GIRL POWER: Kendi Jean brings HayGirls to Weatherford | New
Women who carry guitars and perform songs for a living face their share of skeptics. Fort Worth singer-songwriter Kendi Jean arrived at a concert not long ago and a club owner told her she looked like Phoebe from “Friends” with her blonde hair and blonde hair. guitar case. He wondered aloud if she would sing “Smelly Cat”.
“Sometimes women have this stigma that they’re just going to do a few little coffee covers,” Jean said. “There are a lot of badass women who can play guitar as well as men and write songs. I try to bring them to light.
Jean blows up local girls during a live song swap known as HayGirls. The series began several months ago at a theater in Haltom City but moved to Weatherford in July. Every second Wednesday night, Jean and another female performer sit on stools on an outdoor stage at Weatherford Lake and share songs and stories for about an hour.
Jean au lac’s first performer was Dylan Hoffman, a 17-year-old student from Brock High School who performed a mix of originals and covers on Wednesday, July 21.
“I met Kendi about a year ago, and she kinda helps me with my music and has been a great mentor to me,” Hoffman said while helping Jean set up the stage equipment before the show. “She’s really good at songwriting. I also started writing songs, because that’s what makes you an artist.
I ask her if she’s had “Smelly Cat” moments.
“I certainly have issues with people sometimes, but I don’t regret doing this,” said Hofman. “I love him. That’s how I make my money. It’s funny.”
What kinds of challenges does a teenage girl encounter in shows?
“I’m a lot underrated and sometimes I meet scary people, but my parents go with me to every one of my concerts, so they kind of watch that,” she said.
HayGirls began as a spinoff of Haltom Theater’s Texas Hayride series, a county music showcase featuring local performers of both sexes. Jean had performed at the Hayride several times before the pandemic and wanted to create and host a similar show featuring women.
“Over the past couple of years I have attended some really good open mics in the area and have been able to network with some very good musicians, both men and women,” said Jean. “I like supporting other women in the industry because there are fewer of us and more apart. I have a heart for that, being a woman myself and knowing some of the struggles that we go through to get reservations and things like that.
HayGirls features a mix of newbies like Hoffman and seasoned artists like Amelia Presley. Upcoming guests include Madison Paige and Jenn Ford.
“I was very lucky to be able to fill my book with some really amazing songwriters from our area and all over Texas,” Jean said. “I booked it quickly throughout November.”
A large crowd was present for the first performance. Patrons at Tavern on the Lake drank fruit drinks and cold beers, ate burgers and fries and chatted while Jean and Hoffman took turns playing original songs over a sound system with the lake behind them and a cool breeze blowing.
“We’re happy to be here at Weatherford,” Jean told the crowd before introducing Hoffman.
John records the shows and edits the video afterwards and distributes it to many Internet radio stations for broadcast.
Hoffman said she wanted to start by playing the first song she had ever written, a love ballad co-written with friends when she was 10, although she had never been in love.
“It’s a classic love song,” she laughed.
“This is what 10 year old girls love to write about – the fairy tale that you haven’t yet realized doesn’t exist,” Jean joked before stepping back and saying, “C ‘is the case. It does. “
John knows a lot about the power of love. Kendi Jean is a stage name. Her real name is Kendra Finestead. A longtime community volunteer, she has been the Executive Director of the Miracle League in Parker County since 2019. The non-profit organization was formed six years ago to provide a safe and fun environment for children with needs. specials can play baseball in a stadium.
She has three children, including Molly, a 14 year old girl with special needs.
In September, Jean organizes a benefit concert to raise funds for the Miracle League.
“It’s a project that is close to my heart,” said Jean. “I have a big heart for non-profit organizations but also for the community with special needs, being a parent with special needs myself. “
Jag Metals of Weatherford is the title sponsor.
“They are doing a lot to help us kickstart this event and pay the price for it,” she said. “It should be really fun.”
The concert will take place on Sunday, September 5 at the Miracle League Baseball Field in the 2300 block of Tin Top Road.