Singing and songwriting duo, Coldwater Jane

Chit Chatting with Coldwater Jane

Written by: Jill Sheets

Coldwater Jane

Coldwater Jane

Picture credit: David Tsay

Recently we got the honor of interview the singing duo the Coldwater Jane. Continue to read about Coldwater Jane and about their music.

R: How did you come up with the name Coldwater Jane?

LC: We wanted to use the name Jane because it means so much to us. It’s our mother’s name, Brandon’s middle name, and our great great grandmother’s name. Coldwater came from Coldwater Canyon. So much great music came out of that area and we thought it just sounded good with Jane. It’s pretty hard to find a good band name that isn’t already taken and you don’t feel silly saying.

R: Both of you play the guitar. How long have you been playing, and do either of you play any other instrument other than voice?

LC: Brandon has been picking up the mandolin, and I play piano some. Although not nearly well enough to play in front of other musicians!

R: How long have you been singing and writing your own music?

LC: We first sang together in church when we were 2 and 4. Our parents are music lovers and encouraged us to sing, but writing definitely came from something inside of us. I remember the first song I ever wrote I sang to my mom and dad in the car on the way to Mobile, Al (the nearest mall to our town in MS). I remember her asking what artist sang that song. That started a fire.

R: What is your songwriting process? Do you start with the words?

LC: Sometimes we start with a melody, sometimes we start with a title or a lyrical idea, and every now and then when we are lucky it feels like it comes from above. Like we have nothing to do with it, we’re just the ones typing and singing.

R: Tell us about touring with your family as a family gospel band? What was your favorite memory of doing that?

LC: I have lots of memories of doing school work in the van, sleeping in people’s houses that we didn’t know (members of the churches where we were singing) and our little brother basically falling asleep while playing the drums. He would lay his head down on the snare while playing when he got tired! Most of the memories are good, but anything you do full time is work and it’s not a life for most people. We feel fortunate because it laid the groundwork for what we are doing now. It taught us things like how to keep going in a show even if something isn’t going right. We are so thankful for the experience, although it seems a little crazy now looking back on it!

R: Tell us about your up and coming CD. What are the titles of some of the songs? Do you have a release date yet for it? Does it have a title?

LC: Our album, “Bring On The Love”, will be out early next year. We are SO excited for everyone to hear it. The title track was our first single, but I feel like the whole record has something to say. “Devil Train” is a fast fun song about sneaking out (no need to mention which one of us that one is about), and “Marrionette” is a bluegrassy song about a free spirit. It’s tough waiting to share something we created that we are so proud of!

R: Tell us about your single “Bring On the Love.” How did you come up with the idea for this song?

LC: We were sitting in the studio playing around on all the instruments (banjo, dobro, mandolin) that are all tuned like a guitar. The melody and title came out pretty quickly since we were just having fun. The next day we came in and wrote what we wanted to say. Kind of a “come together”, love everybody kind of tune. It was important for us to say something that had meaning, but still be able to write it in an encouraging light.

R: Where were you when you fist heard “Bring On the Love” on the radio? What was it like?

LC: This is my favorite question. We were in my grandmother’s house in Mississippi, which is the house my great great grandfather built, the house we lived in while we were traveling all over the country singing in churches, and the house we left to move to Nashville. We were literally just running in for a minute when we heard on the radio in the kitchen “Bring On The Love.” Bran started crying. I didn’t even know what to say. It’s like God knows that sometimes you need a little, “Hey, you’re right where you need to be.”

R: Where can people get your music?

LC: “Bring On The Love” is available on itunes and very soon in stores.

R: What is it like working with your sister? How do you handle disagreements?

LC: Working with my sister is one of the greatest joys of all of this. Making and playing music is amazing, but I imagine as a solo artist it can get real lonely sometimes. It’s so nice to have someone to bounce things off of and to have someone call you out on your crap. We fight, but when we do, we get it all out on the table and it’s over. We don’t bring it up again. We both know we have each other’s best interest at heart, beyond music.

R: We read that you where in the 4th Annual Country Weekly Fashion Show. What was that like?

LC: I am definitely not the fashion show type! I don’t get my nails done (they get scratched up by guitar strings anyway), don’t shop much. I know nothing about fashion really, but everyone was so nice and made the whole thing so fun that we really enjoyed it! It was also for a great cause. We felt lucky to be a part of it!

Coldwater Jane

Coldwater Jane

Picture credit: David Tsay

R: Tell us about “Second Harvest.”

LC: What a great cause, and it was amazing how many volunteers were there on a Saturday to help people they don’t even know. We are always so proud to be involved in things that help our community. One volunteer supervisor told us, “Not everybody can donate money, but I can donate my time.”

R: We read that you have also helped out orphans in Ethiopia. Tell us about it?

LC: My husband and I got involved in sponsoring a child in Africa through Kingdom Vision. It costs so little, but it can do so much. I think it’s so easy to get wrapped up in my life and forget how blessed I am. We get to be a part of some amazing benefits and organizations. This is a cause that I hope to be more a part of in the future.

R: Are there any other charities that are close to your heart? If so, tell us about them.

LC: We got to tour St. Jude Children’s hospital and it literally broke our hearts. As much for the parents as the children. It’s only through donations that no child is turned away, even if they don’t have to money to pay. A child is a child. They should all get the same chance.

R: What has been you most “star struck” moment? Who was it and tell us about it?

LC: Reba is amazing and just about the nicest person. Once she talked to me and I didn’t know what to say. I got nervous and kind of laughed.

R: What bands and singers to you listen to? What are your favorite songs by each one of them?

B: Patty Griffin. “Nobody’s Cryin” is a masterpiece. I love Train “Meet Virginia”.

Jeff Buckley’ version of “Hallelujah” gives me chills to this day. And Patty Loveless “Here I am”. Beautiful. I love so much it’s hard to choose!

R: What is your favorite song to belt out in the car?

B: Lately my guiltiest pleasure is singing Carrie Underwood’s “Undo it” at the top of my lungs. What a great song!

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

B: Honestly, our mom and dad. They introduced us to so much great music. And in those moments when I wanted to quit, when it got too hard… they believed in me, so I kept believing in myself. I don’t know where Leah and I would be with out their love and guidance.

R: What is the best advice you have ever gotten and by who?

B: A very lovely man I know told me last summer, that no matter what I think I am… an artist, a singer, daughter, all those “identity” things I get so wrapped up in… at the end of the day, I am a child of God. And no matter what things happen or change around me, nothing can change that, ever. I take a lot of rest in that, and I believe I always will.

R: What advice would you give teenage girls?

B: I am the last person to be doling out advice; I am still learning so much myself. But I guess If I could tell my 16 year old self something… I would say.. you are beautiful, you are smart, listen to that little voice when it tells you “this isn’t a good idea” and trust yourself ! Oh, and stand up straight!

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

B: I am trying to learn french

I am a pretty good cook

Sometimes I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!

I have a crush on “House” and “Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka” ( I know, weird.)

No matter how much time I spend with Leah, I still call her every single day and actually still want to talk to her on the phone.

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website? If so, what is the address? <>

R: What is the best thing a fan has ever said or did for you?

B: Anytime they spread the word about your music it’s exciting.

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

B: How do you two know each other? Not that we expect people to know that we are sisters, but it’s a hard one to answer without sounding smart or giggling! That question always cracks me up & I always say “in the womb.”

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

B: Thank you for listening to our music, we really hope you like it and if you haven’t heard us… we hope you will check it out.