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Five questions for Jen Tucker

Monday, October 8th, 2012 | Posted by

Jen Tucker at Barley ‘n’ Hops in Occidental. (Sterling Munksgard)

By MELODY KARPINSKI / Santa Rosa Correspondent

Local musician Jen Tucker moved to Santa Rosa from San Francisco seven years ago, and found inspiration for her music among the redwoods of Occidental.

Tucker, a Dallas transplant who plays both guitar and ukalele, just released a new album, “Songs from the Bohemian Highway.” We had a chance to talk with Tucker about her new album and the inspiration for her music.

How did you get your start in music?

My dad taught me now to play guitar when I was about 12. But I got my start in Deep Ellum (a neighborhood in) Dallas, playing in a local band as a teenager in high school. The band was called Scarlet’s Garden.

What inspires you musically?

John Denver was my first inspiration. Now I am inspired by Woody Guthrie and writing folk songs that mix the emotion of contemporary politics with personal journeys.

How long have you lived in Sonoma County?

I found Occidental when we moved to Sonoma County seven years ago. The town has a sort of folklore to it because of the redwood trees and has inspired me in my songwriting. Occidental is reminiscent of the town I would imagine as a kid when I listened to my dad singing “Alice’s Restaurant” in its entirety.

What’s special to you about your new album?

“Songs from the Bohemian Highway” is special to me because it represents a time and place on the Bohemian Highway in the mystical redwood forest of Occidental where this album was imagined. For the past four years I have been playing (in Occidental) most Fridays at a pub called Barley ‘n’ Hops. The pub was a place where I was able to develop myself as a songwriter again, after a 15-20 year hiatus. I worked on this album with Doug Jayne of the Last Record Store and made the album at Jackalope Records. (Jayne) is a great to asset to our community in Santa Rosa.

What is your next project?

Next is my third album, “Angry Girl,” which has songs I began writing after forming my band. They have more of a rock sound to them. My bandmates are Kyle Martin and Kevin Cole, who were also on the “Bohemian Highway” album. We began recording it in March of this year and are finishing final mixes this week. It will be out in November. I recorded this album while I was in the middle of recording “Bohemian Highway” and used both a second recording engineer (Paul Lamb) and another studio (New Vintage in Sebastopol) to do that.

Jen Tucker and her band will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at The Last Record Store, 1899 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. The concert celebrates the release of their “Bohemian Highway” album. Listen to samples of Tucker’s new album h


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Ann Hutchinson is our Santa Rosa correspondent.
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