Vail Daily: 7 questions with folk-rockers Jaden South |

Vail Daily: 7 questions with folk-rockers Jaden South

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyNashville-duo Jaden South - Jessica Draper and Deborah DeLoach - are performing for the first time in the Vail Valley this week. Catch them at Loaded Joe's in Avon Thursday or at Main St. Grill in Edwards on Friday.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –Brunette beauties Jessica Draper and Deborah DeLoach are in Colorado’s Vail Valley performing two back-to-back nights – Thursday at Loaded Joe’s in Avon and Friday night at Main St. Grill in Edwards. The Nashville-based folk-rock duo, dubbed Jaden South, have been touring the United States for the past two months in support of their debut album, “Leading the Horse.” It’s their first time playing in Vail but you can expect rootsy, rich vocals and emotion-filled lyrics from these sirens.

Vail Daily: Who are some of your musical influences?

Jaden South: It’s so difficult to pinpoint a handful of influences, because we both love such a broad spectrum of music and artists, but classic artists like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and Heart have had a huge impact on us, our songwriting and style. They are the great teachers. But more contemporary artists like Sheryl Crow, Indigo Girls, Ryan Adams and Brandi Carlile have also deeply affected us.

VD: Describe your music for me?

JS: That’s a question we’re asked often, and it’s, quite honestly, difficult to categorize our music. Some would call us rock ‘n’ roll, some would say folk, others may say we’re pop or country. Much of the time it depends on what region we’re in. When we lived in New York City, people said we were country, and in Nashville, people say we’re anything but. We don’t really think we fit into any particular genre, and it’d probably feel a little confining to be labeled so neatly, but we’re most likely to say we’re rock ‘n’ roll. Our music straddles a stylistic divide, and as long as the songs have the ability to transcend genres, it’s more fun staying outside the box.

VD: Grammy winning producer David Leonard has worked with big names, including Prince, Paul McCartney and Indigo Girls. What was it like having him produce and and mix your debut album?

JS: Working with David was inspiring, not only because of his talent, but also because he’s worked with so many people we admire. He was totally involved from the project’s inception to its completion. During pre-production he came to our house for our band’s practice for the tracking sessions and, essentially, created mental blueprints for the project. You could really see his genius at work, especially later during the overdubbing sessions when his creativity took our initial vision and the songs to a whole other level.

VD: How did you two meet?

JS: We met in college at Middle Tennessee State University, near Nashville, where we were both in the recording industry program. We became friends first after having a few classes together, and we later discovered we both had a passion for songwriting and music, and soon began playing together. We’ve been writing and performing together ever since.

VD: Where are you living now?

JS: We are based out of Nashville, but for the next few weeks, we’re calling Vail home. We’ve been touring for the past two months, and we’ve only been back in Nashville for about 24 hours during that time, so it’s been interesting trying to find a sense of home on the road … but we’re loving it!

VD: If you could play on any stage in the whole world, where would it be and why?

JS: The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville is one of the finest and most esteemed rooms in the world, and we’ve seen some really phenomenal performers and performances there: Robert Plant, Sheryl Crow, Jackson Browne and others. And while neither of us are die-hard country music fans, we certainly have a deep respect for the history of that stage and the tradition of the Ryman as an institution. It’s not a huge room – it only holds about 2,500 people – but there’s something about it that feels like both home and a sacred musical place at the same time.

VD: How did your endorsement from green company Seventh Generation come about?

JS: Both of us have used Seventh Generation’s products for years, and we love the company and product line. When we completed production on the album, it became a collaborative effort with them providing us with coupons to include with our albums and with us giving them a grassroots avenue and voice within our niche.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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