CHARLEVOIX — Shooting for shows across the country and settling in the middle of the bustling music mecca of Nashville simply couldn’t compete with the beauty of northern Michigan and the family appeal of the author- singer-songwriter Jetty Rae.
Back last year in Charlevoix where she grew up and attended high school, the artist has taken advantage of her return to Michigan: she released her latest album “Time Traveler” last month, a striking collection of Americana which she says reflects “a full picture” of her journey in recent years.
“I missed the seasons as they unfold in northern Michigan, as well as the lakes. The lifestyle and the small town were also very appealing to us, because we really didn’t want to raise our kids in a city” , Rae said of her family’s move from Nashville.
“After years on the road and many trips, we really feel like we live in the most beautiful place in the world. I love going to the beach in the summer, skiing and hiking in the winter, and foraging in the fall and spring.
Rae launched his career in northern Michigan, releasing his debut album, “Blackberries,” in 2007 after recording it “in a pole barn in Charlevoix” as well as at Dave Runyan’s Runyan Media in Bellaire.
The eldest of four siblings raised in “a creative family” of writers and theater artists, Rae then spent several years on the road in an Airstream trailer with her husband and children before moving to Nashville in 2019 – a few years after the death of his father. a way.
She’s released several indie-folk albums since “Blackberries,” calling her latest project recorded with Mitch Dane at Nashville’s Sputnik Sound “a travelogue, so to speak, of my journey through grief, anxiety, and ultimately, towards hope.
“I often joke with my audience that I cried in every state. The years on the road after my father died were beautiful, eye-opening and at times very bitter. There was a lot of processing for me, and the inspiration to weave into my journeys through storytelling and (songwriting) happened quite naturally.
Influenced by artists such as Brandi Carlile, Ray LaMontagne, Patty Griffin and Saray Jarosz, Rae describes her music as “Native Americana”.
“I’m a Karuk Indian and I’ve let that part of my heritage seep in and further permeate my creative process – even my choice of vocal inflections or chanting, or the insertion of more Native American instruments into my music,” she said.
“I definitely leaned more towards western-sounding production, a tiny bit of country, but mostly Americana, singer-songwriter.”
After playing an album release show at Dhasaleer Barn in Charlevoix earlier this month, Rae is playing Trinity House in Livonia on December 10.
Rae – whose music has been used in the past by Microsoft and Amazon in their promotional campaigns – also writes fresh music with “lots of ideas for a new album”.
“My plan is to re-immerse myself in the creative music community of northern Michigan,” she said. “I’ve been away for a while and want to build the kind of community and family that I had in Nashville with other songwriters.
“I hope to start a “song hall” in Charlevoix where artists can create their songs, find a sense of community and collaborate.