Longtime Steamboat resident Jody Feeley sings from the heart
January 20, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Every Sunday, you can hear her clear, contemporary-pop voice ringing through Euzoa Bible Church. She sometimes appears at area music venues, singing backup for the usual suspects.
Jody Feeley, a longtime Steamboat Springs resident and mother of two girls, isn't sure whether her music career is leading toward the spotlight, but either way, she'll keep a bright smile on her face.
"It's like my therapy," said Feeley, sitting Wednesday in the living room of her Silver Spur home. "I just like being a part of people's lives. It's a great way to communicate, and I don't really want to have any expectations of what it's going to be."
The Jody Feeley Band, her project of several years, plays on Friday evening at Sweetwater Grill. The show will feature contemporary rock and pop covers from country to traditional, led by Feeley's soaring vocals. The quartet comprises Feeley on vocals, guitar and piano, Jake Drury on drums, Tim Cunningham on bass and Brad Rasmussen on guitar.
Cunningham said he has been playing with Feeley in various capacities for almost a decade.
"She is a great vocalist and has her own unique style of singing," Cunningham said. "She has an amazing ear for music, therefore she knows when I am playing the wrong part or just trying something new."
Feeley moved to Steamboat Springs in about fifth grade. She landed her first lead role as Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors" and decided to pursue a music performance major at Colorado Christian University.
But the realm of professional musicianship wasn't quite what she was looking for in a career.
"It's the competition," she said. "I want to do life with someone; I'm not a competitor. I just think every genre of music has something to offer, because it's all stories."
Feeley has been writing her own stories for years, on pads of paper next to her bed and on scraps strewn around her old Steinway & Sons upright piano.
Although she has released solo albums — the latest was in 2005, produced by Dispatch's Brad Corrigan — she said she doesn't feel comfortable putting her material out into the community yet.
But Feeley's music already has touched those around the world.
As a part of the nonprofit aid organization Come, Let's Dance, founded by Steamboat resident Shane Gilbert, Feeley has traveled to Uganda twice, and she once played a stadium near Nansana filled with 53,000 people.
For the Steamboat premiere of Gilbert's documentary, "Mzungu" this fall, Feeley performed an original piece based on a Psalm that reads, "You turned my mourning into dancing."
She said what she learned from the orphan children in Uganda solidified what she already knew from her life in Steamboat, her family and her passion for music.
"That it touches the soul," she said. "That it transforms lives. They just wanted to join in and be a part of something."