San Francisco native and Oxford dropout, multi-instrumentalist (finger-style and slide guitar, claw hammer banjo, harmonica, piano), as well as a poetic and passionate songwriter, Jenny Kerr is known for foot-stomping live shows and powerful, authentic voice. Together with her band of road-tested rogues, she delivers a seasoned yet spirited sound with forays into swamp rock, straight-up soul, backwater honky tonk, and old-time blues and finely-hewn ballads.
Kerr is a San Francisco native who as a kid used to take the bus over to the Haight-Ashbury district to see the blues and folk revival concerts of the late sixties. Attending shows by the likes of Joplin, Hendrix, and Muddy Waters eventually led her to an older roster of musical discoveries such as Mississippi Fred McDowell, Little Walter and Dock Boggs. It was sometime around then that she began to cast off her classical training (her grandmother, Louise Lincoln Kerr, was first viola player for the Cleveland Symphony and composer of note) and started playing guitar, harmonica and banjo. Today Jenny's music is steeped in contemporary production values, but informed by the eclecticism particular to that time, stretching the boundaries of genre and style.
Jenny's producer and longtime guitar player, Phil "Philbillie" Milner, was guitar tech for Bob Weir & Ratdog and traded licks with the likes of Hot Tuna, Los Lobos, Bruce Hornsby's band and The Black Crows in many a backstage and hotel room jam and also worked for Tracy Chapman, Bonnie Raitt, Primus, Graham Nash, and a few other cool players. He also produces and engineers others' records, including guitar virtuoso, Eric Mcfadden, whose all-acoustic "Devil Moon" album is a number one pick on CDBaby.com.
Kerr has toured Europe seven times and has become a regular favorite on the country/blues/roots circuit. She's headlined festivals the world over, including Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Mexico—most recently at the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival's 10th Anniversary, where has she performed 6 out of 10 years.
European tour highlights included a headline slot at Mirande before a record crowd of 32,000, Europe's largest country music festival with attendance of 120,000 over the course of the festival, as well as a summer tour with legendary guitar player/producer Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakum) and performances with Peter Rowan and Barry Melton of Country Joe and the Fish. She's shared top billing with legends like Charlie McCoy and Americana greats Guy Clark, Jack Ingram, and Lee Roy Parnell. The band was featured for a full-hour award-winning national public television show in the Netherlands, "Het Klokhuis" which delved into American roots music styles and instruments. This show was aired a number of times nationally in the Netherlands and Belgium. She was invited to the prestigious Country Rendez-Vous Festival in France where she performed before a record crowd of 25,000 selling out her CD. She was touted as the ‘best surprise of the festival.'
Jenny and Phil have finished work on her soon-to-be-released Head of Fire whose title track was produced and performed on by the multi-platinum award-winning Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow, Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Madonna, Tom Petty). One of the tracks "Blossom in the Dust" was recently awarded ‘Song of the Month' by BMI. The record is a collection of great songs with literary yet down-to-earth lyrics expressing great empathy for the human condition along with a few visceral blues-rockers.
Previous releases include the EP Itch an independent release voted #1 on the Yahoo Americana Chart; reached 19 of the Freeform American Roots (FAR) Chart; hit 27 on Folk Airplay Chart; and climbed to the top Americana 13 on Netherlands radio VARA. The single "Itch" also received heavy rotation on the legendary Georges Lang's show on national French radio RTL, was played on national Belgium Radio 1 and 2, and received heavy airplay college and community radio throughout the U.S.
Kerr's subsequent releases include her best-seller Extra Strength as well as Wood and Steel. Her music appears on numerous international compilations including the Rochefort-en-Accords compilation out of Paris, Country News, a Swedish compilation and the Hicks with Sticks compilation, which includes Red Meat, the Mother Truckers, and the Chop Tops.
All releases are available through Okey Doke Records.