24
Jul
Genna’s sister Cesira and her husband Jon modeling the beautiful new “Wild Enough to Try” t-shirts!

Genna’s sister Cesira and her husband Jon modeling the beautiful new “Wild Enough to Try” t-shirts!

24
Jul
Our new live album, “Wild Enough to Try” is almost there!

Our new live album, “Wild Enough to Try” is almost there!

16
Jul

Custom Song Questionnaire

Please answer these questions as fully as possible and then copy and paste the questionnaire (with answers) into the body of an email to gennaandjesse@gmail.com with the subject line: [Your name] custom song questionnaire. Feel free to send this questionnaire to others who might offer interesting perspectives to be included in the song. If you are commissioning a song for more than one person or about a couple, be sure to indicate whom your are speaking about when answering specific questions.

  1. Tell us the name of the person. Include any nicknames that are familiar to the person, but be sure to indicate the name they typically go by.
  2. What occasion is this song being written to commemorate?
  3. What style(s) of music do you think would perfectly suit this person?
  4. List some specific songs that come to mind when you think of this person.
  5. What hobbies and pastimes are enjoyed by this person?
  6. What are some of this person’s favorite things (ie. color, food, books, writers, musicians, etc.)?
  7. What is this person passionate about?
  8. What do you like most about this person?
  9. Tell us some funny and/or interesting stories about this person.
  10. What are some adjectives that describe this person?
  11. Are there any specific people or pets that you would like to have included in the song?
  12. Are there any subjects or things that we should exclude from the song?
  13. Is there anything else that comes to mind about this person that should be considered in the writing of this song? Go crazy, associate freely. No tangent is too narrow, and there’s no such thing as too much information!
16
Jul

Custom Songs

image

Are you looking for a memorable and unique way to honor a special person or milestone? Genna & Jesse write custom compositions for all kinds of occasions - birthdays, romantic events (marriage proposals, weddings, anniversaries), and “just because”. Unlike many services that operate using formulas and pre-recorded music, Genna & Jesse create a completely original song just for you. The artful process involves great care, and includes gathering information about the person or persons for whom the song is being created so that it has deeper meaning and nuance. When you commission a custom song, you will receive your professionally recorded, mixed and mastered song on a high quality audio CD, along with album art and song lyrics.

Custom Song Questionnaire

Contact Genna & Jesse at gennaandjesse@gmail.com or (616) 745-7819 for more details, songs samples and a quote!

16
Jul
11
Jul

Torch Lake Artists in Residence July 2014

Days 1 and 2

July 4 & 5

Northern Michigan is the place to BE in July. It’s far cooler up here this year than it was last year, but that’s not preventing us from having a wonderful time. We arrived on July 4 in time to see the beloved and fun Forgraves clan, and then we were off to play Short’s Brewery in Bellaire. (This residency differs from the ones we’ve done in the past, as we’re playing shows almost every night. But no worky-work during the days - just creative play, rehearsal, and enJOYment.) The official fireworks were cancelled on the 4th so Short’s was packed, and we had a great time. Afterwards we went out with friends on a boat on Torch lake to watch some brilliant private fireworks displays. Wonderful!

We woke somewhat early on the 5th and sank into a nice morning rhythm. We rehearsed some new music and then (YES!) we wrote a new song that has been percolating for a while. It was so fantastic having the space and the right vibe to allow this song to flow forth. It was so easy and pleasurable, and I was smiling ear to ear the whole time we were writing it. I am very excited to begin performing this tune soon. Hooray! After this very full day of creativity, we headed out to Elk Rapids, MI to perform a house concert. It was set up some time ago with a couple who knew my mom back when she taught elementary school kids in Lansing, Michigan. The sweetest, coolest people! And their son Max co-hosted, bringing a crowd of 20-somethings, many of whom are musicians. This was our first house concert where a host really was able to use our new PDF guide, and what a difference it made! Everything went like clockwork, the space was beautifully appointed, and all of the little bits came together to facilitate the best possible experience for everyone. It was an especially magical night and we loved every minute of it! Great food, awesome people… A big group of Max’s friends showed up after we’d finished our set and expressed regret that they’d missed the show. They had been out supporting a friend who had an early gig, and had all the best intentions to make our concert but alas they came too late. In the moment I realized this, I said to Jesse, “Wanna play another set?” My number one motivation was to share with these late-comers and it felt so right. (And what a contrast to some of our non- listening room gigs, where we’re just waiting for it to be over!) Max’s friends and the few folks who were still around after having heard the first set were extremely appreciative and we had a marvelous time together. I’m so happy for these moments, for this kind of inspiration. It was one of the most satisfying days I’ve had in a while…

