Hello out there! I’m Jen Howell, and I have the distinct pleasure of writing Vinyl Sunday’s very first blog! For those who don’t know me, I’m the bands ferocious front woman and badass flute player, but don’t let me take all the credit here. I also have an amazing team playing the game of music right next to me! The drummer- Kent McCarthy, guitarist- Sam woods, and not to mention our fearless leader, keyboardist extraordinaire, and my wonderful husband, Andy Howell! So, now that you have a small introduction, let’s get on with it!
I never thought this would happen to me. My degree is in music, but technically I was supposed to be a music educator. I always thought my path would go in that direction. A people pleaser, a follower, someone behind-the-scenes, who works and flourishes in logistics. Now, I find myself front and center, cool and confident in the spotlight, and enjoying every minute of it. If I were to talk to the Jen back 10 years ago and say, “hey kid, you’re going to be a lead singer in a rock band,” I would have laughed so hard I would cry. I was sure that I couldn’t sing. I could keep on pitch, for the most part, but never, would I ever be in a band, and no way was flute a cool enough ticket to get me on that ride. Nonetheless, here I am, but how did I get here? A little growth of confidence, a push from loved ones, and a move to Music City, USA… Nashville, TN.
I was still gunning for that behind the scenes music job; maybe studio manager or assistant engineer, but quickly found myself drowning in the sea of experience. This is what is so hard about Nashville: if you don’t have patience, motivation, business sense (you know, the whole package) you’ll never make the climb, but if you can put your nose to the grindstone, assemble a team, and network your ass off, you can make it to the top! Know that you will fall; let your team catch you, look back up, dust it off, and climb again! That is the industry, perpetually climbing to the top, setting your eyes on the next highest peek, sliding and falling all along the way, but having the endurance to do it all!
So, I’ve switched from educator, to music engineer, to being an artist, and through it all I’ve still live and breathe for my first love… music. I’ve surrounded myself with, not just a team, but life long friends. We’ve had our fair share of battle wounds, but Vinyl Sunday is always hungry for more. This band has been in the game for two years, and achieved amazing feats! We signed a recording contract, recorded and released two EP’s, gone through a genre change (found our sound), lost band mates and gained new ones, fought through lawsuits, laughed, cried, recorded two music videos, went on tour, played a festival, and were featured on television. We have done this almost exclusively by ourselves, and I’ve never felt more alive in my life! We can’t wait to see what the next two years bring us!
What is in the works for Vinyl Sunday? Our crosshairs are set on planning our summer tour! We will be going out of the road for a week in June this summer and heading northeast. Stay tuned as more information keeps rolling in! Right now we’re in the process of branding the tour, contacting local bands, and contacting venues. On a more personal level, we will all be moving into a house as a band! This is so exciting for us, especially since we’ve been rehearsing in an apartment for the past two years. As you can imagine, lots of setting up and tearing down, along with creative tricks to keep our neighbors happy! With a house, we will always be set up, which means more playing, more writing, and you’ll get to see a lot more behind the scenes photos and videos of us! Also, we’re working out a plan to record a single, so you all can hear our most recent work!
I think you all have heard enough of me now, but remember this… my dad always told me, “you can do anything you put your mind to,” and I live my life by this phrase. Here I am, doing exactly what I’ve put my mind to. It may not be glorious all the time, but I’m ecstatic to be following my passion! I urge you to find your passion, nurture it, put your mind to it, and stick to it!! You’ll find you’ll live a more positive and happy life.