With an MFA in Writing and several literary awards to her name, Jen McClung puts lyricism first. But as a long-time musician and the daughter of a working pedal steel guitar player, Jen also knows that it takes more than just good lyrics to make a great song.

Jen grew up in a place and at a time when girl-with-guitar singer/songwriters were really just coming into their own. At sixteen, she was offered a development contract with a major record label (we won’t drop their name here, but let’s just say the initials are WB). Jen faced a choice—ride the wave to pop stardom, risking the loss of identity and artistic freedom along the way, or stick with her own fiercely independent style, making her own road to the top. Jen chose the road less traveled by. Now, more than a decade later, Jen has built a fan following, released three studio albums, and toured the country—all without giving up any part of who she is or what she brings to the music world she loves.

The release of her third album, Wildfire, finds Jen living in Ames, Iowa and teaching at Iowa State University. She’s made her way in the world as poet, artist and musician, and she’s pushing forward with this and other projects all the time (including a new album underway!).