Simply being able to get out of the house and perform is reason enough for celebration for many musicians, but Friday at Arts Avenue will be especially big for Jennifer Daniels and husband Jeff Neal.
Besides having the chance to perform many of her fan favorites, Daniels will be celebrating the release of a new book she's written and the accompanying album of songs related to the romantic mystery. And to make things even more special, their 12-year-old daughter, Kate, will open the show with a collection of her own songs.
"She has some pipes on her, and I didn't have nearly the poise at that age that she does," Daniels said.
Kate will accompany herself on ukulele and guitar and, if asked, her mom and dad may join her on stage as well.
Of her new book and album projects, Daniels said she had a dream about two years ago in which a couple of strangers are involved in an accident then suddenly find themselves in charge of an infant. When she woke up, she tried to write a song about it, but realized it was more
"I had this one scene, and I couldn't wrangle it into a song," she said. "All these other scenes kept coming up. It's about this bizarre car crash that leaves strangers with a baby, and there is a cat involved and a mystery."
If you go
* What: Jennifer Daniels book and CD release with Kate Daniels opening
* When: 7 p.m. Friday, July 23
* Where: Arts Avenue, 1800A Rossville Ave.
* Admission: $12
* Phone: 423-458-2013
* Online: theartsave.com
Daniels said she spent several months working on the story to the point where her husband would tease her about spending so much time with all "these other people." She had an unusual amount of time to focus on the project, in part because of the pandemic, of course, plus an injury to her Achilles tendon meant weeks spent on the couch.
The plot took on several lives, including the addition of magic and some adult behavior.
"My mother finally said, 'Why don't you go back to the story without magic and the cussing?'"
She focused the plot into an adult romantic mystery "with lots of funny dialogue," she said. "I just got the book yesterday, and I am so excited."
It was originally supposed to be released by a publishing company, but she pressed her husband to do it themselves.
"I said, 'Jeff, we've released eight albums on our own. We got this. We need to stay true to our indie selves."
Although the initial idea became a story instead of a song, Daniels has now written an album's worth of songs to accompany the book. It's a natural fit for an entertainer known for telling stories between songs when performing.
The book and other works are available on their website. She is already working on a couple of new books, including a young-adult story involving a mountain lion shapeshifter.
"I'm a runner and I was out running, and this mountain lion ran across the path in front of me. I had to write a story about a handsome man who shifts into a mountain lion," she said with a laugh.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.