They say to never judge a book by it’s cover as you just never know what lies within. When I saw the title of a song called, “Stripper for a Week” by Jenny Tolman, I had no idea what to expect. It’s an interesting choice for a song title in country music because it isn’t exactly “the norm.” With today’s mainstream tailgate-beer-drinking topics, it is easy to forget about the side of country where artists base songs around “shock and awe.” After becoming addicted to Jenny Tolman’s smart and cheeky narrative style, I think she’s going to set the world on fire in 2018 with Jennyville.
One of the coolest things about Tolman is that she has ties to Massachusetts, as her dad is from Acton, Ma. I swear, the more that I delve into the music world, the smaller I realize it is. Jenny herself, calls Nashville home and has spent years catching the locals’ ears. Some of those locals happen to be some significant figures in the music industry, such as Dave Brainard. You know, the guy that has produced albums for Brandy Clark, Ray Scott and Jerrod Neimann. Not too shabby of a resume, if I do say so myself.
Like any stand-out future star, Jenny Tolman doesn’t just make good music. There’s a feeling of uniqueness and intelligence in her writing and I was left with the same feeling I get after listening to the Turnpike Troubadours. We know that Evan Felker is a genius when it comes to telling a story, and Tolman possess a cleverness in not only her writing, but her insight into subjects some might avoid. Stripper For a Week puts the spotlight on a profession that makes many Americans uncomfortable. Having read a blog post about a woman who did a social experiment as a stripper for a week, Tolman felt inspired. She thought it would be amusing to pretend to be a stripper and narrate her experience of working the pole to make ends meet. It just so happens that Tolman is a pole dancer, which increased her interest in making a song about pretending to be a stripper.
Her delivery is light-hearted but undeniably country, even featuring the wonderful addition of brass throughout. At the heart of this tune is something many American’s struggle with. That thing never ending phenomenon called bills. Feeling comfortable with herself, she heads out the pole to get her bills paid!
While just a taste at the upcoming Jennyville, Jenny Tolman also released Something to Complain About which hits home to everyone taking life for granted. Sometimes we forget just how good in life we have it, worrying about not when our next meal will be, but which cell phone we’ll get next. Or how a woman complains about her back from her big boobs that many women would love to have. Often, we are so caught up in our selfishness, whether accidental or not, that we fail to realize those who truly have less. She mentions the homeless man at the exit ramp who isn’t concerned about the price of gas. Rather, he’s probably worried about where he’s going to sleep and have food and water. We vent about the littlest things in life, failing to ever see all the positive. The subtle blessings like clean water, a play to sleep and friends and family who care about you – all dismissed as the norm and the least of precious, by many.
Having released just two songs off this upcoming record and only having a small library on Spotify, Tolman is now boasting nearly 118,000 monthly listeners. That is incredibly impressive, and also realize that she does not have national radio backing her up at this stage of the game. One look at her YouTube channel will further unearth the incredible voice and live performance ability she possesses. Like anything, a live performance tells the true story of an artist, and Jenny’s voice is so well controlled and in tune. No cracks or failing to hold key like so many I see. Her cover of Brandy Clark’s Crazy Women is perfection and made up of all REAL instruments. Not the computerized effects that plagues so much of the mainstream.
Jenny Tolman Is about being real and being true to one’s self, and in my eyes, that is going to pay of 10-fold as she works towards releasing this full-length album.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!