Jackie Lee McLean, front woman of Roan Yellowthorn, has always had music in her soul. Daughter of famed singer/songwriter, Don McLean, you might say that music runs through her blood.
Growing up, she went from obsessing over favorites such as Abba and Daniel Johnston to regularly playing the lead in musical theater productions such as The Wizard of Oz, Footloose, Annie, and Wild Party.
Attending Bard College, she majored in Language and Literature with a focus on Ancient Latin. Jackie immersed herself in the literary world, even penning a novel and book of poems. However, her return to music proved inevitable.
“I had defined myself by music all my life,” she explains. “By the time I got to college, I wanted to diversify. But I never turned my back on music. And, after I graduated, it became more important to me than ever.”
Thereafter, she taught herself how to play piano and wrote an EP. She entered Nada Recording Studio with her partner Shawn as co-producer and cut her first release as a singer/songwriter; a six-track indie/pop EP released in April 2016 called ‘Roan Yellowthorn’.
Always recognized for her clear, powerhouse voice, the EP gained her much praise for the intricacy and poetry of her songwriting. Compared to such luminaries as Regina Spektor and young Joni Mitchell, Roan Yellowthorn was quickly gaining attention.
In 2017 she released a political protest song called ‘Child in Chief’ which was called by the Vinyl District “an anthem for our generation.”
In August of 2017 she began recording a full album at Nada Recording Studio and Art Farm Recording. It is expected to be released in late 2017 and Jackie couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I’ve found my calling in life,” she says, “There are many things that I love to do, but singing and songwriting will always be my primary passion. I tried to run from it when I was younger because I didn’t want to be compared to my father, but I embrace it now. It’s part of who I am.”
Look for updates on Roan Yellowthorn’s new album on Facebook and Instagram @roan_yellowthorn