Jenny Wood performs at Wichita's Orpheum Theatre Friday, Dec. 20, alongside Katy Guillen and The Drive.
Wood's ongoing anti-bullying campaign, which saw her record the song "Don't Let Them Get In Your Head," remains central to her performance mission. She will also perform several familiar songs and some holiday music as well.
Guillen and bandmate Stephanie Williams will join Wood part of her set in addition to performing on their own.
Wood recently stopped by the KMUW studios to discuss her friendship with Guillen and her first-ever headlining show at the Orpheum.
Tell me a little bit about your relationship with Katy Guillen.
I worked at a music venue in Nashville, and for the four years I was there, there was a woman who worked there who I became friends with. We both moved back to Kansas and she introduced me to her guitar player, who was Katy Guillen. This was nine years ago. Katy struck me not only as an incredible, brilliant female in rock, she's also a genuinely good person and honest and sincere. That can be very rare to find.
When I met her, we just hit it off and I really bonded very deeply with her and her bandmates, Stephanie and Claire. I just said, "OK, these are my girls for life." They're incredible musicians and it's still a shock to me every time I see that I get to play with them.
It sounds like when you play together, you make each other better in a way.
Yes. I think there's something in the way that Katy plays that's a language I understand. I love dark classical and I was raised with Spanish influence. Katy, the way that she plays, exudes that very passionate but honest truth-telling. She's Hispanic as well. There's some kind of non-spoken language that I understand of hers. I think we feed off each other. Two little girls with electric guitars and we rip. She rips. I just follow.
What are you preparing to do at the Orpheum? This will be a rockin' show, right? Not sort of, "Everybody sit down and clap."
It's going to be both. I have a different relationship now with what I do. I remember making music in the beginning: If I could be as obscure as possible with my music [I was happy]. Then I got the relationship from an audience member and I started to see what would happen if I conveyed the emotion and another person related to it. It was a power I've never known.
You've played the Orpheum before, opening for other people. Is this your first headlining gig there?
Yes. On the way here … they have a picture of me on the marquee, everything. I saw that [and thought], "What a weird-looking old lady." Then I realized that it was me. I said, "I know that day, that's this Friday." It's gonna be incredible. It's going to be a very big night for me, for healing, feeling, connection, human betterment.