"That's just the name of the band, the last time we existed we were 19 years old and it was just sort of a goofy name. There's no huge meaning; we were walking down the street on Telegraph Avenue and noticing people chattering in our group about this thing and that thing with a Jenny and a second Jenny and a third Jenny; the name just kept coming up so we just sort of thought that was cute but now we're not particularly attached to it, it's just what you call us."
The Jenny Thing is comprised of four members, guitarist Shyam Rao, Ehren Becker on bass, Mike Phillips on drums and guitarist/vocalist Matt Easton. Recently, Easton elaborated on the band's history, their new record and more as they've re-united with a sense of purpose.
Northern California was where they cut their teeth as young musicians but they came to form as a unit on the Berkeley campus of the University of California where they achieved modest success.
"I'm definitely born and bred Bay Area, as are two of the other guys," said Easton; "Shyam Rao my songwriting partner and the other principal guy came out from Pennsylvania and I met him at Cal."
Shortly after performing a series of initial live gigs in 1991, they released their debut effort called "Me" which was described as having a "Semi-acoustic sound" and followed that up with "Closer and Closer to Less;" off of which they did some minor touring and even made it through the first round of the television show Star Search.
The year 1999 saw the release of their third record titled, "Nowhere Near You" and also the demise of the band as their lives took turns and twists in different directions.
Ah but just as life can get in the way and push one down a different path like a river meandering through a valley; it can also lead to new opportunities. Such was the case with these gentlemen and in 2016 they began the process of a reunion which has now led to the creation of their latest disc; "American Canyon."
"The key thing was that Sean moved out of New York City to Davis which is just a bit north of the Bay Area; he moved back to Northern California. We started doing just a little bit of work together sort of organically showing each other demos or finishing each other's songs a little bit but it was actually the song "American Canyon" that just sort of stepped up the quality; it felt like it came out of nowhere and that song kind of threw down the gauntlet. It was like, OK if we're capable of this or if this is showing up in our writing, we need to catch the wave. So, I would say that the band really rallied around the material and in some ways rallied around that one song which inspired us to write better and re-write some of our more recent stuff and connect it into the album which was released on June 18."
The band issued a statement that this album was "Demoed into existence," and when pressed as to why Easton readily explained as well as also divulging some of the recording process which included some antique instrumentation.
"It is a short full-length, it's eight songs. The whole thing was made in house so, it's got a combination of fully re-tracked stuff but also a lot of the writing process made it onto the final record. So, "Demoed into existence," I guess it's the kind of thing with modern recording where sometimes you're not sure exactly what you're doing; meaning what step in the process you're in. So, yeah, a lot of it was written or improvised onto tape and edited; yeah, that's what that means (laughs)."
"Garage Band is our recording format of choice," he continued. "Just because it's simple and fast and we have some fancy plug-ins that we use with it so it's not purely your off the shelf Garage Band and yeah, we do have a number of old instruments on it. The writing instruments that I'm on the most are this 105-year-old piano that I've got right here and a couple of old guitars from the 50's and 60's but the record is very electronic. There are a few places where the piano shows up and it has been kind of captured in what I call almost a 1980's, super-bright compressed sound. We've kind of got that old and new thing, I do a lot of writing on old instruments but I do also like a lot of aggressive and kind of whacked-out sounds; actually, a lot of the writing was on guitar but the album has very little guitar on it really, especially compared to our old stuff. The reason for that would be space, freshness; sort of trying to have a track that's very drum heavy, very vocal heavy and guitars just eat up a lot of space. You can instantly take up all of the mid-range of a track just by strumming one chord you can eat up all the space; we were very economic with our guitar sounds and the amount that we played."
Even though pandemic restrictions have eased; the band has a plan and it doesn't necessarily involve touring or a lot of live performances.
