Heart of Stone

One Year Anniversary #HeartOfStone

Today we are celebrating the one year anniversary of our album release, Heart of Stone. If you never got the album, in honor of the one year anniversary, we are giving it away for FREE on Noisetrade. Who can believe it's been a year? We can hardly wrap our heads around it. So.much.has.happened.

There have been so many exciting things...we've gotten to meet a lot of you....loyal, kind, amazing fans all around the world.  The last year has been incredible in large part because we've gotten to meet many of you face to face..and not just know your twitter handles. We've met you before & after Kelly shows, we've come to your living rooms and backyards, we've sweated out a 5k together, we've flown across the pond to sing in your pubs & on the streets, we've Skype chatted, we've talked on the phone...so many amazing memories.

We made a music video.

We started our own jewelry line, #jillandkatejewels.

We recorded our first LIVE album.

We've gotten to hear first hand what the album has meant to you. Which songs are your favorites. Which songs comforted you in dark times and which songs made you laugh and dance to shake off an ex. The scope and reach of the album has been greater than we initially thought it could be.

We made it to #39 on the iTunes Pop charts.

As we look back among all of these happy memories as the one year anniversary mark hits we also feel a deep sadness. A year ago today Will Gray (our manager) showed up at our door with flowers and pastries to celebrate the release. He had flown in earlier in the week to be with us throughout all of our release week activities...and now he's gone.

How could it be that just 12 months ago everything was fine? Will was here. Making us laugh. Dreaming with us. Planning our world -j&k-take-over...haha...(yes it will happen.) Eating cupcakes and twizzlers. It just doesn't seem possible that he's not here anymore.

Our show at the Coffee Bean was the last time we saw him before he got sick. We saw him 3 more times after that in the 10 months he was battling his cancer.

We know he is always with us. He imparted so much good information to us. He really didn't just manage us...he loved us and mentored us. He instilled great ethics and values. He gave us a foundation. A foundation that we thought he would continue building on for our whole lives & careers.

So we move on knowing how excited he'd be about all of the things coming up. We just wish he was here to be with us through it all...

It's a bittersweet day. He wouldn't want us to be sad. He would want us to work hard and love hard, to do good work. To be good friends...read what he wrote about friendship:

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it’s the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when they discover that someone else believes in them, and is willing to trust them with their friendship.”

William Gray, circa 1996

So we move forward.

We'd love to hear any memories, stories or mementos of how Heart of Stone has impacted you over the last year if you feel like sharing :)

Thanks so much for making this such an incredible year. We put together a photo & video memory stream below of some of the things we did since last September. Hope you enjoy all the pics....

xo

j&k

PS. Almost all of these pictures & ALL of the video are all because Ryan Camp has traveled & worked with us pretty much every day of the last year...Will highly recommended him to us and we began working together during our release week last year. Thank you Ryan for your hard work, going on several adventures with us, for your ridiculous photo/video skills and for always putting up with our shenanigans.

Release Week

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CLICK TO WATCH THE RELEASE WEEK WRAP UP VIDEO

Last Show With Kelly Clarkson & Co in London, England

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CLICK TO WATCH OUR LAST BACKSTAGE VIDEO FROM LONDON

CLICK HERE TO WATCH US SING "WHEN IT DON'T COME EASY WITH KELLY AT OUR LAST SHOW

A Night For Hope Benefit Show

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CLICK TO WATCH THE NIGHT FOR HOPE RECAP VIDEO

 Shows in London

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH OUR LONDON RECAP VIDEO

Visit to the Houses of Hope Africa in South Africa & Zimbabwe

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH ONE OF OUR AFRICAN ADVENTURES VIDEOS

J&K 5K Weekend in Nashville, TN

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH A RECAP OF OUR J&K5K WEEKEND

Recording Our LIVE Album

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Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.30.06 AM(the above pics are courtesy of Pockets of Film --thanks Emily!)

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO FROM OUR LIVE RECORDING

Shooting Our FIRST OFFICIAL Music Video

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH OUR MUSIC VIDEO

Songs & Stories Tour 

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So this one time...

So this one time (it was a Wednesday) we ordered a copy of Lauren Graham's new book that came out & we tweeted about it. It's no secret that we adore Ms. Graham...if you haven't watched the entire series of Gilmore Girls at least twice we can't be friends. Just kidding. Well not really. It's a great show & that's when our fan-girling over Lauren Graham began. We saw her on Broadway in Guys & Dolls and even got to meet her after the show.  Thank the Lord above that this woman was just as kind, down to earth, and funny as you think she'd be. She was seriously the nicest ever. We pretty much had perma-grins on our faces for a week after. We are SO happy that she has returned to weekly television...now she is the totally cool mom on NBC's hit show Parenthood. If you don't watch it, stop reading this blog and go watch it. You will laugh & cry and then get mad at how much the show makes you cry. It's fabulous.

