Thursday, September 6, 2018

Next Week in Barnsley!

Come along! Next week, Wednesday, 12 Sept, I'm in concert at Barnsley Folk and Acoustic Night!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

September News



Just a quick note to say that I will be playing the Barnsley Folk and Acoustic Night in one week on Wednesday, 12 September. I've been playing for the folks in Barnsley for nine years now and can hardly believe so much time has passed since I wrote to them very tentatively back in 2009 to ask if they would book Jeni & Billy at the Folk Club. They always have great singers and a listening atmosphere, so come along and sing along.

At the end of September, I will be flying over to California to play three shows. I will be back at Fiddlers Crossing in Tehachapi on Saturday, 29 September, and at The Pasadena Folk Music Society on Saturday, 6 October. There's also talk of a house concert in Huntington Beach on Friday, 5 October. So, please stay tuned by checking the website and I will send another newsletter out to confirm that Friday date just before I leave for California. I apologize to folks on the Central Coast and in the Bay Area and beyond for not making it up to your area this time around. Perhaps you fancy an excursion to the south and I will see you in Pasadena or Tehachapi!
I have two new videos for you to enjoy. The first is a new song that I wrote for my Dad, Greg Hankins, over the two year anniversary of his death from leukemia. The song is about strenght and resilience in the face of grief and includes references to several of the songs that he and I loved.
 Still from video
The second video comes from my performance at the Gardeners Rest in Sheffield during the Tramlines festival in July. My friend Alison Wild drove up from London on the day in order to sign in British sign language for two songs. Here is our version of Miner's Reward. I think she does a beautiful interpretation of the song.

Alison Signs
There is talk of house concerts in Preston and Huddersfield in October or November when I get back from California and a show of my photographs from great-great-granddad's cabin in Sheffield sometime in the fall or early next year. So, stay tuned for further adventures!
You can always find me on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter, or you are welcome to write to me at
I send you kindness and happiness,

Two new videos!

Hello friends!

You can see two new videos on my Youtube Channel.

The first is a new song that I wrote for my Dad, Greg Hankins, on the two year anniversary of his passing. It's a song about resilience in the face of grief and it includes references to several of our favorite songs.

The second video comes from a live performance at the Gardeners Rest in Sheffield over the Tramlines Festival in late July. My friend Alison Wild drove up from London on the day in order to sign in British sign language for two songs. This is her beautiful interpretation of Miner's Reward.



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Summer Tour in Britain! Plus notes on my newsletter privacy!

Jeni Hankins: Born-the-bone twang

Summer Tour in Britain starts this weekend!


First, let me say THANK YOU to all of my hosts, friends, and fans who made my tour in the USA completely wonderful. I came away with so much inspiration for new songs about my home state and the SOUTH which was my secret hope when I flew across the ocean. Let's see what happens! 

Uk Tour poster
My summer tour in Britain starts on Saturday with a concert in Crystal Palace (London) and ends with a concert in Carnforth at the end of July. All of the dates are listed on the flyer above and you can find all of the details on my website. This year, I am playing far fewer dates than usual because I have lots of other projects going and I am trying to strike a balance between performing, which I love so much, and the new work I am creating. So, if I'm not coming to your area this time around, how about a mini-break to Liverpool or the Yorkshre Moors? OR we could plan something for late fall or next year?
You can always write to me and we can dream up a concert together!
When I was visiting Mawmaw on Smith Ridge, I went to see our old family cabin – a pilgrimmage that I have made for many years now. You can see the cabin it in its heyday in the photo at the top of this letter. The man in the photo, John Rufus Smith, built it. He was my great great grandfather, killed in cold blood in the line of duty as Justice of the Peace at the age of 60. He's the fella I sing about in the song "Aunt Erma" on Heart of the Mountain, which you can order directly from me by email, if you'd like.
I have been looking after the cabin in my own quiet way over the last five or six years and was shocked to find that, since last November, vandals had cut five large timbers out of a wall of the cabin. After getting my wits about me, talking to the sheriff's office, and the fella who checks the gas well near the cabin, I went and spoke to the gas company about my concerns. And you know what? They were kind, helpful, efficient, and started an inquiry into the vandalism since their well is near the cabin. 
I'm not saying that I support hydro-fracking, so hang on there in case you are getting any ideas. Anyhow, the Englishman and I spent a big long and beautiful day working on the cabin and shoring up the damage as best we could. Mawmaw's trusty dog, Rusty, was a big help.

