Since Jenny Lou Drew and the Damage Done released their self-titled debut in 2015, tracks off of the album have been in rotation on several Maine radio stations and beyond. Her songs have been making finals in songwriting competitions including the semi-finals of the global International Songwriting Competition, and the finals of the Maine Songwriters Association. But Drew is no newcomer to the Maine music scene. Between 2005 and 2010 her work with A Moving Train received several nominations in the Portland Phoenix Best of Music polls, including Best Female Vocalist, and hit international radar with mentions in Jazz Times and Keyboard Magazine. With a voice once praised by the likes of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, Drew considers herself a songwriter first and foremost.
In 2015 Jenny Lou Drew launched a successful Kickstarter project resulting in an unconventional collaborative music video for the track, ‘For What It’s Worth’. The project gained international support, taking over a year to complete, and requiring Drew to build a carnival in her front yard.
Jenny Lou Drew will release her sophomore record, Rockbiter, in June of 2019. In partnership with Angus Webster of Unearthed Productions, Drew is currently mapping a Northeast tour in support of the album with tentative plans for a tour in Ireland to follow.
The album’s title track is an epitaph of sorts, crafted over the course of several substance related losses within Drew’s circle of friends. Drew describes the song as a rhetoric aimed at friends lost and those who could be struggling under the radar.
“…we’re living in a world that’s half ethereal and we’re keeping connected in ways we never could have imagined a couple of decades ago. And at first you start seeing the news, you know, marriages and kids, people buying houses, Instagram pictures. And then one day it’s an overdose, a suicide, and you hear about it online. It really takes the ground out from under you.”
Drew wrote the first verse of Rockbiter after seeing a Facebook post announcing the accidental overdose and death of a friend from high school. The second came after a fan, who’d been reaching out to her in messages online for years, was found dead from a substance related suicide.
The song gives a nod to the 80’s film, The Never-ending Story, in which the character coined ‘Rockbiter’ laments the loss of his friends while staring into his hands. The hook of the song is a paraphrase of that scene,
“I played it off, now a record is playing,
over and over again
in my heart
how my hands
just couldn’t hold on to my friends”
“You’re always going to wonder what hand you had in that outcome, though it’s almost certainly entirely out of your control. Was there something I could have said or done? I think the answer is just to be present and responsible when you do see the signs. I’ve had people reach out online, I’ve had to call family members, the cops, and I don’t hesitate for a moment."
Drew will perform the album title track, Rockbiter, in Studio Z with Brian Farrell with an interview and performance to air December 19th at noon on 98.9 WCLZ as well as on www.989wclz.com. The session will also be available in the Studio Z archives at www.989wclz.com/studio-z