"We want to rock."
There may be no better place to start, when talking about the JaneDear girls, than with the description offered by their producer, John Rich.
“They are,” he says, “the girls next door that kick country A**,,,”
Their name offers another level of insight.
“We wanted something that was feminine, All-American, and country,” says Danelle Leverett, the Lone Star portion of this Texas-Utah duo. Susie Brown, adds, “It took us a while to find a name that really described who we are and what we want to say to our country audience, and the JaneDear girls does just that.”
All of that is embodied in the JaneDear girls’ debut single, “Wildflower,” as perfect an introduction to their high energy, soaring harmonies, and world-class instrumental prowess as a country fan could ask for. It’s also a song whose very roots express the organic unity of the approach Susie and Danelle take to life and music.
“I have a vintage electric Mandocaster which is essentially a solid body electric mandolin that I found in a little guitar shop in Salt Lake City, Utah,” says Susie, “and I bought an amp, plugged it in at a co-writing session and ‘Wildflower’ popped out. I had a wildflower in my hair that day, and that’s where we got the title.”
“We have an amazing band,” adds Danelle, “and once they laid it down and we added our vocals and Susie’s electric mandolin and fiddle instrumentation, it was pretty much a no-brainer that it would be our first single.”
Danelle and Susie were each pursuing careers when a friend suggested Danelle see Susie perform at a Nashville club. Before long, the two tried writing together, and from the moment they finished their first song together, they knew that they were a duo. While they struggled—“We would eat $10 worth of taco soup for a week, every meal,” says Danelle—they quickly began impressing industry people. After they performed at a Muzik Mafia event, John Rich became a huge supporter, helping them ink deals with Warner Music Nashville (under the guidance of Scott Hendricks), Sony/ATV Tree Music Publishing and Turner Nichols & Associates Management firm.
Susie was one of seven children in an extraordinarily musical family. She was playing violin at four and winning her age group in the Utah State Fiddle Contest at 10. She honed her skills as a vocalist and instrumentalist in her family’s band and in high school musical events. After moving to Nashville she landed slots as a backup singer and instrumentalist for several artists including Trisha Yearwood.
What music was to Susie’s family, sports were to Danelle’s. A highly competitive gymnast, she pursued athletic competition until high school, when downtime due to a pole vaulting injury led her to guitar playing and songwriting. She won a regional songwriting competition, and while in college, signed an independent label deal. After graduation, she moved to Nashville, where a widening circle of friends and supporters led her to Susie.
Polished entertainers, Susie and Danelle have differing fashion outlooks but a unified approach to the music.
“We’ve always told John, ‘We want to rock,’” says Susie. Not missing a beat, Danelle adds, “We like our guitars loud, our fiddles ripping and a steady beat that makes people want to dance!”
It’s a formula for excitement that makes the JaneDear girls one of the most exciting new acts in the world of country music.
Merry Go Round
Saturdays in September