Rusty DogJoe, from the gas company, said something to me when we were talking about the cabin. He said, "We build roads into places here that have been forgotten about for a long time, maybe fifty, sixty, even a hundred years. Things that were hidden are exposed and then they become vulnerable. It's our job to protect them as best we can." I think there's a song in there.
I also went to our family reunion which was rained out and a bit of a comedy, but I met some relatives I'd never met before including Aunt Ada who was completely glamorous and told me a story about having only two outfits during her last year of high school – two skirts and two short-sleeved sweaters. So, she and my Aunt Princess and Aunt Katherine and their friend Ellen from down the ridge all traded clothes around to look like they each had more outfits than they did. I've been working on a song about that!
Here I am with glamorous Aunt Ada!
Aunt Ada
For a long time I've heard about the legendary sewing skills of my Aunt Fanny who also kept a general store, but I actually got to meet her daughter Geneva, who told me about regularly pointing to a skirt in a catalog before school and asking her mother to hurry up and make it before the school bus arrived. She would put the skirt on right there at the sewing machine and run out the door to catch the bus.
These are the kinds of things I love to hear about and I hope I will be equal to writing songs about them.
Below, I have written about how this email list works because it's privacy awareness time in the cyberworld, so give that a look, if you don't mind. But, always, if you don't want to get my emails anymore, just "Unsubscribe" at the bottom.
I look forward to seeing you or hearing from you. If you're on Facebook (I know, Cambridge Analytica, oy, but I have chosen to remain -ha- since it's the only way I can reach some friends), Instagram (owned by Facebook, you know, oy again), or Twitter, then you can find me there, too. Or occasionally, I will post on my blog, but am a little miffed that the blogspot app seems to have disappeared and am at a loss about how to update it using my phone, therefore it's a bit moribund right now . . . ahh, technology. Back to the autoharp!
I started this email list back in 2005. When Billy and I started touring together in 2008, we combined our email lists. You are on this list because you signed up at a Jeni or a Billy or a Jeni & Billy show over the years. Or you put your email in the sign-up box on the home page of the Jeni & Billy or Jeni Hankins website. Or, on rare occasions, you gave me your business card or wrote a note on a piece of paper and asked me to add you to this list. No one has ever been added to this list without their permission. I will never share this list or your contact details with anyone else. And Hostbaby, who host this list on their server, cannot share your information either.
This email list is a simple one. If you are subscribed, you will get all of my newsletters. I don't have software for sending newsletters to specific geographic regions, dog-lovers, onion-avoiders, or fans of Strictly Come Dancing. So, if you are in Bora Bora and this email is about a tour in Greenland, you will get it anyway. But when I play in Bora Bora, the Greenlanders will have to hear about the upcoming Bora Bora shows and see the photos of warm sandy beaches and grass-roofed huts while they sit over a fire in their down jackets. I cannot exempt people from getting certain emails, etc. So, you are all in or out.
If you get this newsletter at an email address that's old and smells of socks, you can always update your profile using the button at the bottom, and add your new shiny email wearing it's bow-tie or best hat.
Thanks for reading and for being interested in what I make!
You are receiving this because you (or someone you know) subscribed the email "" to the "Jeni Hankins" mailing list. Not interested anymore? Unsubscribe. For a more pleasant email experience, complete your profile.
powered by listbaby

Images from my tour in the USA, May 2018

Rusty Dog at the family cabin

Glamorous Aunt Ada.

Summer Tour in Britain 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Back Home Tour, May 2018, VA, NC, & DC

Hello music-lovers!

Nearly half the year has run ahead of me before this first newsletter of 2018. But the touring season is coming along in a matter of three weeks, so here’s the scoop on the concerts ahead. If you want to read a bit more about what I’ve been doing this spring, then mosey on down to the end.
Back Home Tour, USA, May 2018. In May, I’ll be flying over to Washington DC for a five-stop mini-tour in Virginia, North Carolina, and DC. Everything begins on Cinco de Mayo (5 May) at Alex Roth & Peter Overby’s house in Falls Church, VA. Doors will open at 2pm, concert starts around 2:30, and tickets are $20. If you’d like to come along, you’d be welcome. Just write to Alex and Peter for their address at This concert was SO much fun last year and their house is the PERFECT setting for my music. The following evening, on May 6th, my terrific Davidson College pals, Mary Clare Jalonick and Katie McKelvie, are hosting a concert upstairs at the Tenley Bar in the heart of Washinton DC. Tickets are $10, Doors open at 7, Concert starts at 7:30pm. Here’s a link to the show.