"We've been pretty digital about it, we actually made an appearance on a filmmaking competition around a month ago and we'll probably do another film festival. A lot of where our effort is going at this point is towards film and filmmaking; I have a couple of possibilities to score films that I'm pursuing. There's online kind of streaming performances; we did a submission for NPR's "Tiny Desk" and we submitted our thing which was pretty cool and it's on our YouTube channel. It's an electronic duo format but I think it is very human and has a lot of emotion to it and I think it's pretty cool. We also have a video out; we are pretty much on the virtual thing here. We will definitely play locally at some point but it won't be a concerted effort. We have a really nice video for the song "American Canyon" which was actually shot in the Mojave Desert and it came out a few weeks ago. It is very beautiful; it has a woman on a horse and a man in a truck and a dog and the band; it's very cinematic and landscaped and it's pretty cool."
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!
This week's event listings
Arts Council of Princeton 102 Witherspoon Street Princeton (609) 924-8777 Fri. 6 p.m. "Summer Nights" Concert Series feat. "*0's DJ Dance Party" w/ DJ Darius the 1st. (Takes place at Princeton Shopping Center 301 North Harrison Street) Bristol Riverside Theater 2501 Bath Road Bristol, PA (215) 785-0100 Fri. 8 p.m. "Totally Awesome 80's" Broken Goblet Brewing 2500 State Road Bensalem, PA (267) 812-5653 Thurs. 7 p.m. Mike Estabrook Fri. 8:30 p.m. Mike Oregano Sat. 8:30 p.m. "First Saturdays" w/ Bridge Beat Duo "Goblet Stock 7" feat. (3 p.m.) Super Unknown Acoustic (Soundgarden Tribute) (4:15 p.m.) Unglued (Stone Temple Pilots Tribute) (5:30 p.m.) Flannel (Grunge Tribute) (6:45 p.m.) Love Killed Kurt (Nirvana Tribute) (8:15 p.m.) Rage Against The Keg Washing Machine Wed. 8 p.m. Quizzo All Shows 21+Brother's Pizza 871 Highway 33 Hamilton (609) 586-2727 Wed. 5:30 p.m. Tiltin CatzCandlelight Lounge 24 Passaic Street Trenton (609) 695-9612 Thurs. 6 p.m. Thursday Night Blues Jam Hosted by The Mojo Gypsies. $5 (Includes hot buffet) Championship Bar 931 Chambers street Trenton (609) 396-5457 Tuesday 8 p.m. "Jam Night" Hosted by Nikki & Caleb Ages 21+Clubhouse at Mountain View (The Patio) 850 Bear Tavern Road Ewing (609) 771-0400 Fri. 6 p.m. Ernie WhiteCOARadio.com 125 South Main Street Hightstown (609) 241-7103 Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Dave VargoCooper's Riverview 50 Riverview Plaza Trenton (609) 393-7300 Thurs. (7 p.m.) Plush (9 p.m.) Club Night feat. Rotating DJs (inside event) Fri. (5 p.m.) "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere Happy Hour" (8 p.m.) WitzEnd Sat. 7 p.m. Stevie B / Freestyle Sun. 11 a.m. " Sunday Latin Jazz Brunch" Mon. 7 p.m. "Sunny Monday Blues Jam" Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ Karen and Mark Wed. (12 p.m.) "Wine Down Wednesdays" (8 p.m.) "Micro Wrestling" All Events Ages 21+Cream Ridge Winery 145 Route 539 Cream Ridge (609) 259-9797 Sat. 1:30 p.m. Ronnie Brandt Sun. 1:30 p.m. Alex EnglishDacey's Pub 215 West Philadelphia Avenue Morrisville, PA (215) 295-4838 Fri. 6 p.m. Acoustic Music Night Wed. 8 p.m. Quizzo Dadz Bar and Grill 744 Main Street Lumberton (609)267-4344 Sat. 6 p.m. The Jersey BeatDempster's Pub 437 Pine Street Mount Holly (609) 261-0500 Thurs. 