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Jeni Varnadeau Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Jeni Varnadeau lyrics)
Jeni Varnadeau Biography
Sometimes the simplest of life's truths can be the hardest to grasp. And human nature often seems determined to complicate things that are actually very clear. Simple but profound faith in God, a life that reflects that, and music that celebrates it are the heart of Jeni Varnadeau's second and latest album, No Hesitation.
"The deeper you go spiritually, the less complex things become," says Jeni. "I've been trying hard to simplify my life, and focus on the things that are really important. Faith in the Lord and absolute dependence on Him in everything we say and do has become a recurrent theme of my ministry. The new album brings that right to the forefront by emphasizing God's eternal faithfulness. I have a zeal to communicate that, because I've experienced both the fruits of that faith, as well the consequences of my lack of it."
Jeni made an auspicious debut in 1996, with her first album, Colors of Truth. The single, "Why Would You Go Back?" soared to No.1 on the rock charts, followed by "Stronger Than You," and "I See You," both of which landed in the Top 10. Jeni also had a number one video with "Between You and Me."
The guitar driven rock/pop of her follow-up is immediately arresting, and the lyrics and the messages imparted are straightforward and compelling. But while No Hesitation maintains the intelligence and accessibility of its predecessor, Jeni is quick to explain that the album is more than just Colors of Truth, part II.
"We didn't do as many unusual chord changes or extended measures, and some of the other slightly quirkier musical things that we did on the first album," says Jeni, who wrote or co-wrote six of the album's ten selections. "These are more straight forward rock/pop songs. There's still plenty of substance in the words, but it's just a lot of fun, musically. It's still very much me and we used the same recording process as last time--with a band recorded live in the studio. I think it flows with Colors of Truth as a very natural, forward progression."
"Come With Me," is smoldering blues/rock propelled by a driving slide guitar. "It's really an invitation for all of us to walk this road together," Jeni explains, "To lean on each other in the hard times, and enjoy each other in the good times. God did not create us to be alone. The New Testament is full of scriptures on the Body of Christ and how important it is to Him that we support and build each other up. In John, chapter 17, Jesus fervently prayed that we would be one, just as He and the Father are one. God is passionate in His desire that His people love one another. They will know we are Christians by our love."
"Shaken" is a spirited rocker, intertwining the age-old children's tale of the three little pigs with Jesus' parable of the house built on the rock. While a sense of fun and good humor prevail, Christ's admonition to build one's life on the solid foundation of faith in God's word undergirds the entire song.
"All we can do is live one day at a time, fully, abundantly and in total submission to God," Jeni says. "It's His deal and always has been. We have to be wise and set plans and goals, but be ready in a heartbeat to accept God moving in and conforming them to His will."
Jeni refers to "I Need You" as "a list of just about everything that I need in life. The Matthew 6:33 principle is so true: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.' If you have the Lord, He is going to provide for you directly, through other people, or just through circumstances."
As the child of a solid church-going family, Jeni was only seven when she dedicated her life to Christ. By the time she was a teenager, she was well known among her peers as someone who knew what she believed, and wasn't shy about sharing her faith.
Through years in church and school choirs, while living outside Houston, Texas, Jeni realized her love for music, and the gifts for singing that God had given her. She moved to Nashville, from
Albuquerque, New Mexico, to attend Belmont University. In 1994, she graduated from Belmont with a degree in commercial music, with an emphasis on vocal performance, and a minor in music business. With training in both the creative and corporate aspects of her undertaking, she recorded a six-song EP and started marketing herself and her songs in and around Nashville. That mini-album found its way to producers John and Dino Elefante, and Pamplin Music, with whom she signed in December of 1995.
"I feel like God has taken me through a very natural, ordered sequence of events," says Jeni. "His goal is not for me to be famous. That could be part of His plan, but He's looking at a much bigger picture in all of our lives. The key is to not get lost in all the earthly, day-to-day things that happen along the way."
As she simplifies--and intensifies--her own journey of faith, Jeni's sense of purpose is just as honest and transparent as the songs she writes and sings. "I would hope that I could be a role model...that my life and how I live it would be of some benefit to someone else in their own walk," says Jeni. "That sounds funny to say, because who am I to be a role model for anybody? Still, God is capable of using me to be salt and light to the people around me."
And that's nothing but the truth. Plain and simple.