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Jenny Mitchell & The Mitchell Twins

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Jenny Mitchell

Jenny Mitchell started out performing at the Gore Country Music Club at the tender age of 4 years old. She’s come a long way since then with three albums, an Aotearoa Music Award and 2x Australian Golden Guitar nominations to her name. No stranger to the road, Jenny has graced dozens of festival stages including Australia’s Maldon Folk Festival, Nannup Festival and, of course, the Tamworth Country Music Festival. At home in NZ she’s been on the Canterbury and Wellington Folk Festival bill and opened for acts including Tami Neilson, The Warratahs and Nadia Reid.

According to the Southland born storyteller, one of her first musical memories was watching her dad recording his album. "It was him and a lot of his friends and the studio was this beautiful home studio in rural Southland. I don’t even remember much about the music being made but I can remember that it looked like something I’d like to do someday.”  

When she was brave enough to be on stage without her Dad by her side, the next decade of music saw Jenny competing in the NZ Gold Guitar Awards in her hometown of Gore. Singing songs from many of the country greats, before eventually winning the competition with an original song, the Gold Guitar stage was where Jenny gained confidence and discovered her unique style. 

Her first original songs were penned at age 11, inspired by a trip to Ireland where she met her Grandparent’s families and felt a deep connection to the places and people of the Emerald Isle. Just a few years later, Jenny was placed 3rd on the 2013 Season of New Zealand's Got Talent. In response to her TV experience, she connected with her new national audience to crowdfund her debut album, The Old Oak, that debuted at number 1 on the NZ Country iTunes Charts & number 2 on the Independent Music NZ Charts.

In 2017, Mitchell began studying towards a Bachelor of Arts at Otago University and spent her free time touring and writing. Within the year she had won a number of awards, including Southland Entertainer of the Year and the Overall New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards. The success of 2017 led swiftly to a new musical chapter; her sophomore album Wildfires. Recorded in Sydney by producer Matt Fell, the album revealed a darker, more alternative edge than The Old Oak’s straightforward country sound and received critical acclaim both nationally and internationally.

“Others will use thread, Jenny uses string, others use rope, Jenny uses wire.” No Depression (USA) 

Wildfires won Jenny the Tui for Recorded Music’s NZ Best Country Music Artist in 2019 and left to her first Australian Golden Guitar nomination for 2020 Alt Country Album of the Year. The songbird toured extensively throughout cities, towns and communities in New Zealand and Australia during this time which steadily carved out an audience of story lovers of all ages.

Her next project was a collaboration with her younger sisters, Meagan and Nicola. The Mitchell sisters have always been a tight unit both on and off the stage and The Grainstore Sessions was their first official release together. The live EP was filmed and recorded in Oamaru’s Grainstore Gallery, the home of the life’s work of prolific artist Donna Demente. Released in 2020, the one take videos provided a nearly-live musical experience for locked down audiences and a sneak peak of family-harmony filled musical adventures to come.

As the world continued to work through pandemic challenges, Jenny set her mind to creating a new record. The songs of Tug of War were written at a time of big life changes. Jenny had just graduated from Uni, she had a break-up, her grandfather passed away, she got a new day job and she moved from Dunedin to Wellington. That’s heaps of upheaval – and plenty of material to work with. Tug of War was Jenny’s first label release (Cooking Vinyl Australia) and is most certainly country yet wholly unique, hinting at influences of soul and folk, and ruffling the rafters with her vibrant and distinguishing voice. The album received nominations for a 2023 Australian Golden Guitar and Aotearoa Music Award and features the pivotal release of Trouble Finds a Girl. A collaboration with Tami Neilson, the stirring anthem directly addresses the mistreatment of women in the music industry and was crowned the 2022 APRA Best Country Song.

Tug of War opened doors both nationally and internationally, with Jenny delighting audiences around Aotearoa with her first band headline tour while being selected as an Official Showcase Artist for both BIGSOUND (AU) and Folk Alliance International (U.S) within the past 12 months. Her most recent tour, The Bush & the Birds Tour, travelled throughout NZ in support of conservation organisation Forest & Bird. An extension of track 11 from Tug of War, an ode to her late Grandfather’s love of the land, the tour generated over $2000 in donations for Forest & Bird.  

Jenny Mitchell is a gifted storyteller with the grit and experience to wear her heart proudly on her sleeve. With a sound that No Depression describes as, “poetry that dominates a beautiful melody,” Jenny is comfortable with a country twang or softly spoken ballad. Her music defies easy categorisation but if you admire music by genre-defying artists from Emmylou Harris to Kasey Chambers, you’ll love Jenny Mitchell.


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