When you are a young performer most of the time you will see a period of growth that comes with being new to the scene but on some occasions, you come across an artist that instantly has what it takes to be a smashing success and Jackie Darlene is one of those people.
When listening to Jackie you will hear one beautiful soulful voice that at least in my opinion is a blend of Susan Tedeschi and Faith Hill. Although Darlene is twenty-three years old she has a soul that is way beyond her age. I recently got to talk with Darlene where I was able to learn her incredible story.
Darlene grew up around music her entire life. Her mother and aunt had a band in the 80s’ and is related to the legendary Whitey Shafer so music naturally was in her blood. At age 12 Darlene first picked up a guitar got a book and taught herself how to play. She also began writing songs and began playing a few acoustic gigs with Abbi Baker who was a friend of hers.
At age 16 Jackie had a Christian rock band throughout high school. After high school, she began playing a few solo acoustic gigs until discovering the Texas Music Scene which she was unaware of at the time. While Darlene was pursuing music, she was also waiting tables for two years until finally making the decision to pursue music full time.
Before making the decision to leave her waitressing job Darlene booked herself well ahead so she could have the security of knowing that she would be able to concentrate on music full time.
She has had a passion for music since she was a little girl and had originally planned on attending school to become a nurse but felt that God had a different plan and that music was her true calling. Jackie was asked to sing harmonies for Kirk Baxley when she was 19. His Manager at the time had owned a venue in Waco that had Christian punk bands and acoustic acts introduced the two so that was her introduction to the Texas Music Scene.
In July 2015 Darlene left Baxley and began venturing out on her own using the tools that she had learned from the year and a half she was on the road with Kirk Baxley and the people that she met taking advantage of opportunity to get involved. The biggest lesson that she took from being on the road with Baxley was that it was a business and not a party.
When She was younger her impression was that it was a big party but in reality, it is a business that requires a great work ethic because with the scene being so saturated that money will only take you so far. When you attend a performance, fans can expect to hear stories that have been centered around her life. Even though she is twenty-three her life has been interesting and songwriting is something that is extremely important to her and it is important that she shares her stories and get the true meaning of what she is saying. When a song connects with someone that is a feeling that brings a great deal of joy to her.
The style Jackie has is truly diversified. When I asked Darlene how she would classify her style of music she said that she felt like as far as genres go it would be Americana. When looking at what Americana is define as you will learn that it’s the different styles of American musical influences which is why Americana is a genre because it’s so diverse.
Darlene is not just a pure country singer although she can write a country song she has a blend of Christian music, Blues, folk and even rock in her music. One of my favorite songs of Jackie Darlene is called Diamond in the Rough which was written about if anyone has ever worked hard to get somewhere they may have felt like a Diamond in the Rough knowing the potential they have and knowing how bright you can shine it just don’t happen overnight. It was Jackie in the future.
Courage is my personal favorite song of hers. The song shows a redemption of herself and shows that your past self isn’t who you have to be. The song has a heavy blues influence and features a killer saxophone.
You can learn more about Jackie Darlene by going to her website Jackiedarlene.com and you can also find her on facebook. Remember the name Jackie Darlene because she will be around for years to come.