9 p.m. "Throwback Thursday/Ladies Night" w/ DJ entertainment feat. retro 70's, 80's and 90's music. Fri. / Sat. 9 p.m. DJ entertainmentDog & Bull Brew House 810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA. (215) 788-2855 Fri. 4 p.m. Mike Brill Sat. 4 p.m. EddieEddington House Bensalem 2813 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, PA (215) 639-1220 Fri. 8 p.m. The Fight Back Home Sat. 8 p.m. Jenny Leigh & Brian LoftusEscape Resort, Restaurant & Bar 120 Pheasant Run Road Newtown, PA (215) 968-0600 Fri. 6 p.m. The Good PeopleGerman American Society 215 Uncle Pete's Road Hamilton (609) 585-5200 Fri. 6 p.m. Tindall Road Brewing Co. Year "2" Anniversary PartyGreenhouse 90 South Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 693-1657 Thurs. 8 p.m. "Musicians Night Out" Hosted by Lovelight Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Sam Ryan Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Hosted by Dwayne DunlevyGrover's Mill Coffee House Princeton-Hightstown Road Princeton Junction (609) 716-8771 Sat. 11 a.m. Thomas JohnstonHarvest Seasonal Grill (Newtown Shopping Center) 2865 South Eagle Road Newtown, PA (215) 944-8469 Thurs. 7 p.m. Brian ElliotHavana New Hope 105 S. Main Street New Hope, PA. (215) 862-9897 Thurs. 7 p.m. Funk n' Blues Jam Fri. 8 p.m. Billy Walton Band Sun. (5 p.m.) Jenny Grace (6 p.m.) A Tribute To Steely Dan w/ "Countdown To Ecstacy" Mon. 9 p.m. "Lipstick Mondays Drag Show" Herrentown Woods (Veblen House) 624 Snowden Lane Princeton Thurs. 7 p.m. "Among Trees" A Live Celebration of Nature & Community feat. Fiona TyndallHG New Hope Pizza 6510 Lower York Road New Hope, PA (215) 862-1740 Sat. 6 p.m. Stranger ThingsHopewell Valley Vineyards 46 Yard Avenue Pennington (609) 737-4465 Fri. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. (5:30 p.m.) Deb & Mike Sat. (1 p.m.) The Strange Brew Crew (5:30 p.m.) "Music & Merlot" feat. Two For Flinching Sun. 1:30 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. The Blue Jersey BandIrish Rover Station House 1033 South Bellevue Avenue Langhorne, PA (215) 970-5412 Sat. 2 p.m. Luau Party Iron Plow Vineyards 26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus (732) 306-9111 Fri. 7 p.m. Bob O & Kim Sat. 6:30 p.m. Radio Fiction Sun. 2 p.m. Gary RyanIvy Tavern 3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton (609) 888-1435 Thurs. 9:30 p.m. "Thursday Night Dance Party" Fri. 8 p.m. Kevin Toft & The Alternators Sat. 8 p.m. Asylum Choir All shows 21+ John & Peter's 96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa (215) 862-5981 Sat. 3 p.m. Timi Hendrixx and Friends Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational All shows 21+Killarney's Publick House 1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton (609) 586-1166 Thurs. 5 p.m. Radio Fiction KUO Social 2360 Route 33 Suite 106 Robbinsville (609) 208-9988 Sun. 5 p.m. The WilliamsboyLaurita Winery 85 Archertown Road New Egypt (609) 752-0200 Thurs. 7 p.m. "Laurita Idol 2021" Semi-finals Fri. (12 p.m.) "Wine In The Grove Friday" (6 p.m.)BBQ Grill Night (7:30 p.m.) "Kricket Comedy" Hosted by James Mac feat. Katherine Williams, Troy Moore. Doors open at 7 p.m., $25 (Tickets available online only) Sat. "Food Truck Fair" feat. (11 a.m.) Pennington Station (2:45 p.m.) The Shore Syde Band (6:15 p.m.) Fast Forward 80s. (VIP available $300) Sun. "Food Truck Fair" feat. (11 a.m.) The Rangers Nouveau (3:15 p.m.) Fish Eyed Blues (VIP available $300)Lawrenceville Main Street 17 Phillips Avenue Lawrenceville (609) 219-9300 Thurs. 