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Lee Smith
Ever wonder what your happy Appalachian folk duo is reading? Well, we both usually have a couple of books going at all times.

I've just finished Lee Smith's On Agate Hill. I've been a big Lee Smith fan since college when we were assigned Fair and Tender Ladies in Women Writers class. It was in that book that I first saw the name of my small birthplace, Richlands, in print.  That was one of the first times I ever thought my hometown and my family might be something I could write about. It was actually where Jewell Ridge Coal began!

Lilli Carre Huck Cover

Billy was intending to  delve into C.S. Lewis's Surprised by Joy when I distracted him with Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. He was so moved by that story that he started composing music to go with the book. We're not sure what we'll do with those pieces, but they're bound to show up on a Jeni & Billy recording some day.
Tour Notes
Concert Sign

A special thanks to all of those folks in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida who helped us start our touring year off right in January and February! It was great to play all of those shows and then go to Folk Alliance in Memphis and really show them what we've got! We had a fantastic time in Memphis and even strummed up some work, so we'll hope that means we'll be getting to more and more places around this great land in the next year or two.

Music you might like or fall totally in love with.

Ginny Hawker
Ginny Hawker has a new album out called "After It's Gone." Ginny has one of the most powerful voices in roots music today. Her interpretation of the old country songs and old old songs will have you feeling every which way. To order directly from her, please e-mail

Rachel Harrington is one of the finest songwriters and singers we've met in our travels. Our UK fans said not to miss her when we had the chance, so we sought her out at Folk Alliance and came away fans too. You can find her here.

Please also find your way to West Coast singer and songwriter, Rita Hosking. If you like Martha Scanlan, formerly of the Reeltime Travelers, you'll be right at home with Rita's music.
03/27/10, Richmond, VA  Richmond Folk Music Society
03/28/09, Arlington, VA Virginia & Royce House Concert
04/02/10, Richlands, VA  Appalachian Arts Center
04/22/10, Chesterfield, VA  Chesterfield County Public Library
04/23/10, Staunton, VA  Frederick House Hotel Concert
04/30/10, Wilkesboro, NC  Merlefest
Jeni & Billy are Longing for Heaven


Well, dear friends, I'm not sure how this monthly newsletter became a quarterly newsletter, except to say we certainly have been as busy as we could be this first part of 2010!  How is everyone out there? Hope you're doing well and doing a snow dance. Spring sure has been slow in coming this year, and this sunny day in Nashville certainly has us getting springtime notions.

Billy and I are heading down to Austin today for SXSW. We are especially looking forward to the film part of the conference where we get to see scads of films that never seem to show up in the regular cineplex. After that, we'll be touring our sox off all over the USA, UK, and even heading up to teach in Ontario, Canada. Didn't the Canadians just knock you out with the Olympics? What a fine job! We'll be on the road from the end of March until mid-November, so please come out and say howdy.

We started this year off finishing up three CD projects. (Note to selves - never do this again!) January was supposed to be our time off! Oops! Right now we have in our sticky little hands (I just made cupcakes) our new EP, Pretty Fair Miss. Folks, this CD has a whole story of it's own, so look down below this letter for the scoop on the Great Fabric Exchange to learn more.

At Easter, we will be bringing out our shiny new CD, Longing for Heaven, a collection of original and traditional songs. You all have heard many of these songs at our concerts and we just wanted to get them down for those of you who have been asking for them. Plus there are a few new songs. We recorded most of the CD at a little cabin in the dead of winter 2008/2009 in Western NC. The rest were tracked with the fine folks at Bias Studios in VA.

Also at Eastertime, we'll be re-releasing our first EP, Sweet & Toxic, as The Extra Sweet Edition. This CD will include the original six tracks, plus three previously unreleased bonus tracks.

All of these will be for sale at our shows beginning in April and at CDBaby in mid-April.

Well, read on and see what strikes your fancy elsewhere in the newsletter!

Love and Happiness from us,

Jeni & Billy too
The Great Fabric Exchange
Jeni & Sheri McHenry

We have a really fun thing going this year, it's called the Great Fabric Exchange. Here's how it works: you bring a piece of fabric to our show or send it to us in the mail, and we trade you a Pr
etty Fair Miss CD. Ta-da! Then I'll be taking all of this fabric with me to the John C. Campbell Folk School in November and making a Trip Around the World Quilt under the expert tutelage of Georgia Bonesteel. Billy will be making an arbor or a broom or something, he's not decided! I've created a whole blog dedicated to this project and to my passion for sewing, so we'll hope you'll visit and join in! Thanks to all the folks who keep an eagle eye on Jeni & Billy doings who have already sent fabric. I just sent out a big batch of Pretty Fair Miss CDs, so you should all have them by now.

Virginia Homecoming

Special mini tour of Virginia! Concerts in Richmond, Arlington, Richlands, Chesterfield & Staunton. Attention Virginians and near-dwellers to Virginia!  Jeni & Billy are making a little Jeni's-Home-State tour at the end of March and in April. Won't you come out and welcome Jeni home?

First up is the Richmond Folk Society Concert on Saturday, March 27 at 8pm. These kind folks wrote to us and said they'd love to have us in their series. That's the kind of mail you really want to open. Come out and let them know they made a good choice!

Second up is a sweet house concert at the charming abode of our friends Virginia and Royce. Virginia is the purveyor of fine optical-ware and, if you like Billy's glasses, go no further than Virginia's Burton Optician in Georgetown. Royce is a purveyor of fine art and a swell musician to boot. They have kindly asked us to give a concert in their home and we hope you'll join us for what promises to be an intimate and joyous concert. Sunday, March 28, at 3pm. For reservations, please e-mail

Third up is a return to my birthplace in Richlands, Virginia where we will be helping the Appalachian Arts Center celebrate 4 years. The Arts Center is a magical place where artisans from around my homeplace can bring their crafts and fine arts and others can take a bit of Southwest Virginia home with them. Saturday, April 2, at 7 pm.

On Earth Day, we'll celebrate in Chesterfield County with two concerts at the Chesterfield County Library and we'll bring our mini-tour to a close at the Frederick House Hotel where you can see us in style!

And then we're off to Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC!
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