Recorded at Grand Haven’s Third Coast Recording, the cover of the iconic song features 14 female singers and musicians from across the state. Get the back story; watch the video.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO, PHOTO GALLERY AND AUDIO TRACK
Few songs are more iconic in the realm of female-driven rock thunder than Joan Jett & The Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll.”
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So, it’s only apropos that the band’s 1981 hit would get a star-studded fresh treatment for International Women’s Day, courtesy of a super-group of 14 female singers and musicians from across Michigan.
Released today, the music video of their blistering version of the track filmed and recorded at Grand Haven’s Third Coast Recording Co. features lead vocals by Jennifer Bartlett of Lokella, Sarena Rae and Grace Theisen with backing vocals delivered by a host of other singers.
It’s the third such Michigan covers project released on International Women’s Day over the past five years, with a special “collaborative showcase” starring more than two dozen female and non-binary artists taking place at The Pyramid Scheme on June 22 where they’ll pay tribute to legendary women of music.
“Every step of the way, the project has grown and it’s been exciting to watch our initial idea blossom into a full garden of talent,” said Bartlett. “Taking a verse from this quintessential Joan Jett tune has felt more like the cherry on top – a mere bonus to organizing and bringing the group together.”
As Sarena Rae put it: “It’s always an exciting experience to do something I love while surrounded by women that inspire me. ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is such an iconic song and it was such a blast to be at Third Coast with so many talented women in the West Michigan music scene.”
Added Rachel White of the Grand Rapids band Lighting Matches, who helped supply backing vocals on the track: “It’s been a ton of fun. We’ve got an incredible array of local talent being displayed. It feels pretty surreal to get to be part of a project like this. Walking into the studio and seeing Sarena and Jennifer dressed up and ready to go was just insanely cool.”
In addition to White, that “incredible array of talent” on the song features singers Sierra Skye Baker, Rosie Cusack, Clare Crumback (Empress Eyes), Meg Hainer and Elle Lively, guitarists Fay Burns and Marley Kaye (Low Phase), bassist Katelynn Corll, drummer Carolyn Koebel and keyboardist Caitlin Cusack.
LISTEN: Women of Rock Super-Group, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”
A ‘TRULY MAGICAL’ COLLABORATION THAT COULD INSPIRE OTHERS
Lively, of Crooked Tree Creative, who organized the Women’s History Month project, noted that the music industry “is a typically male-dominated field, especially in the rock genre. In this video, not only are women featured sharing their voice, but also playing every instrument on the track.”
The video kicks off a series of related events, including a “Women of Rock” Vanity Fair-style photo shoot later this month and the June tribute show at The Pyramid Scheme. A percentage of proceeds from that event will support Girls Rock Grand Rapids.
“The goal of this project is to highlight the ultimate power that stems from prioritizing collaboration over competition,” Lively said, “while recognizing all the incredible female and non-binary talent of today in the Michigan music scene.
“Fun, inspiring and impactful projects like this one illustrate the extraordinary diversity of the Michigan music community as a whole.”
For Sarena Rae, “it’s incredible to be living in a time where women are more readily acknowledged for their creativity and talent, especially in music. My hope is that young girls are inspired to pick up an instrument, pursue a degree in audio production, try for a job in music management, or become a recording artist.”
Added Bartlett: “Personally, I’ve always wanted to work with more women and non-binary folk in music. The music industry is still by and large a man’s world and while I’ve worked with a great number of incredible gentlemen over the years, there is something truly magical that happens when you get a group of driven women together to collaborate.”
VIDEO: “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll”
International Women’s Day: Women of Rock Super-Group
PHOTO GALLERY: The “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” Session at Third Coast Recording
Photos by Chelsea Whitaker