6 p.m. "Music In The Park" feat. RGM Project (Weeden Park FREE admission)Locust Hall at Johnson's Farm 2691 Monmouth Road Jobstown (609) 723-2630 Sat. 6 p.m. Paul Plumeri DuoMakefield Highlands Golf Club 1418 Woodside Road Yardley, PA (215) 321-7000 Fri. 5 p.m. Zone DuoMarie's Kozy Korner 111 Trenton Road Fairless Hills, PA (215) 943-3131 Fri. 7 p.m. Bill MonachMcGuinn's Place 1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence (609) 392-0599 Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke Ages 21+ McStews Irish Sports Pub 5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 949-9570 Sat. 9 p.m. The Fredz. Tues. 7:30 p.m. Trivia NightMercer County Park Festival Grounds Hughes Drive/Old Trenton Road West Windsor (609) 448-1947 Wed. 7:30 p.m. Movie Night: "Wonder Woman 1984" Doors open at 6 p.m. (FREE event)Millhill Basement 300 S. Broad Street Trenton (609) 989-1600 Fri. 9 p.m. N0$P, Joy On Fire, Ugli, Under 95, Alpha Sub. $5More Than Q 13 Klines Court Lambertville (609) 773-0072 Sun. 11 a.m. Gospel/Blues Open MicMusic Mountain Theater 1483 Route 179 Lambertville (609)397-3337 Fri. 8 p.m. "Head Over Heels" Sat./Sun. 3 p.m. "Head Over Heels" Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company 909 Ray Avenue Croydon, PA (215) 458-7081 Thurs. 7 p.m. Quizzo w/ Lunch MoneyNew Egypt Flea Market Village 933 Monmouth County Road Cream Ridge (609) 758-2082 Sat. 10 a.m. "RockaBilly Day" Sun. 11:30 a.m. Sheri Lynn at "Tye Dye Amy's"New Hope Solebury High School 184 West Bridge Street New Hope, PA Sat. 7 p.m. Bill & Fred's Excellent Adventure (FREE event)New Hope Winery 6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA (215) 794-2331 Thurs. 7 p.m. "Bucks Fever" Talent Show. $20 (VIP reception 6 p.m. $35) Sat. 8 p.m. "Kick" The INXS Experience Newtown Brewing Company 103 Penns Trail Newtown, PA (215) 944-8609 Thurs. 7:30 p.m. 80's Trivia Night Fri. 6 p.m. Mike Mele Wed. 7 p.m. "Peace & Pints" YogaNick's Roast Beef 4501 Woodhaven Road West Philadelphia, PA (215) 637-5151 Thurs. 6 p.m. Ryan Sab Fri. 6 p.m. Secret Service Band Sat. 6 p.m. Sir Rod Sun. 4 p.m. AJ Slick Wed. 7 p.m. LeCompt Acoustic DuoNJWeedman's Joint 322 East State Street Trenton (609) 437-0898 Wed. 7:45 p.m. Late Night "Hump" Comedy Variety ShowOdd Logic Brewing Co. 500 Bristol Pike, Bristol, PA Thurs. 6 p.m. TriviaO'Fowley's Tavern & Grill 200 State Road Croydon, PA (215) 785-6998 Fri. 8 p.m. DJ EntertainmentOld Hights Brewing 123 West Ward Street Hightstown (609) 469-5976 Thurs. 7 p.m. Trivia Old Town Pub 135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown (609) 291-9232 Thurs. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia Palmer Square 40 Nassau Street Princeton Thurs. 