The Verdigris by Beau Jennings
For those that don’t know you, Beau, talk a bit about yourself and your music.
I’m a songwriter originally from Oklahoma, but I’ve lived all over the U.S. including New York, Texas, and Wyoming. That time away helped me reflect and shift the focus of my songwriting to be on the my homestate.
What inspired the album, The Verdigris?
I’d been living in New York and began working on what I thought would be an album about the city. I got distracted though by a Will Rogers book I read and from there the songs started coming to me rather easily. The idea came to me to retrace Will’s footsteps and write songs along the way. Then I figured why not bring a camera along to document the trip. It all kinda snowballed from there.
What was the greatest challenge in making the album?
The songwriting and recording was pretty natural to me for the most part. The hard part was the research, the travel logistics (for example, finding out exactly where Will Rogers delivered a certain speech), and making the actual documentary film.
Part of the funding for the album was raised through Kickstarter. What did you learn from your fundraising campaigns?
I learned that people are very generous. I learned there is a way to involve everyone in the creative process without sacrificing any artisitic integrity. And I learned how much I enjoy sharing this project with others.
Use only seven words to describe each song. Go!
If I could do that I wouldn’t have had to make the record!
If you met Will Rogers today, what would you ask him?
I’d ask him about being in the dugout and hanging out with Dizzy Dean after the Cardinals beat the Tigers in the 1934 World Series. I’d probably ask him about his time in Texas Jack’s Wild West show that brought him around the world before he was famous. For starters.
What have been some of your favorite places/events to perform in Oklahoma?
The Chouse in Norman has always been a special venue. Norman Music Festival has been really great every year as well. And I’m really looking forward to playing at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa for the first time in February.
Anything else you want people to know?
I hope folks can check out the album release shows, Feb 7 in Tulsa at The Woody Guthrie Center and Feb 13 in Norman at The Opolis. We’ve put together a super talented band to bring these songs from the album to life.