Abby Jeanne: Live at Lake Effect
"Live at Lake Effect" is a new music series featuring local and nationally touring artists performing in the Lake Effect Surf Shop in Shorewood, Wis.
We brought the Lake Effects together, along with Visionary Studios, to showcase musicians once a month through an interview with the band exclusively on Lake Effect, plus filmed performances. Today we have Milwaukee’s own Abby Jeanne delivering some Pop, Soul and Rock N' Roll.
Performing for the Lake Effect Surf Shop session along with Jeanne were Sam Gehrke on bass, Enzo Demay on drums, Guy Fiumarelli on guitar, and Rodney Bush on keys.
Art, whether it be music or visual, has always been a part of Jeanne's life. A product of public art education — from Elm Creative Arts School, to Roosevelt Creative Arts Middle School, and Milwaukee High School of the Arts — she's been creating in some shape or form as long as Jeanne can remember.
"We are lucky enough to get a public art education here in Milwaukee and obviously I've been around music my whole life and the [performance] arts in general," she recalls. "But it wasn't until I was like 13 when I found a place called HiFi Cafe ... and discovered the jukebox."
It was in those pre-teen years going to the Rock N' Roll cafe in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood that amplified Jeanne's musical interests. Always drawn to the 1950s, 60s pop music, girl groups, and Soul, being around the jukebox at the cafe more naturally lead Jeanne to getting heavily into records, which she admits became "an obsession very quickly."
"That really shaped my musical likings and also what I ended up doing, which is recording music and putting out records, which is my favorite thing," notes Jeanne.
Being around the jukebox also influenced how Jeanne prefers to put out her music — releasing singles on 7” 45rpm vinyl records. She also does the artwork on all of her 7" vinyls, making every record unique and a tangible piece of art.
"I always liked the idea of putting out singles. You know, back in the day they'd put out a single and see how it does. And it's different now, but it's actually kind of being revived right now especially in New York City. So I'm really excited because something old feels new again and I just love that," Jeanne explains.
Her musical influences are evident in Jeanne's sound — a blend of old and new, different genres, all held together by soulful vocals that can be both playful and heart wrenching. Her latest addition to her musical arsenal is a 3 song EP called One Take Live.
"Live at Lake Effect" co-executive producer Trapper Schoepp noted how Jeanne has a "New York spirit and swagger" to her music and sound since settling in New York City. While living in NYC has definitely inspired and shaped Jeanne artistically, it was something she didn't plan. When Jeanne and the band traveled to New York to record music, the pandemic shut the world down, and she simply ended up staying.
"It's great because I got the opportunity to meet real New Yorkers when everything was shut down and I was right in the middle of all my favorite things, like punk rock music, Rock N Roll," recalls Jeanne. "I realized it was just calling me to stay ... everything I love is right here in front of me and the [musical] history of New York is so rich... Every time I walk outside, there's something that I love that I was exposed to [in Milwaukee]."
Jeanne will always credit her hometown for laying the foundation of her artistic influences, but she's been looking for "home" ever since she left at 16 years-old. Jeanne has lived the artist's life around the country and abroad, but she says that New York City finally "feels like the first place I actually feel at home."
Her song "Sentimental Kids" talks about her journey leaving Milwaukee after experiencing trauma. "It's bittersweet because I love this place, but I had to leave home. I had to. So it's nice now because I get to visit, but also nice because [my band] is with me," says Jeanne.
Music is a powerful way to heal and translate the traumas we go through in life, and Jeanne feels honored if her music can help others.
This for me is about creating, but mostly connecting with other people.Abby Jeanne
"This for me is about creating, but mostly connecting with other people," says Jeanne. "And I really believe that someone has to talk, you know because we’re trained not to speak - about whether it's being a woman or whether it's about our trauma, or whatever it is. The world says 'Don't talk,' and I say 'Sing out loud! Scream it out loud!' And people I think really relate to that and also feel like wow, someone is finally doing this for me — and that is what this is all about for me. Really, truly."
- Sentimental Kids (0:13)
- Sage and Cigarettes (6:00)
- Contact High (9:59)
- Abby Jeanne: vocals & tambourine
- Sam Gehrke: bass
- Enzo Demay: drums
- Guy Fiumarelli: guitar
- Rodney Bush: keys
Live at Lake Effect Team:
- Executive Producers: Audrey Nowakowski & Trapper Schoepp
- Audio Engineering: Jason Rieve
- Location: Lake Effect Surf Shop in Milwaukee
- Production Company: Visionary Studios
- Camera Op: Brad Roehl, Kieran Walter Sundaram & Brandon Stearns