And now Lauren has written a book...Someday, Someday, Maybe...and we are SO EXCITED to read it. We're sure it's going to be great!! What can't she do? Nothing. Nothing we tell you.

Oh yes, so remember how we said that we tweeted that we ordered her book...well...she responded to us...and with just one tweet she had both of us pretty much freaking out with excitement:

That's right. Day made. Fan-girling was off the charts. Still is.

-j&k-

We Are A Team.

What a weekend. Seriously. Our legs are sore and our bodies are tired from super early mornings but HOLY CRAP...we had such a great weekend. This past weekend we had our very first (of hopefully many) #j&k5k weekends. People flew in from all over the world...yes WORLD (Nathalie for the win)...to hang out with us in our fabulous little city that we call home. The weekend kicked off with a rockin' team dinner held at a Hibachi place.

The next morning we ran a 5k...how cute is our team?

 

Before the 5k we had the distinct pleasure of singing the national anthem pre-race.

We even got to meet the mayor...Hey Karl Dean.

 

And we're off!!! Runninggggggg.

It was so fun seeing our bright shirts in the crowd!

WOOHOO crossing the finishing line!!! (Don't be confused that it says "start" we promise it said  "finish" on our side :)

Kate with her mom & sister. It was their first 5k ever...so proud of them!

We tailgated post race & embraced the warmth of the sunshine. We ate muffins, donuts, re-fueled with coffee and chit-chatted about you know..this and that. And Ryan took lots of fun pics of us that we will post at a later time...we were kind of group-photo-happy.

Later that evening we all gathered in loft office spaces that a team of Über creative professionals transformed into the perfect sound stage for the recording of our live album Heart of Stone.

Our super talented friend Emily came out and took pictures for us. We will post some of her pics soon...they're amazing!

After looking back and thinking about the weekend we've talked about a lot of things. One of the things that struck us the most is how much fun WE had. While planning this event we talked a lot about making sure that our "attendees" would have a kick-A time and we never really thought about us having a good time. Not that we thought we'd have a bad time but you know what we mean.

We were seriously blown away by the quality of people that came to hang with us. They're all amazing and are really super, awesome people that happen to like our music & us enough to come spend the weekend with us. What? How cool is that?

We feel super lucky.

And you guys. There is something really amazing about coming together as a team. You have no idea how inspired we are/were by the folks that surrounded us. It opened our eyes to the fact that yet again, people are AMAZING. The stories of friendship we heard brought tears to our eyes. The funny stories we heard made us laugh 'til we cried. The heartbreaking stories of struggle and pain. Of sickness and the unknowns. We all toughed out 3.1 miles together. Cheering for each other. We were a team.

We weren't only a team out on the course that day either. We were a team during the 55 minutes we hit record and played a show. Even if you weren't in the room we knew we had our team in the room with us. We felt love from all over the world cheering us on for our live recording...thank goodness for technology because we felt the love...we saw the tweets, the FB messages, the Instagrams...we saw the smiling faces in the room and we heard the voices singing along. We are a team.

Much love,

j&k

 

Handwriting.

What do you do when you wake up before the sun rises because of jet-lag?? You think about random things. One of the many random things is handwriting. A question we frequently receive is, "Is that one of your handwriting on the cover of your album?" (If at this point you are lost...here is the cover of our album and the said handwriting we are talking about..."

Isn't it so pretty? Yes, yes it is. And because it is so pretty and frilly....it is most definitely NEITHER one of ours. So, we thought we would introduce you to the incredibly talented woman whose handwriting it is.

Her name is Ali Nelson & she is not only super talented at writing fancy lettering she also makes all sorts of awesome things.

We met Ali through our friend Todd & she was also one of the creators of the "Better Together Tour"...we actually didn't meet her "in real life" until the tour rolled through Nashville at the end of November. Not only is she super talented, she is super genuine & one of the sweetest people around. We loved getting to hang out with her while she was in town. We can't wait to hang with her again and to work with her in the future. She is so great.

So, go check out her website and see all of the awesome things she creates. We know that she has got big things ahead of her because with the amount of talent she's got and a heart that's even bigger she is sure to do some amazing things.

Her website is : www.alimakesthings.com & her Twitter & Instagram are: alexandra003

Show her some love.

