Jessica Shepherd Texas Music Award Nominee: You're Country Now CD
Jessica Shepherd is a Texan and international artist nominated for the Texas Music Awards in the Best Female Vocalist Category. Shepherd is 1 of the top 5 for Best Female Vocalists from over 43,000 nominations in Texas this year.
The Jessica Shepherd band members currently include, Kyle Judd on Lead Guitar and vocals, David Valley on Bass and vocals, Joni Lovvorn on Drums and vocals. Shepherd plays acoustic guitar, mandolin and harmonica. Trisha Keefer on fiddle and Danny B. Harvey joins on Lead Guitar.
Jessica Shepherd's Travellingirl
Shepherd's first album Travellingirl was produced by Yoggie Musgrove and David Valley in Janurary 2000. Stephen Bruton on lead guitar (Crazy Heart movie soundtrack, Bonnie Raitt), Nick Connolly on keyboards (Delbert McClinton), and Brannen Temple on drums (Janet Jackson, Beyonce),
By March, Shepherd had a 3-song demo and passed it around during the South By Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX. In September she took a trip to Australia and passed them out to radio DJs. By December, she was having chart success -“Fool,” written by Kate McCarthy, had made it to the Top 30.
David Valley produced 4 additional songs with Kevin Higgins on acoustic guitar (multiple Texas Music Award winner and nominee), Mark Tokach on lead guitar (now with Charlie Robison) and members of the Cosmic Dust Devils.
Shepherd's You're Country Now
Two years later Shepherd recorded and co-produced 6 songs with Scott Harris at Stinson Studios, 3 with Jason Richard, Clockright Studios, and 1 with David Valley at Sonic Arts. Shepherd and James Dunnam perform in an 8-iece gospel band, The Rockin’ Gospel Project, 2009 Nominees for the Texas Music Awards for Best Vocal Group.
“Western Knight” is co-written with Cindy Maples as a song for her daughter, Kristen Hart (singer and songwriter). Laurie Gibson’s fiddle playing on this track with her sister, Sally Gibson (the Gibson Sisters) singing backing vocals.
Jessica Shepherd's Early Influences
Shepherd remembers as a young girl browsing her grandmother’s record collection and finding an Ertha Kit album and watching the Dean Martin and the Carol Burnet shows. Consequently she enjoys music with a sense of humour,.
In college her lessons with a classical voice instructor, Ephraim Cheng, clashed with moonlighting in a cover band playing in nightclubs. Debbie Beinhorn coached her for a year and then Shepherd parlayed this into a full time position as Beinhorn's senior voice instructor.
The Singers Workshop was a bevy of talent, opportunity, and music business resources for singing and songwriting. She met and befriended Shelley King (Texas State Musician 2008) and Carolyn Wonderland. King makes an appearance on You’re Country Now singing backing vocals on several tracks.
Shepherd's Take on the Country Scene
"Today’s musical “game” is so completely different from just 10 years ago. Digital distribution has forever changed the face of the music business. Record stores are closing left and right and record companies are failing. No longer is a “record deal” the Holy Grail. The power has been returned to the artist."
"Build your musical team, network, get out, play every opportunity you get, and cultivate and nurture your business relationships – it’s a marathon, so get yourself to a musical city. It is a whole other playing field to be part of a “scene” that is getting press and attention in national magazines, etc.."
They have begun recording live shows and hope to have a live CD to release at the end of this year. She is planning a radio tour in the state of Texas and live performances.