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Jane Lee Hooker Band, crushing it during live performances.

Posted: May 10, 2023

Performing live and in a studio are two different platforms. The sounds that come from a studio are magical. Technology can improve the voice of someone that has little to no talent. With modern artists, I am skeptic until I hear someone perform live. The words that are music to my ears will often read “The artist or band is great in concert”. This is where value comes from. Time after time, I have heard artists that are very impressive on streaming platforms and music videos. Come time for live performances their weaknesses become apparent.

There was a country music artist that people of all music backgrounds are familiar with. Great singer in the studio. Technology has helped this artist rake in the profits and fan base. However, his concerts were something undesirable and pointless. His vocals were poor and a reflection of his lack of talent.

We are not going to name drop, but it is a reference to what is a common practice within many genres of music.

However, we are stoked to find artists that thrive at performing live before fans and crowds of all types. It reflects their confidence in themselves, and abilities. It just so happens that we would agree with the Jane Lee Hooker Band. They love performing on the road and enjoying singing live for their fans. Folks, this is the type of band that makes me enjoy waking up in the morning. They make my job easier. An interview with a great live performing band is a gift.

So, what is so special about the Jane Lee Hooker Band?

‘Spiritus’ followed in 2017 and found Jane Lee Hooker touring extensively in support of these records - performing to packed houses across the US and Europe including Germany, France, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Luxembourg.

While Jane Lee Hooker’s blend of rock, blues, punk, R&B and soul pays respect to the greats of the past, this is a band that lives fiercely in the present tense. JLH’s fiery performances have made them a must-see live act and feature the muscular lead guitars of Tracy Hightop and Tina Gorin, the rock-solid rhythm section of bassist Mary Z and drummer Ron Salvo and soul-scorching lead vocals courtesy of Dana Athens. In a world full of manufactured bands and live shows backed up by hard drives, Jane Lee Hooker play rock ‘n’ roll the way it’s meant to be played – loud and with passion. Jane Lee Hooker loves to play live and share their music with their fans around the world. The band’s European starts on June 1st 2023 and sees the band playing dates in Belgium, Germany, France and Spain. For all the latest tour info check janeleehooker.com.

 

INTERVIEW WITH THE JANE LEE HOOKER BAND AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

GT: Thank you for joining us today. I really meant it when I said it is a joy to interview you. Bands and artists that can perform in the studio and on stage, are successful. What enables you to perform well on stage? Is it something you have always been aware of?

Tracy: Well…I just plain enjoy being on stage playing rock music. Also, I practice a lot so I am able to enjoy being onstage without worrying about messing up.

Tina: It’s easy to say that when the crowd is good, it’s most fun, but that’s not everything. Taking time to find a good sound and having my chops in order is really the key. There are also less tangible aspects to performing well, like being super well bonded with my band and feeling like we are all in this thing together.

 

GT: Is it something that comes naturally, or do you have to continue to work at it?

Tracy: The joy of playing well in front of people is something that came naturally. I don’t have to work at enjoying it but I do play a lot of guitar on and off the road so that it always feels very natural to have a guitar in my hands.

Tina: I really enjoy being on stage and always have. I’ve been a huge live music person my whole life. When I write music I imagine it being performed live first, before I think of how I’d like to record it.

 

GT: Tell us about the talented individuals that make up the Jane Lee Hooker Band.

Tracy: Oh man, I could write a book about each of my band mates. Let’s just say, I get to play every night with my favorite musicians.

Tina: First and foremost, this band is made up of people who have a lifelong commitment to playing music, and people who care about the greater good of the music we play. I’m so inspired by each member’s unique talents.

 

GT: What brought you all together? Did each of you have other bands that you played with previously? I know about a couple of the bands. However, what is the contributing portion for each of the musicians?

 

JANE LEE HOOKER BAND

Jane Lee Hooker exploded out of New York City in 2015, with members having spent time playing in Nashville Pussy, Bad Wizard, Helldorado, Lez Zeppelin, NYC punk rockers The Wives and Plasmatics offshoot New Hope.

