signature 1995 hit.
“‘Strawberry Wine’ had a melody I just had to sing over and over again,” Gill tells Wide Open Country. “I thought I was in love and I was around 17 when it came out. It felt like a story I wanted to tell even though I was too young to tell it! It made me want to be a grown up.”
In fact, the song made such an impact on her that she even asked to sing it on stage alongside her father during her teen years.
“My dad (Vince Gill) let me work this song up with his band and I would get to perform it whenever I got to hang out on the road with him,” she explains. “I now realize how awkward and frankly a bit inappropriate it was to sing a song about losing your virginity while standing next to your dad! But he let me sing it anyway because he knew I loved it so much.”
Although Jenny has forged her own path in the music scene, she credits her father for helping her through the journey of figuring out who you are, both as an artist and an adult.
“He’s always been supportive of my artistry and never tries to convince me to be something I’m not. This song brings me back to those teen years when I did think ’30 was old.’ Everything was in front of me and I couldn’t wait to figure it out. 30 is not old by the way and I haven’t got it all figured out yet.”
The House Sessions
EP is out today, Feb. 16. You can find more information on her music and upcoming tour dates at Gill’s official website
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