Day 3

July 6

The day was overcast from the outset. With a fantastic outdoor gig at the Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor in Elk Rapids, MI slated for the evening, we woke wondering how things would shake out and followed the weather all day. I love and welcome a Michigan thunderstorm, but I was hoping it wouldn’t come on this particular day! We spent the morning and early afternoon rehearsing, trying to maximize our AiR time before heading off to Oryana health food store in Traverse City, where we played a lovely little show for food. We also met some nice people and generated interest about house concerts! Then off to the Bauer’s (our friends who hosted the July 5 house concert) to have a little nap and some dinner before heading to the harbor. Between the time we arrived and the time we awoke from our nap, the chance of rain went from 0% to 80%. Crazy Michigan weather!! We went to the harbor hoping for the best, set up our equipment on the outdoor stage, and then basically had to cover it all up with a tarp as soon as it was arranged, as it began to drizzle. The harbormaster was dubious about doing the music inside the pavilion, as he had never heard it sound good in there, but feeling that the show must go on, we convinced him to allow us to try to do the concert indoors. Our work was doubled since we had to move all of the gear indoors and essentially set up again, but we did it quickly and more or less started on time. As it turned out, it was beautiful. There was a nice crowd, and Jesse worked his magic in that acoustical nightmare of a space so that everything sounded fantastic. And I was so glad we moved inside because halfway into the show it began to pour down rain, and there was a lot of thunder and lightning too. At one point during the concert, I thanked the storm for providing percussion! At the end of the night we were joyful and exhausted and went to bed straightaway. Hooray for persistence!

Day 4

July 7

I just can’t seem to sleep in. Not when it’s so sunny out! Today I got up to do my little 7am ritual (baby-making stuff - taking temperature, charting it, etc.) and then despite wanting to catch up on some winks couldn’t fall back to sleep so I just stayed awake and continued my morning routine. I say this frequently in my blogs, and so although I can’t imagine many people would find it too interesting, I thought I’d elaborate. When I wake up, I first spend some time breathing. Into my heart. Bringing in the love. I have some supplements I take before eating breakfast so I take them and then I have a morning green juice drink. Mmmmm. Before I eat, I jump on my trampoline for about 5 minutes to get things flowing. Afterwards I do “oil pulling” for 20 minutes, which involves swishing coconut oil around in my mouth and then spitting it out, brushing and flossing. Breakfast, which Jesse and I are having now as I write, is a superfood extravaganza. Often it involves gluten free oatmeal with all kinds of goodies in it - unsweetened coconut milk (or, now that we’re spending time at my mom’s more often, some of her goat’s raw milk) grassfed organic butter, chia seeds, honey, maca, and a raw trail mix with goji berries and other yummy things. A smoothie usually happens at breakfast too, and so this usually ends up being our most nutritious meal of the day, and thus very important! With it, I take a special tea drink, numerous herbs and supplements that target fertility and generally keep me feeling awesome. Then I kill some time while I wait for digestion to happen so that I can do my morning exercises comfortably and beneficially. My exercises consist of a rotating regimen of stretching and strengthening moves for my neck and back and overall core strength. It’s stuff that supports my posture being really good, which in turn leaves me relatively pain-free. It’s been a revolutionary part of my day-to-day schedule, and since I’ve begun doing it upon our return from Europe, I have not had an injury flare up. Wow! I oftentimes find time for meditation or visualizations or energy work during the morning as well, but it’s not always possible. So that’s that! My “how-to-stay-well-on-the-road” routine!

