“Rise Up” by Jenny Teator

What’s one way to get singer Jenny Teator to do something? Tell her she can’t do it. And she will get it done with grit, energy and ‘wo-oh’ will it be rocking. “Rise Up” the newest single from Teator and it’s a helluva fun ride from the top-to-the-bottom, harmonica and all. This St. Louis-bred singer/songwriter instills the blues, Americana-fringed rock and roll into a grand spectacle in this gem of a song.

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Lyrically there are quite a few lines that stand out in “Rise Up”. Assuming the song is autobiographical, Teator sings with her might, “tell me I can’t so I just go and do it.” I loved how she draws out the ‘ri-ri-ri-rise” in a few spots and right after the unexpected harmonica at the bridge she sings “nobody said this would be easy, nobody said they would be believe me.” I love the images these line creates – it’s definitely a finger in the air to the folks that probably didn’t think she could make it in the music business. I suspect it’s a former lover that wants Teator (or the song’s protagonist) to give up music and ‘get a real job’. Maybe that’s too obvious, but I also like to surmise that this song is for anyone that gets told they can’t do something because they are right for the part, they are pretty enough, they are a woman and so on. That feeling of rejection is universal – but so is the audacity for revenge.

Teator’s vocal delivery suggests she’s geared up for a fight, she’s hyped. It’s anthemic. I can totally picture this song catching on like wildfire. She’s not as pop-sounding as Kellie Clarkson and I think she has more spunk and rawness to her voice – not quite whiskey-laced, but “played a few blues bars in her day” sound. That realness is what makes Teator so endearing and magnetic.

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What I really enjoyed besides the unexpected harmonica and the subtle piano keys are the backing vocals and the overall music bed. It’s a tight sound and it really rocks. It has hints of Americana but jumps the line into country-rock a few more times before settling into a rock sound. I loved that depth and Teator’s voice is the perfect mate for this music. She’s a real badass in this song and is not taking no as an answer. She’s grabbing life and making it work for her. I don’t think her being a woman is what makes that part of it stand out – I think only a woman could sing the song this way and give it that deeper meaning. Her vocals elevate this massive backing sound. Not an easy task with such rocking riffs and pounding percussion, but Teator champions her cause. This is a song made for the stage and hopefully when the pandemic subsides and touring re-starts she can blast this one live. Listening to it via my MacBook Pro speakers doesn’t seem to suffice.

Fans of Gov’t Mule, Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams will enjoy “Rise Up”

Clay Burton.