What happens when smooth vocals, blazing guitar skills, and innovative songwriting collide? Jackie Venson is born. The pop guitarist, a native from Texas, will perform Tuesday, September 14 at Hotel Café in Los Angeles. Those unfamiliar with Venson should prepare themselves for what she describes as “intense instrumentals”.
Her music passion began early. “I started playing the piano at age eight. I didn’t like it as much. Then I picked up the guitar in college.”
She is either carrying a guitar or a pen for songwriting. Venson creates songs from personal experiences and paying attention to her surroundings. One day at a coffee shop inspired a song.
“When I first started writing, it was just things going on in my head; sometimes it was about relationships. I even wrote a song about technology after an evening at Starbucks,” said Venson.
Venson laughed while she described the encounter. “It was a beautiful day but no one was talking to each other. I wanted to say just look at the clouds. Look at how beautiful they are!”
She carries that same focus in her performances. Playing an instrument while singing requires precision. Her band, which has a blind drummer, creates a unique sound. Venson explained her thought process when she is on stage.
“I’m moment-by-moment…if I have to plug my guitar in, I’m only thinking of that. Okay, now I have to walk on stage. I’m only thinking of that. You can’t overthink or you’ll get ate alive.”
She described her music as soul, R&B, pop, and blues. She calls blues the first chapter of The American Music Book. Learning blues skyrocketed her musical versatility. “Blues is the first chapter of the book, then jazz, then other genres. Blues is the source material. If you can learn blues, other genres are easier to grasp,”she said.
Stevie Wonder is one of Venson’s idols; she feels that he belongs on the Mount Rushmore of music.“He can do it all. He has a 360 range of talent”, she explained. “I love people who woke up and decided to change music forever.”
Venson refuses to adhere to typical musical standards. She enjoys being authentic. Her level of authenticity bleeds through her music. She made her agenda clear. “You will never see me doing something I never want to do. I just want to be myself. You have to be yourself!”
Follow Jackie Venson online for information about upcoming shows and new music. Visit hotelcafe.com for ticket information.