The Inquisition and those in-the-know in northeast Wisconsin have known for some time that Jamie Lynn Fletcher is one of the best and most creative singer-musician-composers.
But it’s not just Wisco – the world is now taking notice.
The Green Bay-based Fletcher was named by Music Resource Group (MRG) as one of five 14th Independent Music Awards nominees in the Jazz with Vocals Category for her song “I’ll Kiss You In The Rain” from her new album “My Desire of You.”
IMA nominations in more than 80 categories spanned over the globe from nearly 30 countries. The eclectic mix of established and rising talent was culled from thousands of submissions. Winners will be determined by a panel of influential artist and industry judges such as Arturo Sandoval, Jane Monheit, Suzanne Vega, Sharon Jones, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Lila Downs, Judy Collins, Raul Midón, Amanda Palmer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Shelby Lynne, Chris Wood & Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone), as well as numerous talent elites.
In addition to the winners selected by the Artist & Industry judges, music fans from around the world have until Friday, July 31, 2015 to vote for their favorite Nominees at The Vox Pop Jukebox, the fan-determined portion of The IMAs.
“It is quite the honor and I’m humbled at the positive response. There certainly has been an increased demand for what I do since the nomination, and it has encouraged me to continue testing the album in a more international realm,” Fletcher said. “I will not rest on the laurels of the nomination, though. You are only as good as what you produce right now.”
“It is such an honor to have this nomination,” she said, “but an even bigger honor to have fans support their favorite independent music, uncontrolled by commerciality and written for quality-minded music lovers.”
This was not the first time she has been honored.
“The Fool,” a cut off her 2012 release, “Jamie,” made it as a finalist in the 2013 International John Lennon Songwriting Competition.
“It’s about making a mistake that most of us have made and I still get so many requests for it on my live shows as it resonates with the human experience,” she said.
Fletcher’s star has been rising in Europe as well as she has made several trips over the last couple years.
“The past two years I’ve been focusing on finding the right sound. It was impossible to do until I realized I had to start being true to myself and the music that I wanted to produce: something tender and gentle that cannot be pigeon-holed because it is just ‘music,” she noted. “There was also a process of facing my biggest fears of loving and being loved. Sometimes you get run over by inspiration or a situation and you can’t run away any more. The new album is the beginning of letting go.”
Her European experiences serve as a musical travelogue.
“Europe is so vast, but you can drive all day and pass through several cultures and languages, unlike in the States. Irony and a few good friends have brought me to Austria on tour several times over the past few years,” she said. “Vienna is so rich in history, architecture, music, and art; everyone loves live entertainment.”
“Their tastes in bend more towards the early American ‘traditional’ jazz music of pre-WWII and then jump into rockabilly, skipping over much of the Western world’s music from the 1930’s & 40’s as it was banned under Hitler,” she continued. “Poodle skirts and bobby socks are a rave in many clubs now, but there is a burgeoning niche who appreciates original music as well as the Great American Song Book, which is where my musical heart likes to hang out. It’s pure elegance.”
“London is amazingly rich in all styles and they are over-the-top with the funk. No shortage of groove,” she said. “Belgium leans more towards hard jazz and be-bop and France remains unchanged with their love for everything sultry and chanteuse.”
“Oslo was a complete surprise as my second evening led me to a concert by Norway’s probably most-predominant pop artist, Bjørn Eidsvag,” she recalled. “My brain had no idea what he was singing, but his music penetrates into a deep place in the soul, which attests to the universality of the music language. I was blessed to later meet with him for lunch and an interview.”
“My third night I stumbled upon an American-style big band complete with the Andrew sisters,” she added. “For a self-proclaimed ‘amateur band’ (one is considered amateur if their main income is not in performing music), they nailed it. I spent the rest of my time exploring the scene and playing my butt off nearly every night in every style of music – regardless of spoken language. I was warmly accepted on stage in all situations and hope to return soon.”
The album proved to be somewhat of a metaphysical quest.
“This new album is completely different from anything I have done,” she said. “I met an incredible individual who turned my being inside out, challenged me in every way, forced me to address my deepest fears, and impacted me enough to finally stop running from myself in my most hidden self-destruction. The new album is an examination of the baby steps of the process- the hesitations, the fears, the wants, the desires, the dark edges, the joyful light, and the hopes of maybe one day being able to fully trust and love.”
“Sometimes I listen to it and I don’t even recognize myself – did I write that?” she continued. “The music is extremely subtle and tender with multiple meanings, but hopefully something that everyone can relate to if they pay close attention. There were several times I had to question exactly who I was speaking to in the music – to my inspiring person, to God, or to myself – not to confuse any of them with each other, of course. This new work is an admission of vulnerability- something I once swore I would never let out. But there is no art without vulnerability.”
Fletcher will be back in town in July and August for multiple gigs in Green Bay, DePere and Door County. For a complete schedule – and while you’re there, you can download “The Fool” for free (along with a couple other older originals) – go to her website: jamielynnfletcher.com