Bred on gospel, folk, soul, rock and blues in rural South Georgia, singer/songwriter Jennifer Nettles began performing in church and with musical/theatre troupes at the tender age of seven. Jennifer began writing her own music and playing guitar at 17, and by 1994 at the age of 20, she was cutting her teeth on Atlanta's fertile music scene, playing the club circuit with the now defunct acoustic-folk-pop band Soul Miner's Daughter.
Soul Miner's Daughter was highly regarded for its luscious vocal harmonies and solid grooves. The band made two albums together and earned Jennifer critical accolades and notoriety as a powerful new voice in the Southeast.
In 1998, Jennifer decided to take more control over her musical destiny and broke out on her own with the Jennifer Nettles Band. The band's first independent CD, Story of Your Bones, garnered college and commercial radio airplay in New York City, Cleveland, Atlanta, Memphis and throughout Georgia and the Carolinas.
It's follow-up, Gravity: Drag Me Down, took on a wide range of musical styles from bluegrass hoe-downs and greasy Austin roadhouse vibes to bone-rattling rock without ever losing the band's own distinctive sound and identity, in no small part due to Jennifer's impassioned vocals and lyrics forged from the fires of personal experience.
In 1999 Jennifer won a coveted spot to perform at the Lilith Fair, and in 2000, she was honored by Musician's Atlas as the Independent Musician of the Year all the while beating a musical path up and down the Eastern seaboard. In the meantime, Jennifer found herself in the spotlight as a regular feature in publications all over the Southeast, including Jezebel Magazine, Atlanta City Mag, The Album Network, Southeastern Performer and Performing Songwriter. However, it was her high-energy stage show, commanding stage presence and apparent love of performing that continued to win her an ever-growing, loyal fan base.
In 2002, Jennifer Nettles Band released a third album, Rewind, which she followed up with two live solo CDs. These live cd's were recordings of her 2003 and 2004 New Year's Eve performances at the renowned Atlanta music venue Eddie's Attic, where coincidentally, she found success early on with Soul Miner's Daughter as the winner of the Attic's world-famous Open Mic Shootout.
In 2003, Jennifer was approached by two other Atlanta singer/songwriters, Kristen Hall and Kristian Bush, to join their project, a country band called, Sugarland. The chemistry among the three was instant, and Sugarland presented an opportunity for Jennifer to further develop her songwriting and performing but with a twist. Jennifer's previous material had a more Americana sensibility that drew on a variety of genres while Sugarland focused solely on its country music flavor, a new concept for Jennifer, who enjoys all kinds of music. Sugarland also gave Jennifer an opportunity to co-write for the first time with other seasoned songwriters.
As for Sugarland, Jennifer is excited about the music the band is creating together while treasuring the experiences that led her here. "Sugarland's music tells a story that people can relate to on a really human day-to-day level," she says. "But they're fun stories. They're light stories. It's music that's not taking itself too seriously."
"In my own singer/songwriter work, I did more of that kind of self-exploration, a little bit more processing of life on a heavier scale. Sugarland is more for the sake of fun, and people relate to our energy on stage," she adds. "Everybody has a collective good time."