4 p.m."Locals Night" w/ Live "Strolling" Musician Sat.12 p.m. Burne HolidayPasquale's Sports Bar 9078 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA (267) 202-6268 Fri. 5 p.m. Happy Hour feat. (TBA) Sat. 8 p.m. DJ or Live Band Entertainment Tues. 7:30 p.m. Quizzo Wed. 7 p.m. Open MicPatriots Crossing 1339 River Road Titusville (609) 737-2780 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo" Restart The Arts 340 High Street Burlington Sat.12 p.m. Rees w/ Dan FarnanRevere Restaurant 802 River Road Ewing (609) 882-6365 Wed. 7 p.m. David BoydRobbinsville Community Concert Town Center Lake Drive Gazebo, Robbinsville Tues. 7 p.m. BD LenzRosedale Mills 101 Route 31 North Pennington (609) 737-2008 Sat. 1 p.m. Outdoor Line Dancing. $10 (Rain date Sundays 12 p.m.)Sherman Theater/Penn Community Bank Amphitheater 2400 Byberry Road Bensalem, PA Wed. 7 p.m. Joey and the The T-Birds. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m., tickets available online)Small World Coffee 14 Witherspoon Street Princeton (609) 924-4377 x2 Thurs. 8 p.m. "The Fluid Acrylics of Adriana Groza" (Runs 7 days a week thru 8/3)Sparky World-Famous Beer Garden 4333 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 943-2321 Wed. 8 p.m. Groove Train w/ Johnny DStars & Stripes Harley Davidson 600 South Flowers Mill Road Langhorne, PA (215) 752-9400 Thurs. 5 p.m. :Back To The 80's" Bike Night. (Music, food and more) Sun. 11 a.m. "Grand Opening" w/ Deep Release1675 Spirits 2685 Bristol Pike Bensalem, PA (215) 645-1445 Fri. 6 p.m. John Brennan Blues DuoTavern On The Lake 101 Main Street Hightstown (609) 426-9345 Wed. 9 p.m. KaraokeTemperance House 5 South State Street Newtown, PA (215) 944-8050 Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia w/ Righteous Jolly Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Cara CartneyTerhune Orchards 330 Cold Soil Road Princeton (609) 924-2310 Fri. 4 p.m. "Sips & Sounds Friday" feat. Brian BotnickTGI Fridays 319 US Highway 130 North East Windsor (609) 490-1450 Thurs. 7 p.m. Joshua VanNessThe Buck Hotel 1200 Buck Road Feasterville, PA (215) 396-2002 Thurs. 7 p.m. Kevin Kirko Fri. 7 p.m. Love Junk Sat. 9 p.m. BlendThe Cool Cricket 216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro (609) 291-9110 Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke The Dubliner 34 North Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 693-1816 Sun. 2 p.m. David FalconeThe Morrisville Tavern 376 West Trenton Avenue Morrisville, PA (215) 295-5310 Mon. 7 p.m. "Country Night" The Sycamore Grill 255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA (215) 908-6326 Fri. 8 p.m. Kickbax Acoustic TrioTir Na Nog 1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton (609) 392-2554 Sat. 9 p.m. Jerry Monk All Shows 21+ Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location) 400 Union Square New Hope, Pa. (215) 862-8300 Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage All shows 21+ Vault Tap Room 19 West College Avenue Yardley, PA (267) 907-8550 Fri. 7 p.m. Jon Savage Acoustic Duo Sat. 7 p.m. Dr. Jeff Mellow AcousticWater's Edge Gastropub and Lounge 1067 Totem Road Bensalem, PA (267) 332-2095 Thurs. 7 p.m. Cornhole "Blind Draw." $10 Sun. 12 p.m. Drag Brunch Wed.7 p.m. Drag Bingo & KaraokeWorking Dog Winery 610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown (609) 371-6000 Sat. 1 p.m. Bob & Dave Sun. 1 p.m. Kevin McGowanWWFM 89.1 FM HD2 Radio MCCC Old Trenton Road West Windsor Jazzon2.org Mon. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues" Yankee Doodle Tap Room 10 Palmer Square Princeton (609) 921-7500 Thurs. 6 p.m. Dueling Piano Night (Palmer Square)
Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.