Spring Branch native Jennifer Fitts caught the singing bug while doing a mandatory drama department musical at UT-Austin. Reinforcement came when she stumbled onto Toni Price during a college bar crawl.
"When we walked in, there was this tiny woman in this sequined dress dancing like crazy," she says. "Then when the band started, we looked up and there she was singing. I was blown away and have been a big fan ever since."
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Fitts later was exposed to Lou Ann Barton, who fed her growing fire for blues and roots music. Since moving back to Houston, she's balanced a day job with playing and songwriting, saving enough money to finance Pleasant Detour, a seven-song Texas country EP recorded with Clay Blaker's band. The album included a duet with the better-known Cory Morrow, ("It Feels Like You're Still Here"), and garnered her a bit of radio play around the state. But the hoped for breakout didn't happen.
After dissolving her former band, Fitts recently hooked up with guitar whiz Adam Burchfield (Snit's Dog and Pony Show) and has been honing her chops hosting blues jams at Cosmos Café while working a new band into shape with her country shows in preparation for recording a live album. She'll self-finance this one too and release it on her Rio Grande imprint.
Blanco's, 3406 W. Alabama
Friday, August 15; for more information call 713-439-0072
Fitts, who has been trekking to Nashville recently in hopes of selling her songs or possibly snagging a staff writing job, will perform most of the songs from Pleasant Detour plus a couple of new songs. She'll also be tearing into a few covers she says her fans have insisted she record such as "Harper Valley PTA," Susan Tedeschi's bluesy "It Hurt So Bad," a couple of Toni Price tunes, and Townes Van Zandt's "White Freight Liner," which she says her dad loves.
Fitts has hosted the Wednesday night Redneck Jams at Blanco's, but this will be her first headline slot at the popular country nightspot. And tape will be rolling.