- "Jeni is a true poet and born storyteller – many of her songs contain whole novels." Lee Smith, critically acclaimed author of Fair and Tender Ladies and On Agate Hill
Jeni Hankins grew up in the coalfields of Appalachian in Southwest Virginia among a family of miners, moonshiners, and journalists. Her writing pulls the grit, gumption, and keen sense of observation out of that heritage like drawing water from her grandmother’s well. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and flatfoot dancer, Jeni is best known for the sound of the “born-in-the bone twang” of her voice and her true tales of mountain life.
For the last ten years, Jeni has toured as part of the critically acclaimed duo Jeni & Billy, spending nine months of every year on the road. From Merlefest to the Maverick Festival, Jeni & Billy swept audiences off their feet with their down home charm and exquisite musicianship.
This year sees the pair both emerging with solo projects. Informed by seven years of touring in Great Britain, Jeni’s new collection of songs makes a love letter to the home of her ancestors and to her father who passed away in 2016. In her new songs, Jeni crosses oceans and continents to scatter her father’s ashes.
In every song, Jeni’s “true sense of place shines through – old as the hills, but brand new at the same time.”