Singer-songwriter Jenni Alpert from Los Angeles is set to release her fourth independent album next month and took the time to sit down with Guitar Girl Magazine to discuss her upcoming album.
Jenni Alpert! It has been a window of time since we last spoke. We have recently learned that you are gearing up to release a new album! Tell us about it. When is the release date?
The release date of my new upcoming album is set for August 21st, 2012. The Album is called Take It All. I am really excited to get the new music out there.
How did you come up with the name “Take it All”?
I have released several albums independently. Each one is a collection of self penned songs about life, love, growth, loss, change, and discovery woven together by moods, melody, and tone. This new album is about the process of discovering different definitions of love; what it means to love yourself and someone else, loosing things important to you only to find yourself in the interim, living life and living it now, and the processes people go through to find their way. In fact, the very first song on the album Listen To Your Heart is exactly about all of that.
We noticed that you put out a new music video for a song from your new upcoming record ‘Who We Are’. What made you choose this song?
Who We Are is a song I wrote with Mikal Blue (Colbie Caillat, Foo Fighters) just before we decided to go into the studio to cut a few songs together. For the past year and a half, all I had been doing was writing songs with anyone and everyone I knew. In just three days we laid tracks down for four songs. It was such a great experience that we decided to continue to work on more. As a team, we shared resources and pulled in an incredibly talented cast of musicians to create what became the 12 song album Take It All featuring musicians Chris Chaney on bass (Jane’s Addiction, Alanis Morissette), Victor Indrizzo on drums (Liz Phair, Rufus Wainwright), Dave Levita on electric guitars (Alanis Morissette, Shakira), Zac Rae (Fiona Apple, Natasha Bedingfield) and Jeff Babko (Sheryl Crow) on synths and organs, Stevie Blacke on strings (Pink, Michelle Branch) and the fabulous film composer Christopher Young arranged strings (The Gift, Spiderman, The Rum Diary) on the song I Will Love You including a few re-mixes of earlier released songs with other players Jimmy Paxson (drums, Stevie Nicks), Julian Coryelle (guitar, Aimee Mann), and Ben Peeler (Lap Steel Shakira). In addition, Eric Boulanger mixed the record and had it mastered with Doug Sax and himself up at the Mastering Lab in Ojai. I feel so honored to have been able to work in the studio with such great players.
You mentioned that you wrote a song with Mikal Blue. Some Artists won’t co-write with other writers. We noticed in the liner notes that you worked with quite a few other writers this time. What made you decide to do that?
I feel that collaborations can sometimes birth the best of moments. A lot of my favorite songs are co-written. To me the importance sits in the song itself. I had the chance to create music with some very talented folks – Sarah Hethcoat (Nobody Knows), Justin Andres (The One), Nick Bearden (All It Takes), Jeff Babko (I Will Love You) to name a few and each song was very fun to sing because they mean something to me personally. Each one of the writers I worked with really helped me step outside of myself and made room for a rebirthing of sorts to get the thoughts and feelings out. Needless to say, I am very excited to release the album.
Since we saw you perform live in Los Angeles, you have been working closely with Luna directly. How is that going?
I can’t thank Guitar it Up For Girls enough for giving me my first Luna Guitar. They are a great company and I feel lucky to be involved with both Luna and Guitar It Up for Girls. Luna Guitars has been so supportive as well and it has been such a pleasure to get to know both Dennis and Yvonne over at Luna as they just brought me on board as one of the Tribe.
Well over the last year I have been working along side America’s Blood Centers speaking and performing at different events to encourage more people to donate blood to save a life. As it so happens, Luna Guitars invited me to perform in San Francisco at the Haight Ashbury Street Fair in June at the same time that some of America’s Northern California Blood Centers were looking for a speaker and performer for their events. That was a great weekend of performances. Shortly thereafter, Shepeard Blood Center in Augusta Georgia flew my band and I to Augusta to perform at several of their events, including a very special and memorable private concert for the Fort Gordon Troops. In addition, we performed at their local baseball stadium to thank what ended up being over 5,000 blood donors for donating blood during their blood awareness campaign. One of the songs from my new and upcoming album was a free gift to all of those who donated blood and all the people in Augusta, GA were warm, welcoming folks. We loved being there with them.
What inspired your relationship with America’s Blood Centers?
I was adopted when I was four and was introduced to blood relatives later on in life. My adopted family is supportive and we are close, yet I had always been curious about my blood line and where I had biologically come from. Upon meeting one of my biological family members, I learned that he was surviving from weekly blood transfusions due to an illness called Red Blood Cell Aplasia. After spending so much time with him at the hospitals during his transfusions and at home in the aftermath, I learned just how valuable blood donors, blood centers, and hospital staff were. To raise awareness about donating blood and thanking those who do, I devised a tour called Blood Driven performing at Blood Drives and Blood Centers by day and local venues by night on a 2 week stint around the West Coast. Shortly thereafter, I met with the head of America’s Blood Centers and became one of five key speakers for their Speakers Bureau Program launched this May called Conversations About Life. I am the only musician on the team so when there is a need for music as well as a speaker, I am on board. It is a really great program and I am looking forward to being part of helping to make a difference with all the events to come. You can find out more about America’s Blood Centers here: www.americasblood.org
What do you plan to do with the release of the record?
Currently, I am working closely with PR person Bob Bradley of Gas Can Music. He is doing a great job at servicing the record in preparation for the release. I am looking forward to touring and getting the music out there this fall. Some folks over in Holland have invited me on some European dates in November and I am very excited.
Please get a free copy of Who We Are offered up through NoiseTrade and stay tuned for the release. You can follow me and my whereabouts on twitter: @jennialpert and on facebook: www.facebook.com/jennialpertmusic. If I am not drinking coffee, taking pictures of coffee, and/or blogging about coffee, I am probably writing or singing a song.
Click here for your free download of Who We Are.
Cover Photo credit: Vanessa Plaikas Photography