Rett Madison’s One For Jackie — “She straddles the lines between Americana/Country/pop/indie rock, but it feels at home in all these areas & beyond. She sings about grief and queerness and as dark as her very real-life stories are, she’s upbeat, hopeful, and absolutely lovely.”

Donna Block
5 min readOct 27, 2023

--

(Photo credit: Mikayla Miller)

Originally from West Virginia. LA based. Singer-songwriter. Multi-instrumentalist. Americana/Country, pop, indie rock. Sing about grief and queerness. Backup vocals for Lorde and Kate Nash. Opened for Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, and Elle King. What is the best advice another artist has shared with you?

The best advice I’ve received is to invest in your peers in your own music community rather than trying to climb the ladder. Go to shows, make music with your friends, and focus on what you can build with the folks around you.

Signing with Warner Records. “I wouldn’t be celebrating this signing today if it weren’t for the support of my parents, my music community, and the many incredible teachers who encouraged my love of songwriting from an early age.” How did your teachers encourage you as a songwriter?

The first teacher to encourage my songwriting was my middle school choir teacher. One day I stayed after class and played an original song for her. She was the first adult, other than my parents, to see potential in my writing, and she gave me the opportunity to perform my own songs at school assemblies and choir concerts. Having a teacher champion my art at such a young age was invaluable.

Touring with Grace Potter, The Head and The Heart, Andy Grammer, Fitz & The Tantrums, and Medium Build. Hangs in the van. Sonic blasts. Favorite coffee stops on the road?

I try to visit coffee shops that are local to a city or community. A few cafes that I make a point to visit when I’m on tour include Big Dog Coffee when I’m in Pittsburgh, Little Wolf Coffee when I’m in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and Elegy Coffee in Nashville.

Headline show in London. Favorite memory from the show?

My favorite memory from the show was how present the audience was that night. I really felt like I was laughing with a room of fifty of my closest friends. That crowd was really fun.

“Pin-Up Daddy,” featuring Katie Pruitt, a reimagined version in celebration of Pride month. The original was on your debut album. ‘…Used to feel like a guest in my own body ‘Till I peeled back the wallpaper, and I found a silver lining My eyes are no longer vacant like a haunted house I switched on all the lights once I met myself…’ What is your favorite lyric from the song and why?

The lyric you just quoted is my favorite lyric from this song! This line means a lot to me because it’s a reminder that loving myself is the path to healing and transformation.

“One for Jackie, One for Crystal,” your take on a murder ballad. “When I first wrote this song, I’d spent a year carrying rage towards a man that abused my mother when she was only a child. … Soon after, I was consumed by an anger that felt inescapable and at times poisonous. … After a while, the only way to find a way forward and a semblance of my own peace was to honor that anger and put it in song, as violent as it may have been. I think women are too often discouraged from showing this side of ourselves and speaking our pain.” How can we encourage other women to speak about their pain?

One of the ways we can encourage more women to speak out about their pain is by holding space for women to share their truths without fearing they’ll be judged, shamed, or blamed.

World Mental Health Day. Handle with Care, a nonprofit that helps music industry professionals and their family members access mental health and wellness resources. Your mom struggled with depression, PTSD, and alcoholism. Music has helped you heal. If you were to put together a playlist of songs that helped you through challenging times, which five songs would top the list?

“Songbird” — Fleetwood Mac

“Rainbow” — Kacey Musgraves

“I Wish I Knew” — Sharon Van Etten

“In Heaven” — Japanese Breakfast

“Everywhere” — Fleetwood Mac

One For Jackie, the new album’s track list. “Growing up, I always thought my mom had the most beautiful and unique handwriting. It wasn’t until after she’d passed, when I was re-reading many of the cherished letters and cards she’d written me over the years for birthdays, holidays, and her routine updates on small town gossip when I was at summer camp, that I noticed she often wrote with a combination of both print and cursive. For my first album, Pin-up Daddy, the track list is in my handwriting on the vinyl back cover. For One For Jackie, I felt that the album art would only be complete if the song titles were written in my mom’s script.” How does your mom continue to influence your life and career?

My mother continues to influence my life and career by the myriad of little ways I celebrate her everyday. For example, her taste in fashion inspires what I wear on stage now. In the time since she’s passed, I find myself gravitating more often towards pieces she would have loved when she was alive, like leopard print clothing or butterfly shaped jewelry. I listen to her favorite albums over and over again just to feel connected to her. Those albums then shape my own writing and artistry. Her impact on my life is infinite.

One For Jackie Track List:

1. Jacqueline

2. How It All Began

3. Flea Market

4. Lipstick

5. St. Luke’s

6. Ballet

7. Death Don’t Make a Bitch an Angel

8. Skydiving

9. Fortune Teller

10. One for Jackie, One for Crystal

11. Mediums, Therapists and Sheriffs

12. Kiki (Feat. Iron & Wine)

Follow Rett Madison:

Official | Instagram | X-Twitter | TikTok | Facebook | YouTube

Rett Madison Live — Get tour tickets here.

Oct 27 Los Angeles, CA Record Safari

--

--