I spent the late morning and early afternoon going over some musical ideas - candidates for a new songwriting session - and then joined some of my friends for about an hour of water walking. This is where we put on our swimsuits and water shoes (or in my case, my sneakers) and do walking laps in Torch Lake. Super fun! We just walk back and forth, which feels great, and talk and laugh and enjoy the breathtakingly gorgeous surroundings. I then wrote some thank you cards while I waited for our friends Dory and Annie (our host) to come up from the lake to go to lunch. We went to Short’s Brewery and had some delicious food and of course fantastic beer, and during this meal an idea was born to do an impromptu house concert down at the main house. We thought this would be an awesome opportunity to share with the family and their friends the fruits of our residency labor by debuting our new song. With the plan hatched, Jesse and I returned to our little house to rehearse and prepare for the concert.

We headed down around 8pm and set up our stage on the huge front porch, not knowing who or how many would arrive. When all was said and done it was quite a crowd, mostly younger folks, and they LOVED it. We got to perform for the first time our rendition of “I Got You Babe” that we’ve been working on (in preparation for a show in San Diego in which we’re doing hits from 1965!) and a nice little set of old favorites, with the last song being the new tune we wrote while here. It was really magical! And although we were absolutely exhausted afterwards, we hung out and talked to all of the cool people who came. Hooray for inspiration and hustle! I LOVE living this way, and today felt like when I was little and would “put on a show,” starting early and gathering my sister, my friends or neighborhood kids together to orchestrate a performance - a play or revue or musical. I’m overflowing with appreciation for being able to connect with that little kid inside that loves to do this kind of thing! Fun, fun fun!

Day 5

July 8

In contrast to yesterday, we woke up late, assisted by the cloudy sky. What a yummy feeling to sleep in, cozy and warm. The plans for outdoor play were dashed, as the gloom never lifted. But we got plenty accomplished indoors, rehearsing and writing quietly. 9 shows in 8 days seems to have been taking its toll on my voice, and though it has a lovely, somewhat scratchy quality, I didn’t want to lose it completely so we stayed fairly mellow singing-wise. We did do some good work on fleshing out a song idea, which was fun! At 5PM we headed to Boyne City, a place neither of us had been before, for a gig at a swanky little restaurant. Man, do they know how to do it right! Their gear was good, they fed us delicious food, and they paid us well. Everyone was very happy. The staff loved the music and said that they could really tell how it affected the dining crowd. We received many compliments from folks and felt very appreciated, which doesn’t always happen at restaurant gigs. At the end of the night the manager, who also books the place, lamented that we don’t live closer. I shared with him that we come around quite a lot and that in fact we’d be back in December. His face lit up! Within minutes we had another show booked there. And that, my friends, is how it’s DONE!

Day 6

July 9

A beautiful end to an all-too-short AiR~ These are some of our favorite people in the world, and we feel so lucky to have had this time with them and also to have been able to hang out in their space, making music.

Wishing always to be wonderful guests, we spent the morning packing up and cleaning the house. We wrote a thank you and left it on the table for them to find. We then headed down to the main house to say our goodbyes. Knowing some folks were around that missed the new song’s debut a few nights before, we brought the guitar so that we could share our creation once more. With this crew, there’s always a little crowd gathered, so we had a nice audience for this, the final performance of our residency. Of course, these goodbyes can’t be short! We lingered for an hour or so, talking and laughing and expressing our appreciation. So long Torch Lake! So long Forgrave family! Until next time!

11
Jul

Torch Lake Artists in Residence Day 6

July 9

A beautiful end to an all-too-short AiR~ These are some of our favorite people in the world, and we feel so lucky to have had this time with them and also to have been able to hang out in their space, making music.

