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Jaymie Jones and Kelli Jones: Creating Family Harmony

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When it comes to harmonies so tight you’d swear it was one voice, many times it’s family members striking those chords. Brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers produce some of the most enchanting music. Experts claim physical similarities, personality parallels, living together and practice makes perfect; all qualities roll into the equation, producing beautiful melodies and soothing tunes topping the charts.

A mother-daughter country music duo out of Omaha, Nebraska, creates harmonies dripping with such sweetness it’s like lapping honey from a homemade biscuit. Belles & Whistles, made up of mother Jaymie Jones and her 18-year-old daughter, Kelli, are making a name for themselves in the country music scene. They’ll perform at the Country Stampede in Manhattan, Kansas, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. on the Tuttleville Stage. Country music superstar Thomas Rhett headlines the evening event.

Power in Music
“We have a great manager in Nashville, a woman, who told us we have to stand toe-to-toe with the men and rock the house in bars or on the stage,” remarked Kelli. “Every successful woman in country music must pull the bar crowd. We offer a high-energy show and as good as any show the men are putting on.”

“You have to be powerful to do that. It’s mostly the songs that we write and those we choose to cover. Then there’s Kelli’s stage presence as lead vocalist,” shared Jaymie. “I give her a lot of credit because she’s the one who’s working the crowd and singing lead. I’m blessed and really proud of her work. It’s been amazing to see her develop her own style and presence. We have a ton of fun and respect for each other.”

Sisterhood and Motherhood
Jaymie has been performing for a number of years; she grew up singing with her sisters as part of a band called Mulberry Lane, signed to Refuge/MCA Records in 1999. Then motherhood came along for them. Jaymie was the first by having Kelli, and the group quit touring. But Jaymie never lost her love for the stage.

“I have Kelli and two sons who are 13 and 15. When my youngest was five, I started doing a solo project,” recalled Jaymie. “It was a good time in my life to do something independent and that blossomed into what Kelli and I have now.”

Lifelong Love
“I grew up watching my family sing. Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be a singer. I could hear the harmony part when others were singing. When I was 14, I asked if I could be her backup singer, and Mom put me on stage to try it,” said Kelli. “At our second show, the stage manager was the road manager for The Judds. He recommended putting us on stage as a duo, and I was all about it.”

Success followed as the pair booked fair dates and other shows. Kelli loved her new role and Jaymie realized this combination was a hit. “When we switched the leads to Kelli, we knew this was her thing. It’s so great to see a young woman up there singing her heart out. I’ve laid out a path, and now she’s walking it,” noted Jaymie. “Then we started writing and recording in Nashville with Dan Frizsell, who has produced Lee Brice and American Young.”

That hard work blossomed into a new single, “Fire,” that’s available on Spotify and iTunes. Co-written in Nashville with Josh Dunne and Jay Brunswick, the tune has its roots in Kansas City. “The idea for the song came from the KC airport shuttle bus. We fly out of KC because it’s a direct flight to Nashville. A sign on the bus had the line that said never play with fire,” shared Kelli. “The idea for the song is you can be in love, but it can be bad for you. We wrote the song that day and cut it the next. Our radio friends have tested it, and it’s gotten a good response. We’re really excited about it.” Jaymie adds a music video will debut in the coming weeks.

Creating Longevity
Overnight sensations in the music business don’t exist. It takes years of hard work and dedication to make a go of it. But for Jaymie and Kelli, there’s the added ingredient of family in their melodic formula for success. “It surprises people how well we get along. We know each other so well that we can sense when one of us doesn’t agree. But the majority of our creative thoughts are usually the same,” commented Kelli. “We have a succinct vision of what we want this project to be.”

“After our shows, especially the fairs, mothers and daughters come up and have their picture taken with us. It’s cool to be strong women who are helping one another as a team, and I like setting an example,” Jaymie added. “I feel so blessed, and I hope other women can identify with that and support our music. We’re bringing a lot of positive energy to country music.”

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