Jenny Tolman was born and raised in Nashville, TN, setting the stage for her love for music. Tolman is one of three spectacular singer/songwriters featured in the upcoming second installment of The Nashville Songwriter series at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m. All of the artists are Nashville-based and performing a writer’s round style show. Click here to buy your tickets while you can!
It was almost fate that Tolman would fall in love with music. Her father was a singer in the 80s (in a band put together by Burt Reynolds himself), traveling around the country before landing in Nashville. Apparently, he loved it because he never left, planting his roots and raising his whole family there. “I’ve grown up around the music industry my whole life,” says Tolman, “I had it lucky… I love music, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and I was born in the perfect place to do it.”
When it comes to writing music, every artist has a different creative process. Some write the music and then the lyrics or vice versa, and others can write everything in their head. Some people create stories and others tell ones of their own life. But Jenny Tolman does things a little differently. With the help of her producer a couple of years back, Tolman created an imaginary world in which she creates characters and stories that come to life in her songs. Tolman says that at first “Jennyville” was a secret between her producer and herself, but eventually they had to let everyone in on it. “It turned into something really organic that we would use in everyday language,” says Tolman, “something would happen to us or we would hear a story and go ‘that’s so Jennyville!” This creative outlet led to “Jennyville” becoming the basis of her new album “There Goes the Neighborhood”.
You can catch a sneak peak of Tolman’s creative process this Thursday at The Nashville Songwriter. Tolman will be joined by Chris Beard and Joel Shoemake to perform their original songs and discuss the stories behind them in a writer’s round, or a show in which the artists continuously take turns playing. “You can see them almost every night here in Nashville,” says Tolman, “It’s a fun way to see the songwriters interact with each other. For some of us we’re hearing that song for the first time too along with the audience too.” Writer’s rounds are the perfect place to get both fantastic stories and even better songs all in one night.
Tolman says that the pandemic was tough for her as a musician. “I get my inspiration from being on the road and traveling,” says the artist, “being cooped up starts to stifle some of that creativity.” Tolman says she’s been itching to get on the road again and is thrilled to make Owensboro one of her first stops.
Covid-19 may have impacted her music, but it sure didn’t slow Tolman down. Instead of pausing with the rest of the world, Tolman pivoted with the pandemic and started a new venture. In trying to maintain her creativity doing something she loves, “The Quarantine Kitchen”, was born. “The Quarantine Kitchen” is Tolman’s very own cooking show on Youtube where she cooks and bakes alongside her mom. What started a small hobby quickly turned into a show with over 4,000 subscribers. As everyone wishes Covid-19 good riddance, the show’s name became “Hey Good Cookin’” so Jenny can continue her channel as long as she wants to. Check out her YouTube channel here.
Watch the full interview below and listen to Jenny Tolman peform a taste of the title track of her latest album, “Here Goes the Neighborhood”.