Today is the 24th anniversary of the release of my first album Pieces Of You!

I cut my first album at Neil Young’s ranch with his band The Stray Gators. But I had a difficult time singing freely in the studio. So his guys packed up a truck full of analog recording equipment and headed down to The InnerChange coffee shop where I was discovered when I was 19.

This clip is from those live recording sessions that became much of the album. This is an outtake that never made the cut, but would be recorded many years later.... 1,000 Miles Away

The group of people that came to see me sing at the InnerChange while I was homeless changed my life. Back then I did a 5 hour show, with one break in the middle, and those fans sat silently for every minute of it. They cried with me and laughed with me and cheered for me when record labels started coming to see me. So it seemed only fitting that they be the ones who were the audience on the first cd. Its their applause - these audience members you see in this clip - you hear on Pieces Of You.

I wanted that time to be captured for exactly what it was- for exactly who I was. A 19 year old Alaskan homesteader turned surfer chic, wearing he best second hand vest. Ha!

My goal was just to be honest. I wanted to make a record that was authentic to who I was, even though my style was not what was happening in pop culture. I didn't want to trade my authenticity for success. So I made a simple folk record and sang my heart out. I never thought about being cool. I wasn't cool. I was earnest. And those fans let me be myself, and we captured it on tape.

This is also the 24th anniversary of the email listserv launch that was started by fans who began to call themselves the Every Day Angels. They got the line from my song I’m Sensitive. It was these hardcore fans that started a grassroots movement that turned into a tsunami and literally carried me to the pinnacle of music.

That album ended up being the little engine that could, and against all odds and entire industries saying I would never cut through with a folk record - my fans and I proved the world wrong, and showed that heart and sincerity and hope had value.

So today I want to thank you, the fans who were with me from day one. The fans who discovered me through my pop album and then got into my back catalogue and became hardcore fans. The fans who folded into the mix when I made country albums.

Together we are still proving that heart and hope still matter. And that we can be different and pursue different things and still support one another because we know how much courage it takes to live an authentic life.

Folk on!

Xx j