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JOLENE’S JOURNEY Galt’s Jolene Jones is breaking into country and Christian music with soulful new album

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Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 7:03 am

Jolene Jones has been singing her entire life. But now, working between her hometown and Nashville, Jones is making a name for herself with her country album “Where Angels Go to Cry.” Jones, whose biggest inspiration was her father, shares about her journey as a musician and what she likes to do in Lodi.

How long have you been singing?

My whole life. My dad — James “Lavelle” Jones — was a musician. He was a member of the Academy of Country Music, and he was on the radio and all that stuff. He passed away from cancer in 1993 and I kind of took over.

Do you write your own music?

I do. I write my own songs, but some of them are from songwriters in Nashville. Sometimes I work with songwriters; it’s usually a collaboration.

You recently went to Nashville. Were you there for work?

I’ve been traveling back and forth for about seven years. We record and perform and work with writers and that kind of stuff.

Do you perform locally?

I have, and we’re going to start doing more stuff. My band just went up to Toby Keith’s bar in Folsom to play, and we will soon be playing Whiskey Barrel here in town.

Who are your inspirations?

My dad was a huge inspiration for me. I love country music and Christian music. I sing with the band at Horizon Community Church in Galt.

Growing up, my inspirations were Crystal Gale and Marty Robbins. And Dolly Parton — that’s where I got my name (from Parton’s song “Jolene”). My dad had met her and he said, “If I have a daughter, I will name her Jolene.”

What is your dream?

My goal has always been to have a career in music. They dynamics of music have changed so much. You used to have to have a record deal, but now you can get out there and make a name for yourself. That’s what I’m trying to do.

What is your New Year’s resolution?

To just go for it; to be positive and be open to what God had planned, because I know God has a plan and I just have to follow.

How would you describe your style of music?

Well, you asked about my inspirations, and Trisha Yearwood — she has been one of my biggest inspirations. I got to spend time with her and Garth just recently.

I call myself the ballad queen. I like music people can connect with, but it’s definitely country. I love it when people say, “Aw, that song makes me cry.”

Do you have a favorite song of yours?

I do. It’s “Miss Nighttime Girl,” because my dad originally wrote that song and it was on the radio in the ’70s, and I have reworked it.

I love “Where Angels Go to Cry.”

Describe your perfect Saturday.

I love to be outdoors and I love music. My favorite days are when I have people come over and we’re playing music and hanging out.

What is your favorite thing to do in Lodi?

My favorite place to eat is Twisted Fork; I love their raviolis. Pietro’s, too — I’m Italian.

Contact Lodi Living Editor Lauren Nelson at



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