Thanks for finding us here! I know some of you are brand new, and others have been with me since the beginning. Either way, I'm just gonna start in the usual fashion-at the beginning.
My name is J-knee. I was born and raised in central Arkansas. I've been playing music most of my life, beginning with my first live singing performance at age 3. My grandparents were both singers and involved the local arts community. I participated in all the plays and learned basic music theory in elementary school. At age 11, I joined the school orchestra as a cellist. The following year brought me my first guitar, and I began teaching myself piano the year after. At 16, I started learning drums, and at 18, I picked up the bass.
A month after I turned 20, I took a one way bus to Seattle, WA, but I ended up living in Tacoma. (This is an entirely different story that I won't attempt to discuss here.) I met many great musicians and friends in Tacoma. I played guitar in a band or two, but there were so many guitarists that I decided to focus on bass. I played bass in several bands in Tacoma, most notably Dr. Inme.
A few years later, I bought a van and decided to travel. I had hoped to do this with a band, but I'm really hard to get along with (at least had been). So I went on my own. Months were spent living in my van traveling down the coast and in the southwest. I stopped in my home state before heading toward the east coast, but I got stuck for a while.
Old friends, nostalgia, and a broken down van tethered me to my own roots for long enough for me to join a couple of bands as bass player and a guitarist. I played bass in an (almost) all girl cover band called Red Sister Planet, and in some weird experimental band called Band for All Seasons. I also played guitar in another band with Skeeter Thompson from Scream and Bircho from Trusty and Black Eyed Vermillion. The latter was an absolute mess.
At one point, I was playing in 3 bands with different roles. That's when life happened. I played my last show at 8 months pregnant. I attempted to continue playing after my oldest son was born, but it was almost impossible for me. Looking for a creative outlet, I enrolled at the local university.
For the next few years, I studied philosophy, English, and creative writing. I also got married, had another kid, and moved back to Washington. Believing that my life as a musician was over, I had become focused on teaching and writing. And after I graduated, I found some freelance work as a writer, but it was all in the porn industry. And you know, it just made me kinda sick after a while.
At this point I had 2 kids, a college degree that seemed worthless, hadn't played any music in a few years, and I was completely depressed. I didn't even know who I was anymore. It's sad to say, but it is so true, when you become a mother, you really forget who you are for a few years. And some people never get past that. I mean, the only thing that seems to matter is keeping that baby alive. My youngest was getting ready to start kindergarten, and I was totally lost. I asked the universe for help.
Not a few months later, a gig teaching guitar to young girls fell in my lap. I even tried to turn it down, saying I was out of practice. But they insisted I teach, cause I had experience teaching. My co-instructor was Laura Viers, who was such a positive influence. She was almost like a guidepost reminding me of which road to take. It was then that I reconnected myself with my love of music. I spent the next year going through old recordings and getting my playing back up to speed.
From then, I began writing music again, this time with confidence in my lyrics. I started looking for people to play with, tapped my old friends and connections, started hitting open mics, taking voice lessons, and then went on to record a solo EP under the name Nancy Frieko.
Throughout my life, I have battled with mental illness and drug/alcohol abuse. On again/off again. Most of the work I did as Nancy Frieko was spent under the influence of alcohol. As of New Year's 2010, I have been sober. I spent all of last year laying low and weeding out my life. I recorded 3 songs with some friends (Dee and Ross) from London, and I began playing live with my friend, Holly. Holly and I now perform as January.
Which brings us to here and now! Holly and I have been performing weekly open mics while we search for the rest of the line-up. As it stands, Dee, will be joining the live band indefinitely come late March. We are very excited!
We are also in the process of finishing up artwork for the EP. I know. I know. I said I wasn't going to have anything put together, but it looks like I need to now. I really didn't know what was gonna happen with all this. I just wanted people to listen to the songs and love them. I didn't care about the rest. And now, well, people are listening and loving the songs, and I'm a little behind! eek!
So, stay tuned! The updating is ongoing!