 

Tracy: Mary and I toured together in the Wives. Tbone and I played in Helldorado and Spermicide together. I’ve played with Ron in the most kick ass Plasmatics cover band. We’ve known each other and our various bands for years!

Tina: I’ve played with Tracy in two other bands, Ron in two other bands. Tracy and Mary played in a band together. It’s a long and winding story that ends up with us all meeting the best singer I’ve ever known. With all the history between us, the story really begins with Dana.

 

GT: Can you tell us about your inspirations and what has contributed to your unique sound?

Tracy: I think because each of us have different backgrounds in all different kinds of music all the pieces of our puzzle fit together well.

Tina: Tracy and I have a big love for southern rock and blues. I think our mutual love for Lynyrd Skynyrd and guitar interaction very much drives our sound. Mary has a punk rock background and adds such a great punch and attack. Ron has such a vast pool of musical knowledge to pull from and a super high level of taste; he always knows what a song needs. Dana is supernatural. She’s just so gifted. I think we are all continuously freaked out by the notes she hits and her soulfulness. She is someone who just “gets it” every time. A prolific lyricist and melody maker and a force on stage.

 

GT: That is awesome.

 

GT: Do you believe there is one release that took you to another level of your career? Please explain.

Tracy: Yes, absolutely our current album, Rollin’ is next level for us. Musicianship and songwriting wise. We also had the benefit of having a fantastic manager, Gregg Bell of Wanted Management, for Rollin’ which we did not have on the previous two albums. It was really a gift to have the benefit of a trusted and respected professional weigh in, offer feedback and help us work together toward the end result.

Tina: I kinda feel Jericho moved the tides for us.

 

GT: All bands that are gifted, have specific instruments that they enjoy working with. Can you talk about some of the brands that are used frequently? Also, what is it that makes them the your “go to” choice?

Tracy: I sure do love my Gibson Gold Tops! My go to is 1976 Deluxe with a maple neck. It is usually the only guitar I tour with. I have a 1971 Deluxe with P90s that I adore but I don’t take her out as much as I should. Overall I just love Gibsons and I have a bunch. I love the way they sound and the way that they feel. I am a huge fan of Orange Amps. Last year I bought a Martin Street Master 0015 and it is pretty sweet! I use Ernie Ball strings- The Rock n Roll classics. This past year I picked up a 1972 blonde Fender Telecaster. It’s the first time I’ve had a Fender since 1996 and I’ve been really loving it for writing.

Tina: I’ve been playing a Fender Telecaster Deluxe for many, many years now. I’m partial to Ernie Ball strings nowadays.

 

GT: I know the Jane Lee Hooker band is prepared to take to the road. What are some of the locations that you plan on performing at?

Tracy: We are hitting a few of our favorite venues, Spirit of 66, Woodstock Guitares in France and we will be in Spain for the first time ever for 2 weeks worth of shows. We are psyched!!

Tina: This upcoming tour of Europe will be about six weeks long. We kick it off in Belgium at Spirit Of 66, an amazing club that we love playing. I know we are very excited to play about 15 dates in Spain! That’s a new country for JLH!

 

GT: What is the best part about going on the road?

Tracy: Playing guitar every night!

Tina: Truthfully, it’s getting to spend time with each other, which may sound odd to some. It’s really one of the best parts of touring for us. We really are all friends and the laughing never stops.

 

GT: Do you have any releases or promotions that you would like to tell your fans about?

Tracy: We just released a video and new single “White Gold” which is the first song we’ve released featuring Tbone’s fantastic slide playing on her dobro. I am so excited for the world to see this!

Tina: Buy our Rollin’ record – we have vinyl!

 

GT: It has been great interviewing you today. Would you like to make the last stop on your tour a follow up with Guitar Thrills Magazine?

Tracy: Sure thing!

Tina: I would love that!

 

GT: Awesome. We look forward to finding out how your tour turned out.

Tracy: Thanks so much!!!

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