Jesse Frewerd is a singer-songwriter based in Milwaukee. A veteran, he began playing as a way to heal and express himself when he came home from overseas. He plays as both a solo artist and in a project with his wife known as Canary Canyon.
ME: How did you get involved with Wisconsin Music Ventures?
JESSE: I think I saw Allison post about it on LinkedIn so I was following it for a little bit, and then I decided that it was probably a good idea to join. Up to this point I’ve been fairly lazy about networking with other musicians so I wanted to be intentional about joining.
ME: Awesome! I’d love to hear a bit more about your influences as a singer-songwriter.
JESSE: Well, anything grunge – Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. All of those really influenced me when I was a teenager. Songwriting-wise, I love Tool and I love Alt-J. I’m not too technical of a player…I can play some rhythm but that’s about it…I can’t really play much lead. So I take those lyrical influences mainly; I also have recently been listening to a lot of Tyler Childers. I like to tell stories with my songwriting and really make it my own.
ME: Sounds like a good eclectic mix of a lot of stuff! That’s a good way to be.
ME: Tell me about Canary Canyon!
JESSE: Yeah, so it’s my wife and I’s project. Early on in our relationship when we first started dating we really connected on music, so we started writing maybe six months to a year in. It wasn’t maybe a year ago or two now when we came up with the name; it takes my acoustic rock influences and she’s a big Patti Griffin fan so you’ll get some hints of that in her vocal melodies. We recently got to write a song for a Vietnam veteran; I recorded an interview with the veteran and then pulled some pieces from the recording and then crafted a song about his story…he has a crazy story but it’s good to see that he’s on his feet now and doing well.
ME: How was your Summerfest gig?
JESSE: It was really good. It was the first year for the Guitars for Vets/WAMI stage and I was on the back facing the lake. I played an hour set and it was a great sound out there; I did originals with some covers thrown in and I got a great response. There were a lot of people listening and not talking; sometimes in the bar scene, you can kind of lose that with the background noise.
ME: Love to hear that!
ME: With that all said, what are you working on now?
JESSE: We’re in the studio doing one single for my solo project and then one with Canary Canyon. We should have everything done come November-December. We’re probably about halfway through right now; we’ve got the drums laid down, guitar part laid down and scratch track for the vocal melody. We’ll redo the vocals, get the bass on there, and then get the rest of it finished – we’re almost there (laughs).