About six years ago, an opportunity arose where Jessie G (real name Jessie Goergen) found herself in the path of her Grammy-winning musical idol, Gretchen Wilson.
"I had a full-time band in the Portland, Oregon area, and I was playing the bar scene and actually studying to go to law school," Jessie G says. "I had an opportunity to enter into a battle of the bands competition to win a spot to open for Gretchen. I took it because she was my role model growing up. If I entered in a talent competition, I'd sing her songs because she was that chick that sang with fearlessness. She sang something that a dude would sing, but she was a girl. That was my personality."
Not only did Jessie G win the battle of the bands contest. After the show, she talked until 4 a.m. with the "Redneck Woman" and "Here For the Party" singer while the fast friends finished a bottle of Jack Daniels. Fast-forward to 2020, and Jessie G's prepping for her debut album, produced by Wilson and to be issued later this year on Wilson's Redneck Records.
The next steps between meeting Wilson and cutting an album with her came after Jessie G left her family and life in Brookings, Oregon for Nashville, Tennessee.
"I saved up a bunch of money selling a bunch of fish because my family's a commercial fishing family," she says. "I sold a bunch of crab and tuna and salmon and just rented a little apartment out (in Nashille) and just started writing songs. Some of that was with (Wilson), and some of that was with amazing songwriters in town."
After cutting her teeth at Lower Broadway bars and sharpening her songwriting skills, Jessie G scored a record deal after Wilson heard what became her protege's debut single, "Army Ranger." Since then, the two friends have become each others' go-to co-writer.
From there, Wilson produced and sang background vocals on a forthcoming album Jessie G describes as incorporating rock and country music (of the classic and modern varieties) plus "bluesy and jazzy stuff that shows off my range." The album follows a summer 2019 EP release highlighted by "Whatever This Is," a celebration of youthful indiscretion which features its own music video.
In the process, Jessie G learned about life and business from a country performer who's unapologetically herself.
"You're the only you, and no one else can be you. So be authentic and real, work hard and be fearless," Jessie G says when asked about lessons learned from her mentor. "In the studio, she'll be like, 'Why don't you try for this note?' I'll be like 'But that's a high D' She'll say, 'No notes, no letters. Just go for it! Stop thinking about all of that.' So, she's pushed me to be a better studio musician and a better artist on stage."
For new music, tour dates and album release updates, visit jessiegmusic.com.
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