We had the good fortune of connecting with Rae Rae Jensen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rae Rae, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
That’s such a great question and it’s really quite poignant; especially in respect to the times we’re living in. Giving up for me has never been an option. I was born and raised in Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, and come from a strong musical background. I have worked so hard and sacrificed so much as a singer and songwriter and Ive gotten to share the stage with so many amazing musicians and artists. Had I given up, those opportunities would’ve never happened. As hard as life can get, I could never imagine giving up on my dreams. It’s been my message since the beginning. So, at this point, not even a pandemic will stop me. These hard times can only make us stronger. This has been the fuel for my music and writing all along. Everyone knows, that great music has always come out of the darkest of times. Despite the crippling domino of this pandemic I will keep encouraging all of my fellow artists and musicians out here, that LA will always bounce back – we’re the Mecca for entertainment; and I encourage all artists, aspiring and working – those that’ve moved here and that’re down on their luck or just not able to figure things out in “Lonely LA”. No matter what you’re going through, whether its may be a failed relationship, financial hardships or even this pandemic… we have to always find a way to keep on keeping on. It’s our dream and at the end of your life there will only one regret -and that’s that you didn’t keep on trying. Which brings me to where I’m at in life now. I too have had to readjust, reset and reinvent the wheel. And now, in 2021, I am ready to reclaim my music career. With no live performances still, I have immersed myself into writing and preparing all new material to be released with my ever so faithful musical partner – Producer Shane Soloski. “Band of Liars” has some great new music headed your way. Featuring a our new song “Red Neck” it’s Southern rock anthem that embraces the south with Band of Liars West coast outlaw flavor – we’ll be knocking on Nashville’s door again very soon. I’m currently working with two other credited music producers, exploring the different musical sides of me. One in particular, really addresses the struggles of someone going through hardship and not giving up. The track is titled, “Lonely LA”. I’m completing production on the song with Producer and bassist, Brad Smith (Blind Melon). This song was co written with Sean Heitkemper, and is a true testimony of what people go through when they come here. I’m also working with Producer, Chase Clark on a hip hop/country/soul track that digs into the racial and political injustices that we’ve been living through. For me this pandemic has been a time for self refection and self preservation and Im ready too take on whatever challenges that are on the horizon -It’s time to really push forward and get through this madness. So, your question was “How to know whether to keep going or to give up? Well, I don’t know much about giving up…….but I know a whole lot about how to keep on going.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Tell us more about your art/music: My name is Rae Rae Jensen- I am the founder and front woman of -Band of Liars -along with Shane Soloski bassist/producer . We are an LA based country rock band – described as rock and roll with pedal steel. What sets you apart from others : What sets us apart is the fact that we’ve pretty much been through it all and earned the T-shirt ha ha – and And what started out as a bunch of friends that drink a lot together soon became a band. When we get together to write it all is really is the Truth coming through…….although we are called the Liars….. We are a family at this point we are just waiting for the opportunity to get in front of the right people we are well oiled machine and I’m so proud to share the stage in this journey with these members of my band. They are some of the hardest working musicians I have ever known and they deserve so much. And cheers to all the subs and different members of the liars we have invited to play with us on stage. LA is truly still a Mecca of the best talent in the industry and I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many great musicians m- They will be ALL be back to rock the stages again soon! The music and writing and production we give all the credit to our producer Shane Soloski for the amazing collaborative force that he delivers – we have already recorded one album released in 2019 . What are you most excited about : I am onto the next project this year in 2021 with Band of Liars – we will be releasing new songs starting with “REDNECK” This song is sure to knock you off your chair and get you up dancing to the southern fried rock guitar driven sound, and homage to the south in the Band of Liar style! This makes me all so excited and one more reason not to give up! I am also working with two other credited and well-known producers, Brad Smith ( Blind melon) on a track called “Lonely LA” soon to be release. And Also Chase Clark on a track entitled “PANIC”. I will be releasing music videos to all of these songs by my band and these other two producers tracks the more content you have out there the better somethings bound to stick! How did you overcome the challenges: Hard work has aways propelled me forward and focusing on making money and striving for what I believe in. There have been many nights of inspiration with a little help from my friends Johnny, Jack, James and Jim too… but to really be honest with you it has everything to do with my faith – because faith for me has always been the driving force to keep me going and keep me strong. Also some really encouraging talks with my father and my mother- they have been the back bone and supportive soundtrack – telling me I’m capable of anything I set my mind to. I have to also give credit to my sister as well Ms- soon to be Mrs- Veronica Summer Jensen – without her I really don’t know who I would’ve turned to she has always been my rock! What lessons have you learned along the way: I’ve learned that no matter what you’ve been through and how much it has hardened you and how much you think that the wall you have built should stay there to keep yourself safe from every getting hurt again. You really must renew yourself allow yourself to feel love again. Allowing myself to be vulnerable again and experience love has really helped inspire me in a whole new way and I can’t wait to share those new songs with you soon. What do you want the world to know about your story: I just want to sing I wanna give justice to the gift that God gave me I know that this has all been for a reason . What I want the world to know is that I come from a great musical family and family of entertainers starting with my mother my two older sisters and then my younger sister. We have all been trying to make our mark throughout time in this business. Although we have all done so many great things and I have done so many great things in my career. Still – I want to be the one to solidify the legacy of my family. I want to set the record straight and before my mother leaves this world I want to take her by the hand and tell her Mama “ We did it “ Thank you so much, Rae Rae
