For her third CD, released in April, Astoria resident Jeneen Terrana recorded songs that span emotions ranging from love and loss to courage and heartache. But it was how she raised the money to get the album made that is most unusual.
A longtime lover of baking who, even worked as a professional wedding cake preparer for a spell, Terrana, who is known to give away cupcakes and other homemade delights at her concerts, baked her way to recording with the help of an online fundraising site, earning over $4,000 toward the production of her latest record, “See the Light.”
“I was nervous halfway through the first song,” she said of performing work from the new album, “but then you calm down. You realize people want you to do well.”
When she first started, Terrana had really bad stage fright. “My hands would shake. My knees would shake. You learn different ways to channel it,” she said.
Despite her nerves, her original songs have taken her around Europe, including stops in England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2009, she fell in love with Scotland, to which she returned earlier this year.
“People are so receptive there to American music,” she said. “They light up when they hear you’re from New York. You’re different, special, you traveled all that way.”
Terrana did tour America in 2003, but in this country, she said, “you feel you can get a little lost in the shuffle. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for it. I’m ready to do that now and I’m ready to grow my fan base here.”
It’s not hard to love Terrana’s music, which is folk rock-oriented with jazz and blues influences. Her style is reminiscent of Fiona Apple with a bit of Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Indigo Girls or early Ani DiFranco thrown in.
In some of the songs, Terrana features brass instruments and in others, the guitar she plays is central. “Never Go” is among the catchiest songs on the album, augmented by strong harmonies.
Terrana’s musical heroes are performers as diverse as Barbra Streisand, Roy Orbison and Leonard Cohen. “I love great singers,” she said. “I grew up listening to singers.”
Her love for discovering talent continues, as she recently hosted the fourth annual “Queens of Queens,” a successful festival for female singer-songwriters in the borough. Terrana’s formative years were spent upstate in Buffalo. She was a voice major in college and originally came to the city to pursue a career in musical theater but “got frustrated by the audition process.”
She began writing her own songs, with the lyrics generally coming first. An avid fan of journal writing, Terrana often finds herself jotting down ideas on the subway or when she’s “going through something;” those ideas often provide the basis for her next song.
Her first CD, entitled “Just Me,” was released in 2002, primarily featuring songs of consolation. Her second album, “My Creation” came out in 2007.
The title song from that album is about “creating the world you live in. If you don’t like the way it’s coming out, take the reins and do something different,” Terrana said.
“I choose a heart so open you can see the love pour out/ I choose to sing until every cell in my body cries out,” read the lyrics.
Audiences will be able to hear Terrana when she makes a return visit to the 100-year-old LIC Bar on June 29 at 9 p.m. There is no cover and no minimum and no reservations are required. For further information, call (718) 786-5400. To see if Terrana’s music appeals to you, visit jeneenterrana.com
When: June 29, 9 p.m.
Where: LIC Bar, 45-58 Vernon Blvd., LIC