Pamela Jean Plays the PNW, Blending Country and Rock And Original Songs

Pamela Jean in front of Radio Brewing Company. Photo by Sterling Bingham.

Pamela Jean at Radio Brewing Company. Photo by Sterling Bingham.

Pamela Jean loves singing and traveling. Her new tour, the Pedal to the Metal Tour, is bringing this talented singer/songwriter to Idaho and Washington, allowing audiences to see her perform not only some great covers, but also hear her wide selection of original songs. The roots of her music cover country music and rock, blending her own style in with them. With her original songs finding great popularity with her audiences, she has put more and more of them into every show. She recently sat down with The Boise Beat to talk about her music, her life, her live shows and her Nashville studio recordings.

Q: Pamela Jean, what was it like to record in Nashville?

A: It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life. I went there for a week. It only took them six hours to record six songs. All six songs was like 24 tracks of music. All my studio musicians were incredible to work with. None of them had ever heard my music before; and my producer just gave them a sheet of paper with some numbers on it and told them, “this is how I want it to sound—1,2, 3 GO!” and the entire band just started playing my songs like they’ve been playing them forever. Then, I went in the next day and spent six hours recording the vocals and it was incredible, they were amazing to work with—the talent level of the people in Nashville is just incredible.

Everyone that played on my album had played on Grammy Award-winning albums for big time artists, so it was just incredible. They were all very humble too, they just sat there and played like they were friends of mine. It was amazing!

Q: You’ve been touring a lot in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington. Do you have your eyes set on Boise?

A: Yes! I would love to come down there for a weekend and play at some bars and see Boise, because I’ve never been there. Part of the whole tour is that I book shows in places I’ve never been so I can travel, meet new people and see new sights and new cities. I do photography also, so when I get to some place I’ve never been, not only do I get to promote my music, but I come home with big piles of new photos to look through.

Pamela Jean, Bella and the U-Haul getting ready to go on tour. Photo by Marci Pascua.

Pamela Jean, Bella and the U-Haul. Photo by Marci Pascua.

Q: What’s the Idea with the Pedal to the Metal Tour?

A: The Pedal to the Metal Tour started in my U-Haul in the middle of Oregon about ten weeks ago. I had left an unhealthy, abusive relationship in February; and I thought after I had gotten out of it I would be done. It actually started getting worse. My parents called me one day and asked if I was safe in the town I was in and I said, “not really”. I said I’m protected at my work and protected at my house but I know there are people still coming after me. I’m still threatened with it. My parents didn’t want me to stick around sp they could find out something happened to me, my car, my dog or whatever.

So they paid for my U-Haul, my move; and my dog and I took off overnight and when I got somewhere around Oregon the ‘Pedal to the Metal’ popped into my head and I said, “You’re starting a tour”. I’ve been playing music for a while and now I put all my effort into it. I decided I was going to come up; and wherever I ended up with my U-Haul I was going to start this tour. I have played more shows in the last seven weeks than I probably played in the last two years. The Pedal to the Medal Tour has been a blast.

Every where we go, people have let us either camp on their property or feed us. They’ve tied dog treats onto my car for my dog—-it’s just been amazing and we’ve met wonderful people all along the way. I just want to try and start up some kind of non-profit to keep the party going and try to help others get out of this kind of relationship. If they don’t have the means to do it, I would love to be partnered up with U-Haul or someone, where somebody can call up and if they say they need to get out for their own personal safety, I’d much rather be able to pay for somebody to get out of these types of situations.

I’ve been in California the last twelve years and that’s where I left from overnight. I’d never been to the Pacific Northwest, it was my first time to Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana and Bella and I hit all four of those states in just a couple of days. It’s just been really fun exploring up here.

Q: What’s your favorite song that you’ve written?

