Since the release of Rockbiter, Jenny Lou Drew’s sophomore solo record, the Maine artist has been collecting accolades from near and far, including a nom for Best in State alongside The Ghost of Paul Revere in the 2019 New England Music Awards. On August 5th, just prior to the release of Rockbiter, Portland Press Herald Music Writer Aimsel Ponti announced, “I’m going to make a bold statement and declare (Rockbiter) the local album of the year.”
Portland talent buyer and promoter Lauren Wayne responded to the record with, “I haven’t heard someone come out of Maine with this kind of voice since Ray LaMontagne.”
The album, which is available digitally across platforms and tangibly on Bandcamp and select Bull Moose Music locations, “plays around with several constructs, including Freewheelin’ finger-picked folk, swaying, Orbisonian balladry and pedal-steel-swathed alt-country. But these are details you might not notice until the fourth or fifth listen, when it dawns on you that your speakers are now haunted forever by the benevolent spirit of Drew’s voice.” —Joe Sweeney, Mainer News, September 2019.
Since her solo debut, Drew’s music has been on regular rotation on WCLZ and Rockbiter has been hitting Maine airwaves on WCLZ, FrankFM, and Maine Public Radio. Rockbiter was released on August 10th with a show at Portland House of Music and Events and had nearly sold out of the first run of hard copies in less than a month’s time.
The reclusive singer-songwriter is self-taught, sans a handful of classical guitar lessons by the late-great, Michael Silvestri. She credits her whisper-like timbre to years spent whispering into a tape recorder in order to retain her crafted melodies. Her father, a race car driver turned mill worker, worked the graveyard shift at S.D. Warren paper mill while building a post-and-home for the family, and the 1970s trailer she spent her early years in was on hush-mode during daylight hours.
Now a per-diem hospice worker by day, Jenny finds inspiration in the work she does, which provided the basis for the track American Beauty,
“Her bed is down to the floor,
cause those gams can’t dance no more,
but sometimes in the middle of the night
Drew’s songs are a testament to having lived on the fringes and in the fore, “If you’re ready and willing, she’ll take you on a journey that’s deeply personal. There’s an ardent quality to her voice that will keep your heart in its crosshairs.” —Aimsel Ponti, 2019.
Her husband, guitarist Scott Morgan, co-produces, arranges, records and mixes her work at their home studio in Pittston. Morgan is featured on bass and lap steel on Rockbiter, which also features Shawn Boissonnault on drums and Andrew Aikens performing bass on Porcelain Doll and “Scuffed” Up Heart. Rockbiter is available digitally across platforms and CDs can be found on Bandcamp as well as select Bull Moose locations. Drew and Morgan, along with Angus Webster of Unearthed Productions, have tentative plans for U.S. and European tours in 2020