I am an artist.
And up until now, this wasn't a statement of fact. More something I wished for, pined for, albeit unattainable. And don't even get me started on how much I didn't deserve to live the life of an artist because I'm too old, not talented or pretty or skinny enough, not cut throat enough, ________(fill in the blank)_________.
I had to have Rodney Crowell say to my face last summer that I had "an artist's soul" before I could even begin to entertain this notion. Because to me, an artist was someone who had dedicated their whole entire lives to their craft, from their first breath, without wavering, without detours. And man sake's alive, have I had my detours...
I've had too many addresses - in Tennessee, New York, Florida, and California. I've loved too quick, too hard, and for way too long. I've schooled, careered, and climbed so-called ladders. I've climbed mountains and swam with the catfish. I've cried and drank myself to sleep. Been a personal chef to the stars. Performed in front of some of the greatest songwriters of our time. And made an arse of myself (way, way too many times) in that way that kinda makes you shudder every time you accidentally bump into those moments in the memory bank. And I am ETERNALLY grateful for all of this. Every. Single. Bit.
Because the truth is - we are ALL artists! And this life is propped up on the proverbial easel. And each stroke - however dark in the moment - is all part of our greatest masterpiece. The black lines are filled in with radiant and unimaginable beauty. Colors and shapes that we couldn't see when we were merely building the foundation on which to explore our deepest, purest form of art - our lives.
Patti Smith has this great quote about being a true artist.
"It's a dark period now because everyone is beguiled by fame... I think that true artists just have to keep doing their work, keep struggling, and keep hold of their vision. Because being a true artist is its own reward. If that's what you are, then you're always that. You could be locked away in a prison with no way at all to communicate what's in there, but you're still an artist. The imagination and the ability to transform is what makes one an artist. So young artists who feel overwhelmed by everything have to almost downscale. They have to go all the way to this kernel and believe in themselves, and that's what Robert gave me. He believed in that kernel I had, you know, with absolute unconditional belief. And if you believe it, you'll have that your whole life, through the worst times."
What she says about Robert Mapplethorpe, I just simply couldn't say it better myself about this whole record making experience and getting to work with Kyle Krone.
Nearly a year ago now, Kyle reached out to me to see if I was still doing music. And at that time I was very much still in the space of "I'm not good enough to actually DO music".... But I responded that I actually had some old tracks that I'd like to modernize. Old songs like "Start Packing" and "Without You in My Life" that I just wanted to take out of 2005 and resuscitate them.
And, yet, here we are with a 10 song LP. Because once we started working together, we literally Could. Not. Stop. For me, it was like all that old bulls*$# about my voice not being strong enough or my songs being lame was squashed. Here I was with this really cool, super hip rock star, and he thought I was good?? Actually better than good. He wanted to produce & play & co-write on a whole record together!!! He saw that artist in me. Way, way before I was able to see it in myself.
Music has always been instrumental (haha no pun intended) to my existence. It has delivered me from the depths and it has broken my heart. It has saved me and haunted me my whole life because music is the scariest part of me to share.
It's the most vulnerable. It's the most fragile. Because with music, you have to be honest. Brutally honest. And being honest with yourself is one of the hardest things a person can do.
Quiet Thunder is the force of energy inside us all to capture that which we most desire, what our hearts most yearn for, and gives us the strength to do the scary stuff in life.
Because if we don't do the scary stuff, we'll never know what it's like to be unafraid!
SO, here's to doing the scary stuff
Quiet Thunder, my debut record, produced, performed, and co-written by Kyle Krone will be done this summer and I couldn't be more proud of this project.
Getting to that brutally honest stuff, like death and sobriety and loss and love, wasn't an easy process and there were plenty of (cathartic) tears cried over some of these lyric sheets. But, then, coming up for air and realizing that this is ALL part of the dream and that I am never alone - that's where the real triumph and the spirit of this record lies.
Having ALL Y'ALL's support and love has meant more than I can ever express during all of this.
We are in the final production stages - mixing, artwork, and pressing!
If we can sell enough pre-sale albums, merch, and all the other great rewards we've come up with, we can have this thing done by August! And hopefully start touring in the Fall!
I am so excited to share this with y'all and cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support over the years and y'alls enthusiasm about this project already!!
And keep an ear out for what's happening over on instagram or facebook @jolenedixonmusic ..... we might be planning a sneak peak show around town for all my supporters, but shhhhhhhhhh... It's gonna be a secret :)
Risks and challenges
I am confident that we can reach our goal! The best way we can do this is by spreading the word! So tell your friends & family :)
We may have a slight delay in getting vinyl pressed and shipped out, but other than that we are right on track!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)