Wishing always to be wonderful guests, we spent the morning packing up and cleaning the house. We wrote a thank you and left it on the table for them to find. We then headed down to the main house to say our goodbyes. Knowing some folks were around that missed the new song’s debut a few nights before, we brought the guitar so that we could share our creation once more. With this crew, there’s always a little crowd gathered, so we had a nice audience for this, the final performance of our residency. Of course, these goodbyes can’t be short! We lingered for an hour or so, talking and laughing and expressing our appreciation. So long Torch Lake! So long Forgrave family! Until next time!

09
Jul

Torch Lake Artists in Residence Day 5

July 8

In contrast to yesterday, we woke up late, assisted by the cloudy sky. What a yummy feeling to sleep in, cozy and warm. The plans for outdoor play were dashed, as the gloom never lifted. But we got plenty accomplished indoors, rehearsing and writing quietly. 9 shows in 8 days seems to have been taking its toll on my voice, and though it has a lovely, somewhat scratchy quality, I didn’t want to lose it completely so we stayed fairly mellow singing-wise. We did do some good work on fleshing out a song idea, which was fun! At 5PM we headed to Boyne City, a place neither of us had been before, for a gig at a swanky little restaurant. Man, do they know how to do it right! Their gear was good, they fed us delicious food, and they paid us well. Everyone was very happy. The staff loved the music and said that they could really tell how it affected the dining crowd. We received many compliments from folks and felt very appreciated, which doesn’t always happen at restaurant gigs. At the end of the night the manager, who also books the place, lamented that we don’t live closer. I shared with him that we come around quite a lot and that in fact we’d be back in December. His face lit up! Within minutes we had another show booked there. And that, my friends, is how it’s DONE!

08
Jul

Torch Lake Artists in Residence Day 4

July 7

I just can’t seem to sleep in. Not when it’s so sunny out! Today I got up to do my little 7am ritual (baby-making stuff - taking temperature, charting it, etc.) and then despite wanting to catch up on some winks couldn’t fall back to sleep so I just stayed awake and continued my morning routine. I say this frequently in my blogs, and so although I can’t imagine many people would find it too interesting, I thought I’d elaborate. When I wake up, I first spend some time breathing. Into my heart. Bringing in the love. I have some supplements I take before eating breakfast so I take them and then I have a morning green juice drink. Mmmmm. Before I eat, I jump on my trampoline for about 5 minutes to get things flowing. Afterwards I do “oil pulling” for 20 minutes, which involves swishing coconut oil around in my mouth and then spitting it out, brushing and flossing. Breakfast, which Jesse and I are having now as I write, is a superfood extravaganza. Often it involves gluten free oatmeal with all kinds of goodies in it - unsweetened coconut milk (or, now that we’re spending time at my mom’s more often, some of her goat’s raw milk) grassfed organic butter, chia seeds, honey, maca, and a raw trail mix with goji berries and other yummy things. A smoothie usually happens at breakfast too, and so this usually ends up being our most nutritious meal of the day, and thus very important! With it, I take a special tea drink, numerous herbs and supplements that target fertility and generally keep me feeling awesome. Then I kill some time while I wait for digestion to happen so that I can do my morning exercises comfortably and beneficially. My exercises consist of a rotating regimen of stretching and strengthening moves for my neck and back and overall core strength. It’s stuff that supports my posture being really good, which in turn leaves me relatively pain-free. It’s been a revolutionary part of my day-to-day schedule, and since I’ve begun doing it upon our return from Europe, I have not had an injury flare up. Wow! I oftentimes find time for meditation or visualizations or energy work during the morning as well, but it’s not always possible. So that’s that! My “how-to-stay-well-on-the-road” routine!

