CALAMITY (CHECKED LABEL)
CALAMITY JAYNE FEELS NO PAIN
“You got your bellows of smoke from your stacks of chrome/ and your wheels are rolling and yeah, I'm home alone/ any fool can see you're not my type/ but you happen to be the type I like.” - Calamity - Jayne Denham-Phil Barton-Kris Bergnes.
Jayne Denham has long been the mother trucker of diesoline dreams in Australian country music.
And not just because of ties traced back to her family's trucking company and dad Don's bridge building.
They may have inspired previous songs Grew Up Around Trucks and Addicted to Diesel but not Stacks and the title track of her fourth album Calamity Jane recorded at Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus's Nashville studio with Jay playing bass.
Denham massages messages with 14 video clips featuring trucking companies that gained her wide exposure here and overseas where she performs at trucking festivals.
The singer swaps trucks for Harley Davidson bikes and a couple riding the wind in her Calamity video that will soon feature on Nu Country.
Addicted To The Diesel cemented her sponsorship by Wickham Freight Lines who provided her with her first two touring trucks.
It's a far cry from where she grew up way out west of Sydney and a farmlet at Hartley near Katoomba before her current habitat on the NSW Central Coast where she lives with husband Dave whom she wed on October 20, 2017.
Denham's previous single Stacks, accompanied by a video directed by Phil Taylor, also had a more recent incubation.
“While writing for my next record in Nashville , my producer, Brian White and I were brainstorming ideas about trucking songs,” explained Jayne who was taken to truck festivals as a child by her dad Don - a bridge engineer.
“Brian mentioned the title Stacks which immediately took me back to my childhood. I remember as a kid going to truck races and seeing all those blinged up rigs screaming around the track. One of my favourite parts of the day was when the drivers would put the pedal to the metal and you would hear this loud roar and smoke come from those 11 feet of galvanized Chrome Stacks.”
Denham premiered the Stacks video at The Great American Trucking Show , in Dallas , Texas .
“It was really great to be invited to perform again at the Mid-American Trucking Show again, this time with my full band,” she said.
“Performing on the same stage as Tanya Tucker this year and getting to meet her sure was a highlight.”
It's a rich reward for the much travelled troubadour.
Her next trip overseas is to Shell Super Rigs in Virginia in June.
“I am looking forward to that because it is all trucks on show for the whole event, so it will be fun to perform to a family crowd on the Saturday night and get the party started as I love to do,” she said.
“My fan base in the U.S. is certainly growing. It was time for me to do something different, and although I had no intention of going to the U.S. a friend of mine dragged me over there and said he thought they would love me. I met Stacey Willbur my manager and the Australian thing works for me over there. The Americans really understand what I do with the trucking songs and the truck shows, particularly think I'm hilarious.”
Denham fills her trucking tank with historic Dick Feller-Jerry Reed hit East Bound And Down and road song finale Highway Rockstar but love also emerges from the fumes.
Jayne wrote her finale track with Chris Yarber who had never written a trucking song before.
“I love the album and feel it's great for where I am at and what I am doing,” Denham revealed.
“I think people don't know I am from Australia , but they sure do when I speak. The trucking community sure do love my trucking songs, especially being from Down Under.
“The players just loved the songs, because they were different to what they normally played, and that's how the sound became what it is on the album. They grabbed hold of it and ran with it.
“They said no one was doing what I do because there aren't many women artists around who want to write truck songs.”
BLACK COFFEE AND WHITE LINES
“Born with Gypsy blood pumping through my veins/ I gotta a lot of friends who thin this life's insane/ but I grew up a child of the wind/ and every time I hear the freedom of the road call me again.” - Black Coffee & White Lines - Jayne Denham-Jerry Salley.
“I heard the word calamity and thought it was a cool album idea, being the album after Renegade . I got together with Phil Barton and Kris Bergsnes and said the song didn't have to be about disaster.”
Jayne said many people related to it because they were attracted to the wrong person but couldn't see it at the time because they were so consumed with them.
“This may or may not have happened to me,” Jayne laughed.
“I also love the way it is produced, it suits my vocal range and the song and it fits the live show well.”
Jayne said she loved to write about other people and her career started with a little song about a girl who drove a truck.
“A truck driver thanked us for writing truck driving songs because it made him proud to be a driver,” she said.
“Those are the highlights, when people love the songs and they mean so much to them.”
FLYING MORE DANGEROUS THAN TRUCKING
“I closed my eyes/ I let you take me so high/ I believed and took that step/ I crash landed and you left me empty handed/ with goodbye and broken wings.” - Fear Of Flying - Jayne Denham-Jennifer Schott.
Jayne also penned Fear Of Flying with prolific Kansas born singer-songwriter and Missouri University journalism graduate Jennifer Schott whose hits include Tim McGraw's Grammy nominated album title track Two Lanes Of Freedom.
The song exploits an aerial metaphor to land its message.
Denham wrote Love's A, replete with tattoo references , with Brandon Hood and Parker Welling and has three promotional semi-trailers in her fleet.
Wickham Freight Lines sponsored Jayne for seven years since she made the Trucker Chicks video clip and supplied the new trailer - her third.
“ Wickham Freight Lines have just been such an amazing support over all these years since Trucker Chicks , helping me promote everywhere I could.
“To have another JD trailer, The Calamity Trailer , has just been a huge blessing to help to get the world out on the street, quite literally.
“I have been very lucky over the years to have partnered with a number of great companies to help my projects come about.
“ Scuzztrans Container Transport supported me with Grew Up ‘Round Trucks and Rockin' with Ned and Lawrence Livestock for Stacks .
Jayne said it still felt weird seeing herself on trailers each time one passed her on constant journeys up and down the east coast.
“My friend and I were driving in Queensland and all of a sudden she screamed out. Look! There you are in the wild,” Jayne joked.
“It's been so much fun, too, over the years as fans send me photos all the time when they see a trailer. It does make people smile - especially the country music fans.”