Here’s The Story Behind How Jen “Pipes” Durkin Got Her Nickname
Garcia’s recently spoke with Jen Durkin from Led Zeppelin cover band, Jen Zeppelin, in advance of her show at Garcia’s on Thursday, January 19. Durkin, known for her powerful vocals and legendary stage presence in bands like Deep Banana Blackout and Jen Durkin and The Business, joins forces with CK3 to take a unique spin on the music of Zeppelin. Read on if you want to find out everything from her favorite Zeppelin tracks, to the beginnings of her well-deserving nickname, Jen “Pipes” Durkin. Grab a ticket HERE and come experience a twist on Led Zeppelin like no other at Garcia’s!
1. You have performed with a number of different acts over the years. Considering Robert Plant’s distinct style and range, he has some pretty big shoes to fill. But, it’s apparent that you do it really well. Do you approach anything differently than usual, whether it be in your preparations or in performance?
Yes Both Plant and I are influenced by the blues greats Howlin Wolf Elmore James and Willie Dixon… Zeppelin introduced me to the blues! Honestly it is very easy for me to prepare for these shows as I have been a Zep fan for over 30 years and know most all these tunes by heart.
2. The projects that you have fronted, such as DBB, are mainly funk/R&B influenced, what made you want to get involved with the slightly heavier sounds of Led Zeppelin?
I always wanted the original music in my band to be heavier I am a rocker and my first band in highschool played Zep Hendrix and Ozzy tunes. it was later in college that I became interested in performing Funk and R&B which was the music of my childhood but I thought that I was racially not suited for it. Being a white female it was more “acceptable” to be in a rock band as the musicians in my school were more inclined to play Zep so those are my roots and really is where my performance experience started.
3. CK3 has been around for a few years playing covers while putting their own unique twists on the songs, often by adding a great deal of improv. Is this musical philosophy also applicable to Jen Zeppelin?
Yes we are doing a true tribute but making a few accents in groove and pocket to give a funky soul spin on these classics.
4. Having such a powerful, yet beautiful voice, it’s no question why people call you “Pipes,” but do you remember who first called you that and/or what the scenario was when you were given the name?
Thank you, I remember in the early days of DBB our tour manager E! used to say that people would come up to him at the sound board and say “wow that girls got some pipes” so then he started saying “nice work Pipes” after the shows and I guess thats how it caught on… I love Chaka Khan, Tina Turner and Sharon Jones and thats who I hear in my head when I am writing tunes…they have some Pipes!!!! I aspire to their greatness.
5. Having played at Garcia’s and The Capitol Theatre several times over the last four years, can you explain the vibe of the venue and its patrons? Do you find the vibe different when playing in a more intimate setting like Garcia’s than in a larger room like The Cap?
Well yeah the Cap is electric the vibe is thrilling whether you are in the house or on stage. Garcia’s is the best afterparty spot we debuted my new band there after a Robert Randolf show and Kraz and he sat in that was coolest thing that I’ve ever experienced. The Cap is totally unique in that you get the big theatre show energy and an intimate venue. Its my favorite place to play whether on the theatre stage or an impromptu late night jam session it brings music and its fans together to create an unforgettable show.!
6. Lastly, we just have to ask, do you have a favorite Led Zeppelin song?
I have so many but to narrow it down to three I would say:
“Over the Hills and Far Away”
“Ten Years Gone”