Jes Raymond

& The Blackberry Bushes

You Can't Censor Your Inner 15 Year Old -or- Why I Want To Make A Cover Album

Before the guitar, my singing interest was mainly in musical theater. Those of you who have known me a long time remember. I started writing my own songs when I started playing the guitar. Youtube didn’t exist. I skipped over my adolescent cover song period. My inner 15 year old wants her due. 

Making a cover album is about really tuning in to what moves me. It is about transcending the fear of disapproval. We can’t spend our artistic energy worrying about whether we move anyone else. We have to move ourselves. 

Making a cover album is about listening more than I speak. When we are speaking, we say over and over what we already know. There are mountains that we can’t see past the valleys we are camped in. We have to be willing to know we don't know most of what is out there to know. (Don't you know?)

 Making a cover album is about connecting deeply with those whose work I stand on. Every artist has a family tree of great influences, and each of those have their tree of influences. I want to dig into the roots of what moves me. I want to connect with my artistic family tree. 

Also fun. It sounds fun. I like fun.

I will give it everything I have. I promise. I want to learn. That is a central value to me as an artist. I believe in my heart of hearts that we are always capable of growth. For me artistic growth goes hand in hand with spiritual growth and it is a lot cheaper than therapy.  I will always be pushing myself to work beyond a censor and to tune into truth. I feel like it is time for me to really spend some time with the artists who have “brought me to church” over the years and learn what I can now at this point in my journey from them. I want to cover the artists that have sung to me at my highest and lowest. I want to cover the songs that I put on repeat while my head rested on the speaker. The ones in my headphones on the long Greyhound bus rides. I want to learn. I intend to take what I learn and let it inform the 2nd phase of this writing/recording project which will be a cycle of new original songs. I am calling this whole project “The Call and Response”.

Here is the thing- I’ll find a way to make what I need to make. All artists do. But in order to SHARE it, I really need support. If you join in and support me in this project before Sept 15, you will get your name printed in all the credits. Like the Patron that you are. You will be along for the whole ride, and we'll be doing it together. That will be fun.