With a break between tour dates with the legendary Gary Clarke Jr., singer, song writer and musician Jackie Venson brought her band to The Red Light Cafe in Atlanta. Jackie Venson is a native of Austin, Texas and graduate of Berklee College of Music. Surprisingly, after hearing the magic that Jackie Venson orchestrates on guitar, I learned that she has “only” been playing guitar since graduating from Berklee in 2011. Prior to playing guitar she concentrated on classical piano but she says that she has logged over four thousand hours of practicing and performing on guitar, and it shows. Jackie Venson’s music is a fusion of soul, blues and rock music. Her vocals are graceful, smooth and melodic and her guitar solos give me visions of her chopping down a mountain with the edge of her hand.
Every touring artists knows that life of the road is marred by battles with Murphy’s law. Tonight Jackie Venson and her band had issues with her drummer’s drum kit and had to scramble to find a replacement. A stickler for starting a show on time, Jackie Venson performed solo through an extended sound check when showtime arrived. There were no complaints from the crowd as she sang and shredded her way through some of her original songs and ultimately eased her way into a cover of Duffy’s “Mercy.” After making her way through an extended guitar solo she started making light of her band finalizing their preparations on stage with the improvised lyrics “you got me beggin’, you got me beggin for my drum kit, you got me beggin’ for my bass guitar, you got me begging’ you for mercy…” With her drummer and bass player behind her they wrapped up this magical sound check in style.
From there Jackie Venson went to her early days and played “Sins of Our Fathers”, the opening track on her 2013 debut album Rollin’ On.
Tonight she performed all of the tracks from an album, The Love Suite, that she plans to record in Memphis next week. She encouraged the crowd to pull out their cell phones to get the bootleg since it will be at least a year and half before they hear the songs again. The Love Suite chronicles a six month long romantic relationship that went from her having a “Crush” to “Running” away to escape the relationship and the roller coaster ride of emotions in between. “Touch” is part of the story where she was “blind, deaf, dumb and in love and every love song that came on the radio was about her relationship.” Enjoy!
Q&A With Jackie Venson
What type of guitar are were you playing tonight?
Fender American Elite Stratocaster named Herbie.
What was the first album that you added to your personal music library?
I believe the first I added to my library was Buddy Guy Blues Singer.
What was your most recent addition to your personal music library?
My most recent album addition is the newest Alicia Keys album, Here.
What was your first live music experience?
My first live music experience was watching my dad and his band rehearsing the backspace and then watching my dad play at his gigs. I used to go to his gigs as a really young kid mostly because he couldn’t find a babysitter.
If you could cover one album in your music library which would it be?
I would probably cover the Alicia Keys As I Am album. It’s SO good.
What artist do you wish more people had in their music library?
More Jackie Venson
Jackie Venson is an artist that you should add to your music library and keep track of her career.