-j&k-

Release Week Wrap Up and Other Ramblings

Oh my goodness...We have had the best couple of weeks EVER....where to even begin? We finished the US tour with Kelly Clarkson/The Fray/Carolina Liar on Saturday (the 15th) in Nashville, TN. This was especially fun for us since we live in Nashville--nothing like ending a tour on your home turf :) And for realsies...we have never had more fun on a tour. We have been fans of The Fray since their first record came out, so every night you would see at least one or both of us side stage soaking up their show. Not only is their music heart-felt and catchy as anything--they are such nice, genuine people. Long talks over catering or scheming the next fun outing will be memories that will last. We are pumped to start the Australian leg of the tour with them tonight! Then there is Carolina Liar....these boys are just the sweetest, most fun people you'll ever meet! They brought such a level of energy & enthusiasm to ANYTHING we did. Whether it was watching them play a show & getting the crowd super pumped or playing basketball in the back of a venue parking lot in the middle of the night...you wanted to be around them cause you'd always be smiling. Seriously...those guys are THE BEST. Love them.

These boys are the greatest.

Okay...so that was the end of tour. The next day we had our album release show, but before the show we showed up at some of our "Thanks To You" contest winners' new digs & played them some songs...it pretty much was a blast...and they had yummy cookies & birthday cake fudge. Life changing. Later that evening was the show at Rocketown. This was such a HUGE day for us. We have been working on Heart of Stone for over a year and we could not believe that the day had come where we were in our home town, playing our release show! The evening was SO MUCH FUN. So many people came out. It was so nice getting to say hi to each of you who came out...you seriously have no idea how much it means to us that people would spend their time/money to support what we do. It was a magical night.

Release Show. Rocketown. 9.15.12 (photo courtesy of someone on twitter--thank you!)

The next day was the Heart of Stone listening party...this was especially a fun night because so many of our international friends were able to be a part of the evening too...(even if that meant waking up in the middle of the night!!!!)...via Ustream online. Even our parents tuned in :) The party was complete with GiGi's cupcakes with our faces on them...cute little popcorn bags and other fun treats. Our friend John hosted the evening and we got to talk about how the record was made, why we wrote certain songs...we even ended the night playing Skinny Jeans live. Woop woop.

Listening party cupcake fun.

Gift bags!

Decorations!

Blurry but excited j&k!

Our host for the evening...our good friend John. Sorry ladies...he's married to our bestie Jenny.

Then it happened. TUESDAY ARRIVED. SEPTEMBER 18th, 2012. Heart of Stone was officially released to iTunes & other distributors. A really fun surprise for us was that our album reached number 39 on the iTunes Pop charts. That was insane...just absolutely insane. And that is all thanks to YOU for buying the album, tweeting it, telling your friends...we seriously could not have made this record without your support. We played a StageIt show at noon so that we could play/say hi/give lots of love to our international besties. BUT, the very best part of the day was that we got to spend a lot of it Skype chatting with more contest winners (we even got to play a Skype show in a high school class room (#FSHS wooohoooo) & playing another house show that evening with the final "Thanks to you" contest winner...they also had yummy brownie/cookie cake treats for us. So delicious. It was amazing to see some of you & thank you for being awesome & for your support.

Our amazing friend acting manager/does everything and anything we need Will showed up release day morning with these!!!

#39 on the POP charts....WOOHOOO!

So then we had Wednesday at home to pull ourselves together and pack for LA, Australia & the UK. Literally...it looked like a bomb had exploded in our house. Clothes everywhere. Hadn't even unpacked from the last 6 week tour...hahaha...it was a disaster. But we managed to pull ourselves together...pack & wake up the next morning at 4:30am to fly to LA to meet up with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to play a little show at one of their locations in Hollywood. This might have been one of our favorite shows...we were outside, the weather was amazing, a bunch of you showed up (even though the timing couldn't have been worse in Los Angeles 5:30pm :( )and we got to drink endless Coffee Bean drinks. YES. It was amazing. We haven't played a j&k show in LA for a long time so it was so super great to meet you guys and discuss how amazing Coffee Bean truly is. Plus, we got to see some of our SoCal friends & eat sushi...which is ALWAYS a plus.

Leaving Nashville.

Coffee Bean show. Sunset & Argyle. (photo courtesy of someone on twitter--thank you!)

Cannot be in LA without a stop at In-n-Out :)

Our dear friends & LA loves...Robert & Nico.

Then the next day we flew to the land down under...skipped an ENTIRE day to get here...but we made it & couldn't be having a better time. The weather has been amazing. Their coffee is killer--they have a precious little drink called a flat white...not sure what's in it but it rules. Yesterday a few of us went and cuddled with koalas & kangaroos...yes...that statement is true. It was so fun. We play our first show tonight with Kelly & The Fray & soon to be new pal Sarah De Bono. Let the good times roll!!!! (Jill didn't go on the koala/kangaroo adventure so Kate is not being picture hog...haha)

Kate & a koala--her name was Trace.

Kangaroo was just chilling.

Kangaroo waving!

Feeding a kangaroo!

Stop it will all of the koala cuteness. Baby & mama.

Hope everyone is feeling good today...we are in the future right now...and it's looking good.

Lots of love...

-j&k-