From DC, I will be zooming on down to Abingdon, Virginia, in the Southwest part of Virginia to join the super cool kids from the Junior Appalachian Musicians at the 4-H Center’s Ratliff Hall to celebrate their hard work this year learning traditional mountain music! After their recital, I will give a concert and then strum the ole guitar for the the cake walk! This is going to be a blast. Tuesday, May 8, Doors 6pm. 

After a little visit to my house in the Guitar-town, I will head over to Charlotte, North Carolina, to play a house concert at the home of my friend and fellow songwriter DeWitt Crosby and her husband. Tickets are $15 and you can email DeWitt for more information! ALL are Welcome. Thursday, May 17, doors open at 7pm. Music will start at 7:45. 

Then, I’ll finish up the singing part of the tour on Saturday, May 19, at the Appalachian Arts Center in Cedar Bluff playing for my hometown crowd! This place is gorgeous and full of treasures made by local artisans. At the time of the concert, the exhibit of Goodwin Family Textiles will still be on display! Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6:30, Concert starts at 7pm.

After that, I’ll be visiting with Mawmaw and getting ready for the umpteenth Smith-Joyce Reunion where I plan to set up a table and collect stories from my relatives. I’ll visit the family cabin and take walks with Rusty-the-dog.

And, don’t fret, my sturdy Englishman will be traveling with me to the USA, so those of you who met him last year, will get to say hello again!

This year, I have been writing songs, as always! You can hear one of my new songs and play along with me in this YouTube video on my new YouTube Channel.
Still from Video
I've also been taking dance and performance classes focusing on confidence, flexibility, strength, and agility. I’ve made a great bunch of girlfriends in London and I’m on my way to dance with them as I write to you!
Jeni Blowing a Kiss

This summer, I will be touring in the UK. I’ve already added most of the dates to my website, so I hope you will make plans to come along and sing with me!

In the fall, I will be heading back to the USA for two dates in the Los Angeles area – Fiddler’s Crossing in Tehachapi on Sept. 29th, and Pasadena Folk Music Society on October 6th. These concerts are both on Saturdays. I am afraid these are the only shows I will be playing out west this year because of my residency requirements in the UK, and I don’t know when I will make it out west next . . . so, perhaps you might fancy an excursion and make your way down from Davis, San Francisco, or the Central Coast for a long weekend? If not, I hope that music will bring us together in the future!
If you want to know more about any of the upcoming shows, visit my website or write to me at As always, if you'd like to host a concert or you'd like me to come to your school or library, write to me as well! 
Time to kick up my heels with my dancing gals!

I hope to see you soon!

Thanks to the folks at Dreamer's Folk in Cornwall for hosting my first concert of 2018!
With fan in Cornwall 
@jenihankins on instagram and twitter

I Could Use a Kind Word

If you'd like to sing and play my new song with me, head over to my YouTube Channel.

Some snaps from this spring!

A backstage snap by Alex Barakova from a recent dance performance!

After the show at Dreamer's Folk in Cornwall! Thanks to them for hosting me at this incredibly warm and friendly club.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 Plans!

At Davidson College in November 2017.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I will be announcing my 2018 tour dates in mid-March just before my first concert of the year at one of my favorite folk clubs, Dreamer's Folk in Cornwall. 

This year, I'll be touring in England & Wales, and across the USA, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, California, Florida, and Alabama (and likely stops in between). If you are especially keen to host a concert or tell me about a venue in your area, I'd be glad to hear from you at

My tour will be smaller than in previous years because I am working on several book projects, a live CD, and new songs. These book projects require several weeks/months of uninterrupted reading and writing, as well field research. What are they? At least one is the novel set in my home of Southwest Virginia, "Middle Creek," which I began in 2015. You can read the first chapter here and you can also hear me read it by clicking the Soundcloud link. The other two projects are too fledgling to describe, but one involves sewing!

In order to see these writing/sewing projects through, I am planning about 25 concerts this year which is half of my normal schedule (a third compared to some years!), so please do be in touch if you want to be sure I don't miss your town.

See you out there on the road soon!

Big big smiles and joy from me to you,