MP3 blue flower friday - blossom
Neil Young and Shawn Colvin had twins...one was Jeff Buckley and the other was jean mann.
Through gracefully poignant lyrics, angelic vocals, and heartfelt themes, comes an important new voice in music. Alterna-folk with passion.
10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Gentle, FOLK: Modern Folk
blue flower friday is...
singer/songwriter/guitarist jean mann
jean was interviewed/featured in January, 2003 as the Songsalive! arist of the month.
1. Where are you from, originally and what brought you to Seattle?
I was raised with my 6 siblings, along the shores of Lake Whatcom in Bellingham, Washington. I zipped out of there as my college diploma was being handed to me...really...kind of like a baton pass. "Here you go, run and do something with it..."
I thought, the big city, why not? I was in that MUST LEAVE HOME age where I thought "I if don''t go now, I never will..." Looking back, I''m glad I did. I graduated with a multi-arts degree, and have been self-employed in one creative mode or another ever since.
2. What style of music would you say you do?
I call my style alternafolk...if you heard my originals, and watched the unconventional, self-taught way I play my guitar, you''d realize the description is right on!
3. What do you enjoy best - songwriting or performing and why?
That''s a tough one! I love when I get a new song that comes flying out. Then, I can''t wait to play it for an audience, (even just my kitty!) to see if they are moved in the same way I was when the muse struck.
As I penned and strummed my first song only 3 years ago, my methods of writing are ever-changing...but give me a coffeehouse napkin any day and the right frame of mind, and a song is almost sure to come forth...my guitar case usually has 3-4 scraps (or napkins) floating around with the guitar, waiting to put the two together when I get in the right frame to "marry" them.
4. Who are your musical influences?
There are many...among them are:
Neil Young for his simple yet powerful songwriting;
Bonnie Raitt for her sassy-pants passionate delivery;
Jeff Buckley for his soaring, goosebump-inducing vocals;
Nick Drake for his mellow, unconventional style...
5. Describe your favorite song you have written and why is it so special to you?
I wrote a song several months ago, "in the world", that came out of my guitar and heart in one improv. play through. I had a tape recorder running, and upon listening to it, felt I''d captured my soul''s most uninhibited, free voice.
It is about my hopes and fears (but mostly hopes) for the world.
I feel good every time I sing it and get the most amazing connection/response from audiences.
Here is a bit of it:
in the world jean mann (c/p 2002)
we''re inspired by others
yes we learn from those we love
and they in turn, they tell you
it moves my life just to be here with you.
you''re not alone in the world
though you feel at times
well so does every one else
when you really come down to it.
one day you''ll look around
at what you''ve done for yourself
and you''ll see you did what you could
and you should be proud, so proud.
all alone in the world
you''re not alone in your heart
and when you figure that out,
you just open the next door,
say hello again
6. What are your goals for the next 5 years musically speaking?
Wow, catch me right when my head is in 2003 resolution-writing mode, so I''ll take a deep breath and dive in!
Ooh...get the rest of these songs that have been kicking around in my head recorded!; write and record more; build a home studio; tour bigger venues and further away; Soundtrack work; collaborations with other musicians in the studio; Create more connections with and for other musicians through semi-regular basis benefits and organizing a songwriter series in Seattle as well as a touring series; continue refining my concert series, "blue flower cottage concerts"; continue building my record label, "blue flower friday records"; keep at my indie alterna-groove thang...
7. Tell us about your recordings and what''s in store next.
My first full length CD, "blossom" was released in Aug 2000, under the duo title, Blue Flower Friday. I played guitar and sang, and added improv. harmonies to my vocals. I was accompanied by Eric Martin on beautiful improv. violin.
I now perform as jean mann, or "jean mann trio" when I have my band along. I am working on my second album, "seasons", with Producer/Engineer Brendan Hill, at Isabella Studios in Seattle, WA.
Along with my vocals, guitar, bells and other surprize "voices" are Kim Blanchard on Cello and Beau Gordinier on mandolin.
Expect an early summer 2003 release on that one! (Send jean a note so she can inform you of that release!)
8. Where can we buy your music?
Other than live shows, my "blossom" cd''s are for sale at:
Say, check out https://www.tradebit.com for yourself, AFTER you buy jean''s cd!
