Rhode Island Trans Rockers — Jodi Jolt and The Volt

| Jun 6, 2016
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Jodi Volt and The Jolt

Jodi Jolt and The Volt

As we all know, June is Pride Month. I can think of no better interview to offer here than this new installment with Rhode Island’s Jodi Jolt and The Volt. Jodi and her band was first introduced to TGForum readers back in November, 2014. The band is well known for performing at Pride events as well as clubs and other venues.

There have been a few changes in The Volt since we last spoke with Jodi. So, TGForum is proud to post our recent conversation with Jodi Jolt. We think it’ll get you all in the mood for some good music as you attend the various events in your area this month.

TGForum: You’ve mentioned to me that you have some new members. What’s the current line-up of The Volt?

7Jodi Jolt: The past year there have been two additions as The Volt evolves. We welcomed Jessica Firinn on guitar and bass and Sand Juneau on drums. This gives us added versatility on being able to play gigs all over New England, as we now have band gals from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Our present line-up is: Jodi Jolt-vocals, guitar, trombone, harmonica; Christina Jay-vocals, guitar; Jessica Firinn-guitar, bass; Angela Perry-bass; Emily rose-keyboards; Jacqui Madrigal-drums; and Sandy Juneau-drums.

TGF: When we talked last time, you mentioned that the band has moved out of playing mostly LGBT clubs into more main stream venues. Is that still the case?

JJ: The Volt is rocking a mix of all types of clubs. This past year some places we performed at were Fatt Squirrel, Firehouse 13, Aurora, KC’s Tap, and The Village in RI, as well as The Cove Music Hall, The Midway Café, and Fran’s Place in MA. Some are regular clubs, some of LGBT.

We actually care more about things like the club’s stage and sound system rather than the type of venue at this point. Which is pretty cool if you think about it.

6TGF: You still do Pride and other LGBT events, right?

JJ: Yes, we are still performing at RI Pride and LGBT events. We played for the RI Pride Goddess fundraiser at Aurora in Providence, RI and also host transgender events at Fran’s Place in Lynn, MA. Jodi Jolt and The Volt also have the honor and pleasure to again kick off the RI PrideFest 2016 event this year. We started off the festivities last year, and they are welcoming us back to do it again.

TGF: What kind of audience reaction do you get?

JJ: Our audience response has been amazingly enthusiastic, wherever we play. Our music is high energy, with fun themes and clever lyrics. Our fans can dance and have a chuckle at the same time. With songs like Crazy Cat Lady, I Love Drunk Girls, Country Barn Dance, Total Bitch, and Gender Fluid, the crowds stay happy and have a toe tapping time.

band7TGF: Since Jodi Jolt and The Volt is comprised of trans folk (and mostly crossdressers, right…?), how much support do you get from the TG community as a whole?

JJ: There are no crossdressers or drag queens in The Volt. I don’t know where that idea came from. Not a problem, we’re not hung up on names, as we understand there is still a lot of confusion out there. Call us anything, but late for dinner, as we are never late for dinner. Most band gals in The Volt are male to female transgender and their gender is female all the time. The rest are gender fluid and go out and about as either the male or the female gender as both are equally comfortable.

The support from the transgender community has been fantastic and world wide. With social media being what it is, we have fans asking when we are touring Europe, never mind our West Coast! And something special, although unintended, has happened. We get messages from transgender fans who are alone due to various reasons mentioning how The Volt helps them connect with the greater community.

bandauroraTGF: Still play a mix of covers and original material? Also, are you writing any newer material?

JJ: Yes, we are still playing a mix, depending on the club or event. Some clubs are original music only. Most clubs we mix it up. When The Volt first got together, I wrote all the originals as the other band gals were busy learning our set list. But lately, the entire band has been creating songs together. Our original Endocrine Police is a project that everyone contributed to. This has also inspired some band gals to start writing music on their own, which I personal am thrilled about. I love to see other people’s creativity blossoming.

joditromboneTGF: Jodi, I see you also play trombone. What kind of material do you use this on? Kind of a unique thing for a club and to use on stage.

JJ: Ahhhhh, my trombone. It’s the same trombone I’ve had since the fourth grade, and it has been with me through thick and thin. Lucky for me my trombone does not speak English, as it would have some stories to tell. Musically, I can adapt it to almost any song, as it is a very versatile instrument. When I compose songs, I always keep in mind to toss in a trombone solo or two. Lately I’ve been wearing the trombone on my left wrist while I play guitar and sing. I got the idea one night when I forgot my trombone stand. Now I do it all the time and the audience loves it.

TGF: Also during the last time we spoke, you mentioned that some of the girls in the band were real techies and that you were looking at maybe recording. Anything happening with that?

JJ: Lately The Volt has been recording our live performances on video as well as audio. We produced a live CD last year with tracks from various clubs and events. Our video from the RI Pride Goddess show is about to be released in a few days. There are no plans to get into a recording studio at this time, as we absolutely love recording while playing live.

TGF: Any other future plans you can share at this moment?

JJ: Upcoming Jodi Jolt and The Volt events include RI PrideFest 2016 in Providence, RI, on Saturday, June 18, where we are the opening act at 12 noon. We are returning to Fran’s Place in Lynn, MA on Saturday, July 16 where we hope to do another live recording. Also, we are scheduled to be on New England Pride TV. We’re in their studio on November 7. That should be an amazing experience.

TGF: In closing, anything you’d like to say I might not have asked? Any parting thoughts you want to share?

JJ: Jodi Jolt and The Volt has been together for five years now. I have never been in any band for this long before, and it is truly an amazing experience seeing the band evolve. The Volt gals get along amazingly well, care about each other, and look after each other. The key to The Volt’s success is actually quite simple. It’s all about the music. And keep it fun. People go to a place for a good time. Give them one.

For more information on Jodi Jolt and The Volt, please check out their website. You can contact Jodi directly at jodijolt@gmail.com.


Rev. Yolanda

Rev. Yolanda

Rev. Yolanda turns the 60 this year, and is inviting everyone to a special party, August 6, 3-5 PM at The Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St., NYC. It’s being officially billed as Peace, Love & Yolanda, 25 years of original Yolanda music. Along with Yolanda will be several special guest performers.

In other Yolanda news, she has written the music for an original theater piece called Welcome To The Doll Den. There will be a “workshop showing” of this production on June 14 at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, NYC. (212-219-0367; or contact@dixonplace.org).

“This is a very personal piece for me,” said Yolanda. “It takes place when I was growing up in the South during the civil rights era.”

And, there will be more information forthcoming regarding details of Yolanda’s birthday celebration in a future column. Until then, please feel free to check out www.yolanda.net.

Georgie Jessup and The Philosopher Dogs will be performing July 15 at The Woodshop. For information, contact Hammersawmusic.com; also www.georgiejessup.com.

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Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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