I really like all the songs on the album! By far my two favorites are “Sticks and Stones” and “Now’s The Time”. Maybe it’s the words or the easy flow of the songs or maybe the groove that they create, but those two really get me. I love them. Overall you have really created a Blues type album that somehow does not feel trendy or forced. It has a great Blues feel but it does not rely on the same old cliché’s that seem to be non-stop with many of today’s Blues artists. Not in style, but in feeling, it reminds me of how Clapton approaches the Blues. Somehow he remains authentic to the art form while remaining distinctly Eric Clapton. I feel you have also captured that elusive mix of traditional and fresh. Many “Blues” albums bore me because they all sound like copy bands. Yours is new and electric and fresh and timely. As usual, your words are creative but to the point, the imagery is strong and tells a story, something lacking in many of today’s artists. The production is very good, the recording very nice. I really love the lead work of your guitarist and of course, your instrumental work is very captivating. I really think the bass parts are solid and fit the CD well. Liz did a superb job all around and the whole effort comes across very professional.
Nominated by Just Plain Folks in 1999 for BEST AMERICANA ALBUM for "THE BUILDER"
Nominated for BEST AMERICANA ALBUM AND SONG for "LOVE KNOWS NO DISTANCE"
Nominated in 2003 for BEST FEMALE SINGER / SONGWRITER for performance and composition of " TOO SOON TO SAY"
NSAI Honorable Mention in songwriting contest for "SAFE INSIDE"
Recorded with John Carter Cash / Walter Egan/ Don Wayne
Placed 7 songs with independent artists to date
Placed 2 songs in the movie "MURPHY'S LAW"
Opened for Dan Seals, Jo Dee Messina, Ty England, and Tracy Lawrence.
"It was just another Friday night in Bowling Green and we had just finished dinner with a friend. As she rose to leave, she stated that she was meeting friends at Molly Shannon’s Irish Pub on Broadway to hear Jill Sissel. Her recommendations were so glowing that we decided to follow her over and to our surprise and delight we ended up staying most of the evening listening to this unique performer who was playing on the patio. I soon realized that I had to talk with her."
Jill, I know you currently reside in Nashville but where are you from originally and how did you get started in music?
I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. I started playing guitar when I was 3. My sister had a guitar lying around and the first time I saw it laying in its case it called to me. My mother was a pianist and organist for church so she insisted on my taking piano lessons first. I would sneak and play the guitar when I was supposed to be practicing piano. When I turned 8, my mother and I both took guitar lessons together, she was 52. I always loved John Denver, Bread, the Eagles, and the Beatles and I listened to song structure and played in my bedroom constantly. My parents started asking me to sing and play for their friends; and after much coaxing I would do it, always nervously, then feel great when it was over!
Who or what style of music influenced you as a musician?
I would have to say the biggest influence musically at first was John Denver. To speak of the relationship of mankind and nature, and use the acoustic guitar and voice to express this, has always captivated my spirit.
How do you define your style of performing and your sound?
Somebody once told me I played the guitar like it owed me money. I get that ... but truthfully the guitar has many elements and I learned that it can sound like a drum, a bass and an orchestra all at once. Since I was a kid and playing these songs by myself, I picked out the parts on the recording and emulated them on the guitar. To sum it up... My sound is full.
Your musical partner Liz Ficalora is a master percussionist and really enhances your sound. How did you all meet and connect musically?
We met at a Nashville club, where she told me about her dream of engineering and recording. I went to her home, helped her wire the studio up, and was amazed at how well she understood music theory and recording. She is a natural producer and never tires of learning new things. She's gone from simple Nuendo software, to joining the Cubase Club here in Nashville where, I might add, she is the only female member.
Do you write a lot of your own music?
I have always written songs. My first song was about a fictional character who lived in the field up our street, Old Man Moze . I enjoy writing with co-writers too. Since moving to Nashville, I have been introduced to some amazing lyricists. It is an eternal expression platform for which I am grateful to be able to communicate through.
Where do you want go with your music?
I want to go everywhere in the world and play. I want the Grammy, I want to watch people enjoy themselves in the moment and in the songs.
I am really impressed with your CD “Haunted Highway.” Are you planning or currently working on another recording project for the future?
Thanks! We are working on another project currently called, "Tell the Truth". I am very interested in the Blues, and this CD is a step in that direction. This one features my band Richard Bell, Ted Wagner and Liz Ficalora on the drums. She is also co-producing and engineering. By the way, this project was funded on Kickstarter by some loyal folks who like to hear more of my music! Mike Kuhl is the co-writer on 5 of the songs.
Thanks for sharing with us Jill. Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to add that Kentucky, particularly Bowling Green, has been especially kind and gracious to me. I enjoy the support and friendship with so many people there. Thanks Jack, for the interview.
- Jack Montgomery, The Amplifier (Oct 02, 2012)
"Her voice is soft and alluring, her guitar playing is solid, and her lyrics are evocative with a slightly playful undertone. To make that long story a bit shorter, Jill Sissel’s got it. The proverbial “it.” Not just talent—although she certainly has enough of that to go around—but a drive and earnestness that so many talented people seem to lack in today’s music industry. Just looking at the liner notes is enough to make me feel inadequate. Jill Sissel is the lead vocalist; she’s the guitarist (acoustic and electric); she plays the keyboard, the bass, the mandolin; she either wrote or co-wrote every song on the album. Is there anything she can’t do? "
- Vince Gaetano, Nashville Underground (Jan 25, 2011)
"CD - Love Knows No Distance - "The 10 songs on this CD are all co-written by this multi-talented artist. Sissel has a warm, sexy voice and sets the tone of the album with the title song. She also gets to show off her guitar pickin' skills on every track as well as her other instrumental talents. "
- Brad Fisher, Nashville Music Guide (Feb 04, 2001)
"I Googled, “Jill Sissel!” WOW! Six pages of info choices immediately slapped me in the face! She is an incredibly talented and prolific music machine! She does it all. I learned quickly (YouTube never lies) that Jill is an accomplished blues guitarist. "
- Tim Ross, Nashville Music Scene (Feb 15, 2010)
"Music Row, Robert K. Oermann Single Review for "Love Knows no Distance" written by Jill Sissel (ASCAP) and Steve Bigler (BMI). It's a little under produced, but the song has a cool hook and the wha-wha electric guitar behind her "dry" vocal is teasing and wonderfully ear-catching."
- Robert Oermann, Music Row