Cosmic Western Duets
“Timeless country music."
-Scott Stanton of River Trade Radio
“They are just the freshest breath of sweet air to breeze thru my mind in a long long time and share a real cosmic energy on stage”
-Ricky Dean Sinatra
"Cosmic Western Duets" Featured on NPR and KCUR
Jenna Rae and Martin Farrell Jr. met in Winfield, Kansas at Walnut Valley Bluegrass Music Festival. Both were playing banjo in separate bands at the time and bonded through their love of classic country music. They started learning Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris duets and quickly realized their voices nested well together. Determined to recreate classic country sounding music in a new way they started collaborating on a genre they call “Cosmic Western”. This music incorporates bluegrass techniques, gospel harmonies, rock rhythms and experimental classic country sounds. The duo performs as “Jenna & Martin” wearing coordinated outfits and often times sharing the stage with their standard poodle, Roy Rogers. Martin makes his telecaster guitar and pedal steel guitar speak like a dog, kitten, truck, chicken or whatever the song requires. Creating a wall of rockin’ sound they take their listeners on a Cosmic Western journey through old-timey sounding music and nostalgic emotions.
Jenna likes to write songs that are “three chords and the truth” while Martin loves to add in unexpected chords, key changes, and complex arrangements. Jenna will often take a simple song she has written to Martin and he will add in a new bridge or chord that takes the song to a new level. Martin says Jenna has helped him truly appreciate the simplicity in songwriting and recognize it as a valuable tool to reach the listener. Most of Jenna’s songs are true stories and emotions about her or people she knows. Martin likes to create fictional stories and characters as well as retell historical stories in a new way. Together they come up with lyrics that can make you laugh and cry in the same breath. While the duo loves writing together, they also think it’s important to keep their separate songwriting identities. In 2018, they both released solo records: Jenna Rae “Workin’ Woman” and Martin Farrell Jr. “Tales From the Outer Country”. All of the music they have released has been recorded in their home studio and produced by Martin.
In 2017 with hopes and dreams of taking their music careers to the next level, Jenna & Martin started renovating a short school bus to live and tour out of. They sold a lot of what they owned and moved their bus “Bussalo Bill” out to Jenna’s Grandma’s farm in Peculiar, Missouri. They experienced “country living” for the first time and wrote a lot of music during this time. Many of these songs will be featured on their upcoming album “Cosmic Western Duets”. Jenna’s Grandma passed away in the summer of 2018 and the duo found themselves moving back to the city, out of the bus and into a house in Kansas City, Kansas. Here they set up their studio in their living room and began recording for other people as well.
In the winter 2018, the duo released their first EP together titled “Gingerbread” featuring three original holiday songs. They also wrote, directed, produced, and starred in an eleven minute short film to go along with the album with a surprising twist at the end.
In January, 2020 they released their first full length album of music titled “Cosmic Western Duets”. Most of the songs they co-wrote or they wrote specifically to sing together. They also included two love songs on the album, one written entirely by Jenna for Martin and another written entirely by Martin for Jenna. Since the moment they met, Jenna & Martin found themselves on an undeniable path of writing, creating, producing and performing music together. The duo believes in the power of music and that a good song can turn someone’s day around or even their life. At every show they aim to evoke cosmic and spiritual emotions from their audience that reminds them that each of us is more than our physical being.
Some of their influences include: Merle Haggard, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, George Jones, Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, Margo Price, Nikki Lane, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Danny Barnes, John Hartford and coffee.
"Relatable, real-life music. Not
only do these musicians sound good, but they help build up the community around them."
“Their music hearkens me back to rural Kansas, where I grew up.”
Shoutout to the best road dog and stage dog, our boy Roy!
Photo by John Knepper