“The only way to break free is to find the ground…and hit it running…”
— Jenica Rayne, Hit the Ground Running
The title track from Jenica Rayne’s third full studio album, Hit the Ground Running, could be her theme song – a perfect introduction to both her artistic approach and her personal philosophies. And, to put it another way, she says “Just do something – you have to make life happen”!
That’s exactly what she did with this record. “I had a clear vision”, she says, “and I took the time to get the sounds I wanted”. In this case, getting those sounds meant traveling. Twenty musicians from Kingston and Vancouver added trumpet, tenor sax, cello, accordion and plenty of lush background vocals in addition to the usual guitar/bass/drums foundation. Producer Simon Kendall (Genie Award winner and Doug and the Slugs member) notes, “we have compelling contributions from great musicians and vocalists who truly enjoyed building on the framework created by Jenica – a wealth of talent from BC and Ontario”.
“Jenica’s deep, rich music speaks from the heart. Her burnished gold voice is full of experience, wisdom, and mercy.”
— Rhiannon, singer (Bobby McFerrin, SoVoSo, Voicestra)
While Jenica graduated from the Jazz program at Vancouver Island University, her writing and performing organically took her in another musical direction. Somewhere in the land of artists like Eliza Gilkyson and Shawn Colvin lies a still unnamed singer/songwriter genre with pop and roots elements, and Jenica Rayne nestles right in there. Her education did provide her with an education in music theory – an appreciation which still informs her songwriting process.
At their centre, Rayne’s songs are about personal and social consciousness, but they artfully combine catchy pop melodies with the authentic lyrical sensibilities of the singer/songwriter genre and the story telling familiarity of roots and country. While she admits to having a soft spot for sad songs, the rollicking anthems on this latest record are just as impactful as the subtle, thoughtful tunes.
“…Beautifully crafted songs offering sophisticated music that is easy to listen to but invites close attention. Rayne is a poet of consequence.”
— Dr. Karlene Faith, professor emirita at SFU (writer, feminist, scholar, human rights activist)
She now maintains a busy schedule of teaching and performing, which includes touring across Canada, teaching at the Kingston School of Music, private music instruction, and performing for local charities. She’s a fixture on the local live circuit, performing as a solo artist, with the Calamity Janes Band, in a duo with Kingston’s Lynne Hanson (Chivaree), and collaborating with other acclaimed musicians as part of the Jenica Rayne ensemble.
In the end, Jenica is happy when she can connect with people on a visceral level, whether it is through music, her charity work, performing, or on a one on one basis – and she does so with energy and passion. After all, she says, “We’re all on the same path, we just walk it differently”. Or in this case, we hit the ground running…
Hit the Ground Running (October 26th, 2014), was produced in collaboration with Simon Kendall (Vancouver), Rick Salt (Nanaimo) and Duncan Holt (Kingston). Jenica is currently booking dates for 2015/2016.