Jennifer Knapp is a former Christian music star who left the business at the top of her game. She is currently signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Record label, and has a new album called SET ME FREE out today. Purchase SET ME FREE here.
Videos by American Songwriter
ARTIST: Jennifer Knapp
BIRTHDATE: April 12, 1974
HOMETOWN: Chanute, KS
CURRENT LOCATION: Nashville, TN
AMBITIONS: World peace, or at least, being a part of how music can connect us to the better angels of their nature.
TURN-OFFS: Arrogance, refusal to learn or try something new, anything that limits the potential of oneself or of others
TURN-ONS: Graciousness, patience, and the determination for self-improvement, especially in the face of adversity
DREAM GIG: Any gig where the room atmosphere is more of a shared conversation and not actually a “performance” or a “show” always turns into a dreamlike experience. It’s hard to exchange. But if I had to pick a nationally renowned stage, I’d go with Carnegie Hall or the Sydney Opera House — either, of course, complete with orchestra!
FAVORITE LYRIC: Pretty every opening line from anything on Patty Griffin’s Living With Ghosts. How about: “Funny, how a morning turns our love to shame.”
CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: Tone the Bone
SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Johnny Rotten Tale” — Amy Ray
5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Karen Armstrong, Anne Sexton, Judi Dench, John Lennon, Pablo Picasso
MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: 1999 Lilith Fair, singing “Closer To Fine” on stage with the Indigo Girls while sharing a mic with Sarah McLachlan. Seriously, how did that even happen?
I WROTE THIS SONG: This is semi-autobiographical, in that it starts in the actual adventures along the Neosho River in Kansas where my father would take us to spend hot, lazy summer afternoons just to get away. It’s funny, for what things seem ordinary in the moment, nothing special, just hanging out—when we look back on them with the aging of time and the addition of growing up, and even looking at it through different eyes of others who might have been there with us—the picture can change, morphing in order to carry the weight of the years in between. It’s a picture of where the seed was planted and the legacy of all that grew after.