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My house….. The entire quarantine.. just kidding – If you’re planning a visit to LA you absolutely must take a drive through Laurel Canyon and venture out to the Sunset strip and see all of the legendary night clubs that still exist there are too many things to count I would definitely stop by my old stomping grounds at the Roosevelt Hotel. See the view at Yamashiro try to get in for a really magical night at the Magic Castle!! Go hiking at Bronson Canyon ( Bat cave) to Hollywood sign. Visit the Sunset Ranch and take a horseback ride all through the Griffith Park and above the stars. Visit all the bars downtown if you can get to – Perch- and see the view and hit the historical Biltmore hotel, hear jazz band play on Friday night and have a martini in their beautiful cocktail lounge. Go to the Cicada it is the most breathtaking venue / restaurant that was once an old haberdashery truly one of my favorite places in LA. Swing through- The Dresden in Los Feliz is a complete must~ Marty & Elaine still perform weekly hopefully they’ll be back live when this pandemic is over. We must revive our beautiful city! too many cool places to count !! But I’ll need your business please support your local businesses !! Downtown Eats ~ Coles and the Pantry AND Phillipes Original Beef dip are a total must !! Silverlake is so special to me walk around the lake and be sure to visit Michelangelo‘s restaurant in Silverlake it is the BEST Italian food and all of Los Angeles! And if you wanna come see me in the valley , Come visit me at Sportsmens lodge… you can find me at the pool where the “Queen of the Valley” sips a cocktail poolside blowing off the steam after a long weekend!! Too many amazing places to discover in my hometown ! LA will always be the city of dreams… and dreamers 🙂 Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is a really hard question because there has been so many important people in my path and in my life that have mentored me and been such a great encouragement and support to me and my music, but there are actually two people in particular really strikes a chord. I happened to meet both of them the same night in Hollywood. For many years I shared the stage with Ty Stone an unbelievable singer and songwriter from Detroit. Prior to him getting discovered by Kid Rock and signed to Atlantic records, I had recorded various songs for him as a back up singer he was always so encouraging to me. In 2003 we met at Molly Malone‘s one night at an open mic night. I walked in by myself not knowing anyone yet in the scene… I heard his voice belt out a note and it literally stopped me dead in my tracks.. It was the most amazing voice I had ever heard. I begged him to stay to hear me sing one song… Little did I know that he actually worked there flipping burgers in the kitchen. He stayed to hear me sing and that night changed the course of my life forever. When his career started to take off he included me in everything, introduced me to every producer, and writer he worked with and was always so gracious to everyone around him. There were so many incredible singing opportunities – One being that I was given the opportunity to be featured on Uncle Krackers hit song “ SMILE” Produced by Rob Cavallo topping the charts in 2009. It’s been such an honor to be the female voice on that hit song, You still hear it on rotation everywhere to this day! In 2009 ~ I also sang-along side Kid Rock and duet “ Picture” in front of 50,000 people at one of the biggest concerts of his career at Comerica Park in Detroit as well as so many other amazing performances across the US in 2010 Opening up for Uncle Kracker with Ty Stone & The Truth and touring with the Motion Picture “Boondock Saints” – Directed by Troy Duffy. When I returned to Los Angeles after touring and recording. It was obvious that all the work I did with Ty Stone and the Detroit music scene -Inside Outkaws- inspired a sound and style that would forever be apart me. In 2012 my life hit a curve ball ~ and it wasn’t until I was actually able to work with my dear friend and Mentor ~ Producer Shane Soloski, whom I also met that SAME NIGHT at Molly Malones… when I began to work with Shane my my music really began to take on a life of its own. He took my voice to heights I had never thought possible working with me diligently on my vocals, he truly transformed my sound vocal ability and phrasing and has been my rock and best friend ever since. In 2012 we reformed the band – BAND OF LIARS- which he also plays bass, writes the music and sings harmonies, along with Dean O’leary on guitar Michael Martinsson ( The Swede) on guitar , Chris Lawrence pedal steel, Steve Wilson drums. We have been a band every since release out first full length album in 2018. And playing all over LA and going back and performing and writing in Nashville. Shane and my band have stood by me for 8 years now.. if there’s a way to give more of a shoutout – Here it is THANK YOU ~ Shane Soloski, Dean OLeary, Michael Martinsson, Chris Lawrence and Steve Wilson!! I have stayed steady on this course and I will not let up until I make my mark. I will never regret walking into Molly Malone‘s that night and meeting SHANE and TY … so this shout out is truly for both of you !! I thank God for all of the people that have continued to support me in my dreams and like I said there are too many to count. I can only hope that I can be an inspiration to someone like that as well.