Updated: Oct 12, 2021
"All I can do is be me... whoever that is" - BOB DYLAN
Jackie Rae Daniels,
that's me alright. Some parts of my life are like a rockstar love story, some parts are pathetic, and some parts... more than I'd like to admit, are made up of the most mundane of mundane.
I am from Chicago, IL and grew up there until I was about 18 years old. I started music at the age of 4, playing that soul stealing instrument, the violin. My mother also plays, and gave all of us kids (me and my 3 siblings) an opportunity to pick an instrument. She would foster a love of music in all of us from that tender age. I always knew it was a special thing, music, and it has granted pure magic to my life. Music is a part of my existence, like pizza. It's in my regular routine, something that must be consumed, made, and enjoyed or I might die.
By the time I turned 18 I started to write songs on the guitar, my preferred instrument to accompany myself with. I hadn't had many life experiences to write about, so, I became determined to make some. I opted out of college and took a 3 month backpacking trip with my dear friend and fellow artist, to Europe. No plan, no cell phones, no itinerary, just a $30/day budget and the wide open rails of Europa! From there, my rambling feet gave me a fierce sense of restlessness that I still am shook to the core about. I found writing to be my 'go to' modality of expression next to music. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Since the age of 18 I have about 18 completed journals, filled with songs (alive, dead, and never born), grocery lists, problems, triumphs, todo lists, todon't lists...etc... my life.
I have since then picked up 3 other stringed instruments: the tenor banjo, which I am quite fond of its planky awkward simpleness that can somehow carry the feeling of a delicately plucked harp at times. The Mandolin, the little cousin to the fiddle, frets included! And last but not least my long lost soul, viola. I have developed a live looping act where I build 5 part string parts. Unveiled before a live audience like ghosts that have been participating the whole time waiting to be revealed.
I play shows all over the country and have two full length albums ("Travelin' In Circles", and "Hit the Moon"), 2 EPs ("In The Blood", and "Daniels and Baker"), and am featured on several other albums by the likes of Nathan Kalish ("I Want To Believe", and "Songs for Nobody"), and Arlo Hannigan ("Harder to Return").