A: I don’t know! (laughs). My songs are like my babies, so when I have one it’s a big deal for me and I love them all, just differently. My Gemini song is definitely one of my favorites. I say I love them all, but Gemini was just; it was inspired by a couple of different people and I just wrote that song in like 30 minutes. Every bar that I play it at. Every person that just hears it loves it, they say it just gets stuck in their head. I’m going to be filming a music video for that one soon. I’m meeting with some producers in Spokane next week and hopefully we’ll start getting the video together before the snow starts to fall!

Q: Who were your inspirations?

A: Bruce Springsteen, he’s a big one; Patsy Cline; Bob Seeger; Stevie Nicks; Cheryl Crow. Bruce Springsteen has come to me several times in dreams during the 17 years I’ve been doing music. He always comes to me, he always grabs my songbook and is sitting there writing. He looks down at my notebook, throws it back at me and says, “You’re gonna make it kid. Hang in there”. Then he turns around, walks away and he’s got his red white and blue bandana in his back pocket. I’ve had this dream several times. It always comes to me when I feel like I just want to give up because I don’t think I’m making it. He’s an incredible songwriter and performer and I still have yet to see him live! He’s on my bucket list of people to see live.

Pamela Jean Unlimited. Photo by Marci Pascua.

Pamela Jean. Photo by Marci Pascua.

Q: What are some of your recent and upcoming gigs?

A: I’ve had Harley-Davidson in Spokane, they had an Anniversary Party, so I played there along with a couple of other bands. I just booked my third gig in Cour D’Alene, at the Hogfish Bar. I’ve been trying really hard to get over and market there. They have so much live music going on over there, they’re full through most of the fall time already.

I played the Fall Arts Festival at The Pin in Spokane. There was live music going all day and a bunch of local artists. Everyone got a 30 minute set and it was a really fun event. It was to promote music and art. I also played at the Boar’s Nest in Spirit Lake, it was really nice. It was right on the water, it’s a campground resort with free food, right on the water. They have a pedalboat that my dog and I just took out the other day. We pedaled around the lake and went swimming. There’s some beautiful places up here.

Q: So you like the scenery here in Idaho a lot?

A: I’m loving it! Absolutely loving it. Other then the smoke that’s been here most of the summer…..since we got here. But the days that haven’t been smoky; we’ve been on a ten-mile hike at Lake Cour d’Alene, went way up about 2,000 feet and overlooked the lake. We’ve gone through the woods and seen all this beautiful scenery, we’ve been to several different lakes and at a couple of spots went swimming in the river. We camped in Cataldo for one of my gigs and there was a spot where we went swimming in the river there. Pretty much, my dog and I spent all summer playing and hiking!

Pamela Jean resting at Radio Brewing Company. Photo by Sterling Bingham.

Pamela Jean resting at Radio Brewing. Photo by Sterling Bingham.

Q: Describe one of your shows……

A: My shows are just me and my guitar; and I love all music. All music is wonderful to me, so I literally play everything from Johnny Cash to Lady Gaga. June Carter Cash to covering Mama, I’m Coming Home from Ozzie Osbourne. Once I get the crowd interested in the music then I throw my original stuff in there. A lot of the bars up here have been requesting my original music. I played a show in Kellogg, at Radio City Brewing; and they wanted me to do a whole set just of my original songs. I pulled out music I’ve never even played live before and don’t normally play live and they just loved it. It was really cool and I was able to tell some stories about how I wrote the song, why I wrote the song, what it’s about and its been really fun up here, its great to be able to play my original music and see how well people respond to it.

Q: Any other important things about the Pedal to the Metal Tour?

A: Yes, I’m on tour with my dog! If it’s cool enough, she hangs out in the car if it’s not a dog-friendly bar and then I take her out on my break. She loves it!

Q: Thank you, Pamela Jean!

Pamela Jean continues her tour showcasing her blend of original  songs and classic covers as she plays at the Radio Brewing Company in Kellogg, Idaho on October 7. She will also perform live at the Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson October Fest in Spokane Valley, Washington on October 14.

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