October 12, 2019 | Courtesy of The Country Note by Janeen Megloranzo
Surrounded by music her entire life, it’s natural for Jayne Denham to have a passion for singing and performing. With country and rock music deep within her soul, Jayne noticed the absence of artists mixing the two in her native Australia and took that as her sign to do just that. Taking her career by the reins, Jayne has found herself a kindred spirit among the truck driver community and it was only matter of time that her grit and talent would catch traction in the States.
We caught up with the Australian Country-Rocker to talk about her life in music, her connection to the truckers and her new single “Black Coffee & White Lines.”
CN: For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
JD: I grew up in a family of singers and entertainers. My Mum, Gospel and my grandfather and aunties we all in Musicals. But my Dad was the Country Music fan who played it day in day out.
CN: At what age did you discover music?
JD: I performed at family shows from about 5 so it was in the blood.
CN: What was the first album you ever owned?
JD: AC/DC Back in Black.
CN: Your style is a mix of country-rock. Which musicians have influenced you both personally and as an artist?
JD: Gretchen Wilson was the first female in Country music who mixed my love of Country and Rock music. In Australia no one was doing it so it totally inspired me to be me & mixed Country music with a good dose of Rock.
CN: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
JD: I always wanted to be a singer in a band so at 14 put together my first all girl band at school, we were really bad LOL. In recent years my friends from when we were about 8 years old told me they use to come over and play and I would make them do “band practice” they hated it. We all laugh our heads of knowing that it was all I ever wanted to do. My poor friends.
CN: Obviously with artists like Keith Urban and Morgan Evans, country music has a well cemented place in Australia. You’ve been in the industry for a bit over a decade, what has your experience been like and what is the Australian country scene like today?
JD: It sure has been a ride, so much has changed, Country Music is becoming cooler by the day. When I started so many of my friends and people would say… I don’t like Country Music. Then they would hear my music and say “oh is that Country Music?” Now finally people get there is more to Country than just traditional Country Music.
CN: In 2008 you released your debut album Sudden Change In the Weather and last year saw your most recent album Calamity. In what ways have you changed as an artist in the past 11 years?
JD: My first album was the best album to record, there was no pressure just a truck load of fun trying to find out who I was as an artist. To my surprise, It took off like a rocket after the first single and I was immediately invited to play at some big festivals. The issue we had was some of those songs did not match my live show, as I am so high energy. So it was a must, I had to have party songs and Rockin tracks to match me live….and here we are at Calamity 4th Album in, its a lot more Country Rock than Sudden Change in Weather but I still love the songs on that album.
CN: Speaking of Calamity, you recorded the album at none other than Jay De Marcus’ home studio, who also lent his skills on bass on the album. What was that experience like?
JD: It was so unexpected, we literally got the call the night before from my Producer Brian White saying, we are moving studio’s to Jay’s home Studio and he will be playing bass….Ok, so I did jump off the lounge! It is a top studio and it was a huge honour to meet him and have him play on my album. We all had lots of fun.
CN: Your catalogue strikes a chord with those in the trucking industry as you have performed at several trucking shows worldwide. You were also an ambassador for the Women in Trucking Accelerate! Conference & Expo here in Dallas last week (9/30-10/2). Can you tell us a little bit about how you connect with that community and about this organization?
JD: I have always written and recorded a few truckin songs on each album after writing a song about a girl who drove a truck called ‘Cousin Jude’ on my first album. We released it as a single & it went off, so I I have now spent the last 12 years singing at truck shows all over the place. To be Ambassador for WIT Trucking for the next 12 months is going to be fun as we help bring growth and change for Women. I grew up with family members having trucks so I always had a love for them, so as a song writer I know my job is to continue to write songs and celebrate the people and an industry we can not do without.
CN: “Black Coffee & White Lines” is your current single; a wonderful track about not only a life on the road, but a love for that life. Was there a personal inspiration behind the song, or is more of an homage to all in the trucking industry?
JD: I have met so many Truck drivers at shows over the years & love hearing their stories. Like you say so many love life on the road, so we wrote the song to say exactly that.
CN: This past August you released the single at the Great American Trucking Show also in Dallas. What did it mean to you to release your single at this event?
JD: Well never in my wildest dreams did I ever thing this Aussie Chick would get invited to perform in the US so after the 3 years of coming over to perform, to launch as single at the event and with the ICE ROAD TRUCKERS who set to feature in the video clip was a huge honour.
CN: You have two big events upcoming up in Australia. First is the Cruise Country cruise which leaves out of Sydney in October. How excited are you to join your fans on a cruise ship?
JD: Crusin Country is a gig wrapped in a holiday. Lol I have done this cruise before and it is so much fun its 24 hours country music and relaxing.
CN: In November you will be performing at the i98fm Illawarra Convoy. For our non-Australian readers who may not know the mission of the Convoy, can you explain the work that they do?
JD: It’s the biggest Truck convoy in Australia. It is a convoy of trucks where we end up at a locations and have a huge family fun day to raise money for sick Children. They have already raised over $13.45 million dollars in 14 years already.
CN: Do you have a dream collaboration in mind?
JD: Hmm as an Aussie I would have to say Keith Urban but it is a dream I am not sure would ever come to pass. LOL
CN: What was the first concert you ever attended?
JD: My Mum’s she was always singing somewhere.
CN: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?
JD: FUN! If I am not having fun…I change direction, Life is to short to not be having fun or at least planning fun in the near future. If I am going through something tough…I am planning something fun to look forwards too, its just how I roll and gets me through a bad day. Even if it is hard, I always say try and look for the good.
CN: What’s next on the horizon for the rest of 2019? Any insight for 2020?
JD: You never know what is just around the corner, but so far it is going to be a year full of more touring, some new songs that I am busting to share with you.