Sometimes harmonizing with someone else is just magical.
“We bought a million-dollar house for a quarter million dollars, because it is a desert surrounded by an Indian reservation and cows. It is a huge bang for your buck.” JC Scott
Nine years ago, Jay “JC” Scott and Laney Greynolds met and were on stage playing music together a half hour later. Little did they know that moment would propel them together into a love affair and a full-time musical career.
It just clicked.
“It the luck of the draw when you have your harmonies smack into each other,” Laney said.
JC said when his voice collided with Laney’s voice, a third magical voice of harmony was instantaneously created.
Today they are performing as the Americana singer/songwriter duo JC & Laney and they travel the nation singing to JC’s acoustic guitar playing. To say that they’re good is clearly an understatement.
In 2016, one of their songs, “When it Comes to Love,” was nominated for a Grammy Award.
“We just did our ninth Glendale Folk Festival and that was when our first album came out in March of 2010,” Laney said. “We knew each other five months when our first album came out.”
At the time, they lived in different states, with JC in California and Laney in Arizona. Their first album was mostly a collection of acoustic recordings. JC was already recording the album when he met Laney, and they “started singing together, and my heart went (pitter patter),” JC said.
When they met, Laney was in a rock band and went to hear JC perform at Whiskey Row in Gilbert. That’s when they ended up on stage together. Their first song was “Bell Bottom Blues,” and they have never sung it together since that night.
“We really spent the first five or six years only doing original music,” she said. “About the sixth album in, we got a job in Williams playing all summer, and we started learning covers.”
JC said when they started playing in the Arizona town near Flagstaff, they only had 15 cover songs worked up together. Almost every day they learned at least one new cover to entertain the tourists coming off the Grand Canyon train in Williams.
“We knew plenty of songs, but we didn’t know them with our harmonies together,” JC said.
The seasonal gig was canceled the past two years, but they’ll be back in Williams this year May 29-Sept. 2.
In nine years, they have come a long way from their humble beginnings.
“We have bigger and better shows,” Laney said. “We travel a lot. We were in the first round of the 58th Grammys for our album Hard Road Easy Street. He was in for songwriter for the song ‘Hard Road Easy Street’ and we were in for best Americana performance for ‘When it Comes to Love’ – that’s the one that got a lot of legs.”
She said there was a contest called the Grammy Amplifier sponsored by the Recording Academy, and JC & Laney received 194,000 hits to capture first place for “When it Comes to Love.” The win propelled them to Hollywood and the 2016 Grammys at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. On Spotify the song has over 100,000 streaming clicks.
“All our friends say they never want to hear that song again,” JC said, adding he wrote the lyrics to “When it Comes to Love” on an airplane and matched the words to music later.
JC usually writes most of their songs, but Laney has joined in to write three songs with JC.
“They’re not on albums yet, but they will be,” she said. “One is a wedding song that I wrote for my son.”
They have chosen Maricopa as their home and have purchased a house in Homestead. Before the resident gig in Williams begins, they’re entertaining crowds in Flagstaff, Casa Grande, Prescott, Tempe, Eloy and in California with gigs in Pasadena and Santa Rosa.
During the summer they will be playing at A Latte Vino in Casa Grande every three weeks. Diann Prechel, owner of A Latte Vino has been booking JC & Laney on a regular basis over the past year.
“They have a following here,” Prechel said. “They have people that come just for them. They play here on average twice a month but sometimes three times a month. There are some repeat customers because of them.”
Many people ask them why they’ve picked Maricopa as their home.
“We bought a million-dollar house for a quarter million dollars, because it is a desert surrounded by an Indian reservation and cows. It is a huge bang for your buck,” JC said.
Laney said they came to Maricopa in October 2017, looked around and “really liked the town.”
JC said then it was 40,000 people, no gangs and everybody talked to each other.
“It smells like cow stuff sometimes,” JC said. “It’s 16 miles from the I-10 and people go, ‘Why do you live in Maricopa?’ We say because it’s 16 miles from the I-10 and people don’t like to come there. We travel a lot anyway.”
They are building a recording studio in their home, where they can do blogs and musical recordings.
He said the average song on the Internet has a seven-second shelf life.
“We have to constantly put out new songs and videos,” he said. “That’s what the new room (studio) is going to be. It’s hard to keep up with, so we’re going to do it ourselves.”
He said JC & Laney isn’t a household name, but they’re working on it.
This story appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.