Born to unusually hip parents in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, singer-songwriter Jen Cass was raised on a healthy mix of folk music, homegrown vegetables, spontaneous dancing, black licorice and Motown. When asked about her childhood Jen muses, "I remember my mom doing pirouettes around the living room with Joan Baez and Simon & Garfunkel blasting in the background. Then dad would pull out his guitar and we'd all sing Kris Kristofferson songs. “My sister and I weren’t allowed to watch TV, so we sang, danced and read every book we could get our hands on. By the age of five, I was a miniature troubadour in bad seventies clothing, quoting Jack London and belting out Jim Croce tunes. I love my parents for that.”
While her fashion sense has evolved over time, Jen has always remained true to her roots, writing beautifully crafted songs that draw comparisons to songwriting legends Bob Dylan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Indigo Girls, and Dar Williams, as well as playwright Eugene O'Neill. In the words of Suzanne Glass of Indie-Music.com, “Cass’ songs are lyrical gems. She weaves fables with her words that would make Aesop jealous.”
In November 1996, Jen released her first CD, Brave Enough To Say, and quickly sold over 2000 copies. Jen recorded Brave with the help of the world famous Russian surf-rock band Red Elvises. “We mixed contemporary folk, traditional country, gypsy scales, oatmeal raisin cookies and extreme sleep deprivation to create a totally unique sound,” quips Jen. Since the release of Brave Enough To Say, Jen has played hundreds of gigs throughout the world, including an Official Showcase at the 2004 Americana Music Awards, an Emerging Artist Showcase at the 2003 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and several Sunday Night Writers’ Nights at Nashville’s legendary The Bluebird Café.
After years of tireless touring, Jen caught the attention of producer John Jennings, who has co-produced eight albums and four #1 singles by Mary Chapin Carpenter, as well as discs by John Gorka, Janis Ian, Beausoleil, and many others. The result of their first collaboration, Jen’s sophomore release Skies Burning Red, received glowing reviews from fans and critics alike including Rich Warren of Sing Out! and Pam Winters of Dirty Linen, was nominated for two Detroit Music Awards and six Review Music Awards, was #12 on WHFR's Best of 2003 list (between John Mayer and Evanescence), was a Midnight Special Pick Hit of the Week, and received radio play all over the world. The songs from Skies Burning Red won awards in nearly every major songwriting contest, including the 2003 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, the 2003 USA Songwriting Competition, the 2003 International Songwriting Competition, the 2004 Great American Song Contest, and the 2004 Billboard Worldsong Contest.
Jen and John Jennings are currently putting the finishing touches on her latest release, Accidental Pilgrimage, which is due for release in March 2006.