A voice once filled with apprehension and fear is now a strong resounding spirited cry from founding member of Dandelion Jo, Liz Jones. Jones, who first moved to Ashland about 14 years ago, joined Southern Oregon Songwriters Association (SOSA) a short time after.
"When I first came to Ashland, I was shaking like a leaf and did not have confidence to sing publicly and was already writing songs, I was looking for a supportive environment where I could fine tune my craft and develop confidence," said Jones.
According to Jones, SOSA is a support network for those who seek constructive feedback about their songwriting. As an avid songwriter, she was compelled to perform her own compositions.
"It was something I was really driven to do. Performing behind closed doors in my living room was satisfying to a point, but I think deep inside I had a greater purpose to share it." said Jones, "But I had to overcome the obstacles of confidence and fears like fears of public speaking and singing."
Jones appears on the Tidings Café with Dan Doshier whom she met through SOSA, and Emily Emmons an SOU student. Their sound is a strong mix of Folk, Country and Bluegrass.
"I had a concept for it to be an Americana group and Dan has influenced it because he has a strong classic country background and songwriting style," said Jones. "And Emily has a really deep rooted Bluegrass foundation from growing up with a Bluegrass family."
Jones performs anywhere from Grants Pass to the California border, and appreciates the venues of local wineries for the scenery and the libations.
"We've played a few barn gigs that were a lot of fun," said Jones.
Often Jones is accompanied by Doshier who is a prolific songwriter himself, writing a new song every Tuesday.
"I met a songwriter in Nashville that said 'you should write a song every single day.' I don't have the stamina to write one every day so I write one every Tuesday and throw most of them away," said Doshier.
Dandelion Jo, like many bands, changes members from time to time to include different sounds and a variety of players.
"We've had a lot of people join us if we want a bigger band for bigger sound. Sometimes if Dan can't make it we'll call it Dandelion Jane if it's just us girls," said Jones.
Emmons, who appears on the Tidings Café playing upright bass, also plays guitar and banjo. She was spotted by Doshier at an old timey jam at Caldera Tap House.
"She's such a natural, I told Liz I wanted to call her up. I would have called her but I didn't want her to think I was a weirdo," said Doshier.
As a young college student Emmons appreciates the opportunity to play with others outside of her age group.
"If you're going to get the real experience you can't play with just people in their 20s, because it's just diluted," said Emmons.
For Jones it is the Americana genre that brings the musicians together.
"I love that aspect of this music because it appeals to the very young and the old," she said.
The group had begun work on an upcoming CD, but had some material destroyed during a flood in the recording studio.
"To some degree we have to start over and we are just waiting for all of our schedules to conjoin to make it happen," said Jones.
Despite the setback of the CD recording Jones is working on her own female trio that will feature less bluegrass and a more eclectic sound.
"We'll sing some in Spanish, blues and gospel, alternative and pop all mixed in," said Jones.
Jones expects to be performing with her female trio just after Christmas at location all over the Rogue Valley.