I spent the late morning and early afternoon going over some musical ideas - candidates for a new songwriting session - and then joined some of my friends for about an hour of water walking. This is where we put on our swimsuits and water shoes (or in my case, my sneakers) and do walking laps in Torch Lake. Super fun! We just walk back and forth, which feels great, and talk and laugh and enjoy the breathtakingly gorgeous surroundings. I then wrote some thank you cards while I waited for our friends Dory and Annie (our host) to come up from the lake to go to lunch. We went to Short’s Brewery and had some delicious food and of course fantastic beer, and during this meal an idea was born to do an impromptu house concert down at the main house. We thought this would be an awesome opportunity to share with the family and their friends the fruits of our residency labor by debuting our new song. With the plan hatched, Jesse and I returned to our little house to rehearse and prepare for the concert.

We headed down around 8pm and set up our stage on the huge front porch, not knowing who or how many would arrive. When all was said and done it was quite a crowd, mostly younger folks, and they LOVED it. We got to perform for the first time our rendition of “I Got You Babe” that we’ve been working on (in preparation for a show in San Diego in which we’re doing hits from 1965!) and a nice little set of old favorites, with the last song being the new tune we wrote while here. It was really magical! And although we were absolutely exhausted afterwards, we hung out and talked to all of the cool people who came. Hooray for inspiration and hustle! I LOVE living this way, and today felt like when I was little and would “put on a show,” starting early and gathering my sister, my friends or neighborhood kids together to orchestrate a performance - a play or revue or musical. I’m overflowing with appreciation for being able to connect with that little kid inside that loves to do this kind of thing! Fun, fun fun!

07
Jul

Torch Lake Artists in Residence Day 3

July 6

The day was overcast from the outset. With a fantastic outdoor gig at the Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor in Elk Rapids, MI slated for the evening, we woke wondering how things would shake out and followed the weather all day. I love and welcome a Michigan thunderstorm, but I was hoping it wouldn’t come on this particular day! We spent the morning and early afternoon rehearsing, trying to maximize our AiR time before heading off to Oryana health food store in Traverse City, where we played a lovely little show for food. We also met some nice people and generated interest about house concerts! Then off to the Bauer’s (our friends who hosted the July 5 house concert) to have a little nap and some dinner before heading to the harbor. Between the time we arrived and the time we awoke from our nap, the chance of rain went from 0% to 80%. Crazy Michigan weather!! We went to the harbor hoping for the best, set up our equipment on the outdoor stage, and then basically had to cover it all up with a tarp as soon as it was arranged, as it began to drizzle. The harbormaster was dubious about doing the music inside the pavilion, as he had never heard it sound good in there, but feeling that the show must go on, we convinced him to allow us to try to do the concert indoors. Our work was doubled since we had to move all of the gear indoors and essentially set up again, but we did it quickly and more or less started on time. As it turned out, it was beautiful. There was a nice crowd, and Jesse worked his magic in that acoustical nightmare of a space so that everything sounded fantastic. And I was so glad we moved inside because halfway into the show it began to pour down rain, and there was a lot of thunder and lightning too. At one point during the concert, I thanked the storm for providing percussion! At the end of the night we were joyful and exhausted and went to bed straightaway. Hooray for persistence!

Duo alchemy at its finest


Genna and Jesse are duo alchemy at its finest. Sweet and savory, raspy and smooth, together they create a unique vocal sound, and then they complement that blend with Jesse’s prowess at the piano and guitar. Whether they sing their own songs, or the well-chosen songs of their peers, audiences are along for the ride in an intimate and inclusive show.

Genna & Jesse are currently touring internationally to promote their newest release, “Give and Take.” Their ongoing tour, which includes club venues, house concerts, restaurants, cafes, and festivals, is being done with as small a carbon footprint as possible.






Elsewhere

Listen

Loading Music
Powered by Soundcloud

★★★★★NBT Music Radio’s best album of 2013!

Download on iTunes

"If literate, grown-up, soulful pop rocks your boat, and you’re on the lookout for something to accompany long drinks and even longer summer nights, then...'Tumbleweed and Tonic'...should be on your shopping list." -Leicester Bangs

Download on iTunes

Merchandise

    Photos