Other reviews and news...
The Global Muse Featured Indie Performer November 2001
Michael Allison, editor
By listening to the debut album "Blossom", one would find it hard to believe that jean mann wrote her first song only three years ago. Using the artist name of Blue Flower Friday, jean embarked on a musical journey that has only taken her a few years down the road, but holds a bright future. The songs are simplistic yet very intelligent and deep. The music is a sort of alternative folk style that jean has dubbed alterna-folk. "I am moved by the simple brilliance of song structures of musicians like Neil Young, the passionate use of words of John Hiatt, and the vocal finesse of among others, Rickie Lee Jones and Jeff Buckley," jean explains.
Though the name Blue Flower Friday seems like somewhat of a strange name for an artist to be identified with, there is a rational explanation for it. "Blue... Flower... Friday. Basically, those are my favorite things... you might as well start with something that you like," say jean.
The music that jean creates has a very soulful and real aura to it. The music doesn''t take on too much of the frills and fills of your everyday music. The simplistic voice, guitar, and occasional violin create a style that jean utilizes, and is what has made her stand out in the sea of artists in my mind. The beauty behind her lyrics is the normalcy of them. While jean is quite poetic and deep at times, her lyrics tend to have that average human aspect that almost everyone can easily relate to. "As to my own ''voice'', my music is my truth. That''s the best way to describe it. Happy or sad as the tales may be, they are from my soul, and what pours out is just that. I WISH I could write a song about ice cream...well, maybe not," says jean. "On my first album is a song which was written just after the death of my mama, to whom I was very close, and one of my best influences on how I wanted to be in the world. ''Take flight'' was written to sing just as we tossed her ashes into the bay of my hometown, where she swims once again with my dad who went 13 years before her. I was in a quandary as to whether to include it on the album, personal as it is, but in the chronology of events it was certainly a pivotal point in my life, along with the other experiences that came from that time, so I had to honor that. Most of the 30+ songs I''ve written started at that point 2 years ago."
Songwriting is not the only quality that is worth mentioning about jean mann. The music and the voice are also held in high regard by this music editor. jean''s voice has a purity and innocence to it that I do not hear often enough. This adds to the beauty of the songwriting as well. The music is simplistic in design, but sparks of inspirational feeling and moods that even complex musical arrangements have a difficult time doing. I''ve always been a believer that the heart and soul speak in simple languages. That includes the languages of music as well. jean mann proves this to be true by the brilliant design of her music. As you''ll notice throughout time, the most inspirational and thought provoking music has been simple in nature, but true to the heart and soul. That is the best way I can describe the music of Blue Flower Friday. That is the best way I can describe jean mann.
jean is currently working on her second album in Seattle based Isabella Studios with friend/producer Brendan Hill. Blue Flower Friday has now become the name of jean''s independent label, and jean has decided to market herself with her own name. "This album continues the story of jean in all my seasons of life (hence the planned album title ''seasons'') I write for the complete expression of my soul. I also write at times just to be a storyteller, but hopefully with purpose," explains jean. If the next album is anywhere near the beauty of the first, jean is sure to turn a great many heads. If you''re in the Seattle area, you may want to stop by one of the many clubs, cafe''s, or open mic spots and hope to catch jean mann performing. Better yet, stop by the link below and pick up a copy of the album. With music this real, you''re sure to be happy that you did.
"Blue... Flower... Friday. Basically, those are my
favorite things... you might as well start with
something that you like." Though, how it all began
was with a purple piano Valentines Day. Jean Mann was
14 years old when her mother bought the piano for the
family at a price of $85. It was on that piano that
Jean taught herself how to play her first music,
following basic chords and filling out the melodies
with her own voice. Then it was time to leave her home and
the purple piano, for college and life. At 18, Jean
played her first guitar, and continued a relationship
with it for an entire three months. For the next 15
years, Jean was paying close attention to life and the
world, with the same sense of honest wonder that rings
so clearly through her songs today. The next time she
picked up a guitar, she knew she''d never put it down
again. From her first open mic to her first
full-length album (released in August 2000), the last
five years have taken Jean on a journey that winds
around love and love lost, success and sorrow, in and
out of dreams, and straight through the heart of
anyone who has the happy chance of hearing her music.