NMG Musicians Spotlight - Jennie Hoeft
©2008 By Bronson Herrmuth
Jennie Hoeft has a Master's Degree in Music Conducting and a Bachelor of Music Education Degree. No matter the style of music she can play it both live and in the studio. Earl Gaines, Victor Wooten, The Warren Brothers, BadaBing BadaBoom, Eddie Mugavero, Laura Vita and the Pat Patrick Band are just a few of the many artists, songwriters, and bands she has played drums with. The following is taken from a one on one in studio interview that I had with Jennie on Sept. 25th, 2008 at Michael Holmes studio in Nashville.
Listen to this interview: Part 1 of 4 (4.1 MB) mp3
Bronson: You started playing drums at an early age, how old were you and what was your first kit?
Jennie: I was 10 years old and I had a Gretsch. I played in the church folk group but I only played drums because I was so bad at piano (laughing). My teacher after four years of piano said, "Jennie, you're really musical but not on this", so we switched over to drums and I was good at that.
Bronson: Do you remember the first time you actually got paid to play drums?
Jennie: I worked in the theme parks at Busch Gardens. I was 18 and I auditioned and I just knew I wouldn't possibly get it. I was a freshman in college and all of the music people went to audition. Theme parks are great training just to do seven shows a day really consistent and entertain. I did cruise ships for a while too.
Bronson: You moved to Nashville in 1992. What was your first job playing when you got here?
Jennie: I finished school and at the time Opryland had a sister theme park, Fiesta Texas in San Antonio and I auditioned for Opryland and got the sister park so I was in San Antonio for the summer. There I met people that I was in bands with from the day I moved here, so I had a place to stay and bands from the first night I was here. I was so lucky.
Listen to this interview: Part 2 of 4 (5.3 MB) mp3
Bronson: As a player is there one genre that stands above the rest or you just like playing them all?
Jennie: I think my forte is singer/songwriter, demos even or cuts of sorts just 'cause I love the song and I love lyrics and I love the tension and release of what a song does. I think I'm good at that and this is a songwriter town. I love when there's lyrics and it has a song format. I play jazz and I play big band and I love that and I love R&B. I think my genres are the song and anything you can dance to. If you can't dance to it I really don't like it.
Bronson: I know you played on two of Victor Wootens albums, how was that?
Jennie: Heaven. Here's the story about that, we grew up together in Virginia so I've known him since 8th grade. We played in the all city orchestra together and the show choir and we played at Busch Gardens together so there's a big history. We came with a similiar place that we put the beat I should say and he's the best in the world.
Listen to this interview: Part 3 of 4 (4.5 MB) mp3
Bronson: BadaBing BadaBoom? Tell me about that band.
Jennie: That's my other second favorite band that I've ever been in. All original swing band, seven peices, same writer, Eddie Mugavero. That was 1996 and I think we did 2 years and then the Warren Brothers asked me to play. BadaBing had just released Greatest Hits, our Greatest Hits was our first record (laughing) it was hilarious, great band. Then I left and went with the Warren Brothers.
Bronson: The Warren Brothers, was that when they were first busting out?
Jennie: When they first came to town we did a tour, the brothers and me for about six months then BadaBing got too busy so I left the Warren Brothers duo. Then they formed a band and they were just having that record interest and so they called me. We did four nights a week for six months while we were just honing it and they were putting the record deal together. Once we got on the road we did 2 years, we had Faith Hills first two headlining tours. There were 10 guys on the bus and me. It was really hard, (laughing) best of times, worst of times.
Listen to this interview: Part 4 of 4 (3.7 MB) mp3
Bronson: Talk about the difference of playing drums live and playing in the studio.
Jennie: It's funny when I'm playing live I think that's the only thing that there is because of the energy of the fellow players and you're having that conversation and then the energy of the audience, so it's more of a group enjoyment, vibration, passion. It's so exciting to play live. But then when I get in the studio and you can actually hear yourself really well and hear everything really well and then you hear it back, it's a whole nother buzz to keep it really clean and you only have a couple times to make it feel really great and honor the song. Live it's kinda like you're in a playground and it's so fun and in the studio it's more like you're in your zone. I love it.
You can visit Jennie on line at www.jenhoeft.com and please do.
Top of Page
Back to My Interviews