We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaquita Straw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaquita, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk/Reward has always been a motivating factor for me in my musical career. My largest inspiration, Dolly Parton said, “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.” I fully believe that the only limitation I have is me, getting in the way of my self. So, I started looking at risk as opportunities to rise to the occasion of my dreams. I am also an extremely determined human being and thriving in a risky situation, as Jerry Garcia would say, gets me off.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career started as a bluegrass banjo player in all girl band, Pistols in Petticoats. It combined all the wildest women in Denver at the time. I cut my teeth as musician and was a hell of a time. After 4 years with Pistols, we got into a bad car accident on tour and the band dissolved. I took some time off playing, learned valuable skills at UNC, and dreamed up Jackie & The Racket. The Racket’s studio work are country cuts made for radio. Jackie & The Racket’s live show is another experience. Imagine if Dolly Parton and Jerry Garcia had a love child. That is the sound, psychedelic country music. I want the world to know there is a female fronted band that can rock your socks off. I want the world to know, this isn’t bluegrass, and you should prepare for a high energetic, psychedelic, sassy performance that bends genres.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a I had a friend visiting the are I would take them to my favorite mountain town, Buena Vista. First, we’d hike along the river then head to Cotton Wood Hot Springs. After a soak, we’d hit my favorite eateries in BV. For the real deal Mexican, Casa Sanches. Get a big marg and they bring you a shot at the end of your meal! We’d walk over to Coletrain Music Academy and pick tunes with musical mayor of BV, Coleman Lewis. Finally, cap it off with dinner at The Surf Hotel.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Two people who need shout out in my musical journey are Tyler Grant and Adrian Engfer (Grant Farm). Tyler “TMFG” Grant has has had a large hand in developing Jackie & The Racket. He has mentored me in several ways. Tyler played and produced on both records Goal Digger 2018 and Tough Luck Cowboy 2019. He has whipped me into shape as a player, singer, front woman, business woman, and band leader. Tyler has coined our sound that landed us world wide radio play and reviews in Country Music People Magazine. His ear and knowledge of music is incredible and I wouldn’t be as accomplished with out him. Adrian Engfer has been my musical rock. He has a deep understanding of music and supported me through my education at UNC Folk & Bluegrass program where I studied Banjo and Vocals. Adrian has helped me write songs and bring them to life from scratch since the beginning. Adrian played on both records, recorded at SwingFingers. He is a muse in my songwriting and one of the best bass players I have ever heard, and we are lucky to call him our own. Now, my songwriting compadres. Erin Peet Lukes and Benny “Burle” Galloway. Two heads are better than one, three heads are better than two. I believe creating great songs is a team effort and these two have their own flavors, combine them and it creates magic. Erin is an incredible musician who EVERY female artist should work with. She knows how the songs should feel, progress, and be expressed. She can write a song about anything at anytime and I admire that greatly. On top of it, she is an incredible support to many people in the music community. You may know Burle from his work with Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, or Infamous String Dusters. He is the songwriter behind the scenes of your favorite hits like Pride of Alabama and Night on the River, plus 100’s more. Burle, “lives between the parenthesis ” and writes songs that stick you in the heart. Check out Pushing up Daisies on Tough Luck Cowboy for our work together. Burle is getting music to the people through Rong Reckords in Lyons. The Racket looks forward to recording with Burle in the future. Finally, my bandmates. Steven Huntley, Jesse Hughes, and Adrian. These guys are my ride or die. They get up early, stay out late, play in great and not-so-great conditions. Not every gig is a glamours experience and they never complain. They are in for the ride, put in the work, trust and support me. They make a safe space for me to express myself and create music. Thank you, boys.