By LEISA GREENE-NELSON
Singer Jeanne Jolly sounds like a smile over the phone.
Originally from North Carolina, she is touring Montana for the first time and heading into Yellowstone National Park. Jeanne is said to be a “diverse, classically trained vocalist.”
According to the Metro Music Scene in Virginia, her voice is said “to embody the early belting power of Linda Ronstadt combined by the delicate lilt of Alison Krauss.” Jeanne laughs at the goal of having Alison Krauss on her speed dial and says, “I believe that may be a little outdated.”
Monk’s will feature Jeanne Jolly on Saturday, August 4 at 9pm along with a reappearance of the very edgy, dynamic duo Montana Skies at 11pm. This promises to be an evening of extraordinary talent.
Jeanne Jolly’s feature song of “Hallelujah” originally by Leonard Cohen, can be downloaded off of her website. All of the proceeds go to fight ovarian cancer and is donated to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund as a tribute to Jeanne Jolly’s mother who three years ago died of ovarian cancer.
When asked about her most favorite memory of her mother, she gives thanks. Jolly then says, “She had the best laugh in the world. Very loud. Very contagious.” Jeanne recalls her mother and father coming to all of her performances and travelling nine hours in one day just to see her being her ‘biggest fans’.
Falling in Carolina is Jolly’s first EP. Written in Carolina, where she returned during her mother’s illness, the song is specifically about her mother. Jeanne says, “It includes all family and friends, beautiful people in life. The song was written during my first fall in Carolina. The song is a metaphor of hope and peace.”
The smile comes through the phone as Jolly laughs then and says, “I don’t know what I just said. I’m still drinking coffee.”
Harmonizing in her home kitchen is a memory Jeanne recalls about her mother. “We used to sing all the Judd’s songs while she cooked.” Jolly said her mother was never really a singer, but knew the piano. Mother and daughter both learned from the same piano teacher.
As Jeanne heads into Yellowstone, passing Gardner, Montana, she recalls a family trip to New Brunswick when she was nine years old with her parents and her brother. She says “It felt like it took a week to get there.”
Jeanne is reminded of her mother making an ‘everything-left-in-the-cooler-meal’ and they ate it often. After their vacation they called the meal, “New Brunswick Stew”.
Jeanne is relishing in her ‘only chance’, this trip, to visit the National Park. Jeanne says she wants to check out the springs that seem ‘amazing’ and about Montana says, “Oh, it’s so beautiful. I’m trying to understand the Big Sky. Everyone is so warm and welcoming. They are treating us like royalty!”
Her guitarist Chris Boerner is traveling with Jeanne. He also worked with her on a first full album which will be released in October. A single off the album will be out sometime in September.
Missoulians are lucky; we get to hear her voice live at Monk’s, this Saturday, at 9pm.
Read more of Leisa’s stories about the Missoula music, drama, and theater scene.
Call her a big city girl at heart, finding and satiating that appetite in the city of Missoula. Born in Butte and raised in Missoula, she is fascinated by people and looks for interesting characters to write about. Everyone has a story to tell, or not, but the people and places in Missoula are unique.
Moving fast in life (for that big city feel) Leisa’s passions bounce around music, theater, food, art, family, and friends that’s supported by an IV line of dark roasted coffee. Single and a recent graduate from the University of Montana with a BA in Creative Writing, she learned what it was like to be a co-ed in her 40s.
She currently works as an Office Manager at Inter-State Studio and Publishing, working on school photos and yearbooks. Her personal life and nightlife is where she discovers and creates creative non-fiction stories. She has four supportive, loving children: Dustin, Michael, Jalynn, and Mark (adopted through marriage to Dustin) who are all artistically creative in writing, theater, dance, and singing. Leisa likes to think she moves faster than they do.