the JaneDear girls

By Bob Doerschuk

© 2011 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Think “JaneDear girls” and what comes to mind are two gifted performers, Utah homegirl Susie Brown and Texas-born Danelle Leverett. Brown, the seventh of seven children, was an early achiever in music, having started on the violin at 4. By 10 she was able to win first place in her age group at the Utah State Fiddle Contest, while also sharpening her skills onstage with her family’s band and in high school productions. Leverett’s first passion was sports. She excelled in multiple sports throughout her formative years until a pole vaulting injury in high school forced her to shift her energy towards playing guitar and writing songs. She blossomed to the point of winning a regional songwriting contest and signing an indie record label deal by the time she had finished her college studies.

Fate steered both to Nashville, where they soon crossed paths and began working together. Their synchronicity won John Rich’s attention and assistance in connecting with their label, Warner Bros. Records. He also produced their self-titled debut, a bristling mix of Brown’s fiddle, Leverett’s high-energy guitar, perfectly executed harmonies and razor-sharp hooks. One or both JaneDear girls shares writing credit on each of its 11 tracks. The flirty, saucy and catchy first singles, “Wildflower” (written by Brown, Vicky McGehee and Jeremy Stover) and “Shotgun Girl” (Leverett and Deric Ruttan) typify the tear-it-up, party-down feel that helped earn them a berth on Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party Tour.”

SONG YOU’D LOVE TO COVER
BROWN: “‘Hit Me with Your Best Shot’ by Pat Benatar or ‘Kiss Me’ by Sixpence None the Richer.”

SONG YOU WISH YOU’D WRITTEN
LEVERETT: “‘I Still Have Faith in You’ is one of many songs written by Tom Douglas that I love.”

FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
BOTH: “Tour bus.”

FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
BROWN: “I love to make fruit smoothies and eat BBQ potato chips and beans.”
LEVERETT: “Popcorn and green tea.”

SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
BROWN: “I am a great aunt. I was homecoming queen in my senior year of high school. And my first kiss was a bet when I was 16 and I won 20 bucks.”
LEVERETT: “I do not have a TV, microwave, dishwasher or washer/dryer. My dog Dixie is my best friend. And I won MVP on my high-school track team competing in hurdles and pole vaulting.”

On the Web: www.TheJaneDearGirls.com

Country Music Association

the JaneDear girls photo by Kristin Barlowe/Provided by Country Music Association

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