Jenee Fleenor Talks Pimento Cheese, Touring With Blake Shelton, And More

The award-winning musician joins us on Biscuits & Jam.

Jenee Fleenor
Photo: Mitchell Franz

In this episode of Biscuits & Jam, award-winning fiddle player Jenee Fleenor talks with Sid Evans about her dad's chili recipe, touring with Blake Shelton, and how she's paved the way for female musicians as the first-ever woman to be named CMA's Musician of the Year.

Get to Know Jenee Fleenor

Jenee Fleenor grew up in northwest Arkansas, where her obsession with the fiddle led to her performing with musicians generations older than her. As she attended Belmont University, she split time between her studies and jamming with bluegrass bands around Nashville. She's toured the world backing up stars like Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, and Rascal Flatts, and is also an acclaimed singer/songwriter in her own right—with legends like Dolly Parton, Kathy Mattea, and Gretchen Wilson all recording her songs. And if that weren't enough, she's the first woman ever to win the CMA's coveted Musician of the Year award—and she's done it twice.

What Jenee Fleenor Talks About in This Episode

  • Growing up in Arkansas and playing the fiddle
  • Moving to Nashville and joining a band
  • Winning a CMA award and inspiring up-and-coming musicians
  • Touring again after COVID
  • Her parents' cooking

Quotes From Jenee Fleenor

"My dad started playing violin after I did. And, he was 55 when I was born. So he picked up the violin, which is not an easy instrument to pick up. So I'm like 5 years old, learning 'Faded Love,' and he's kind of learning alongside me. But he really sounded pretty good for just picking it up and he could play the guitar some. Mom would play the piano and dad would play fiddle or guitar. I never really wanted to be that family band kind of thing—and I don't think they did either. But it was kind of fun for them to jam…It just brings me to tears because it reminds me of my dad playing in the house."

Jenee Fleenor

"I'm pretty active on Instagram and I get so many messages weekly from young girl fiddle players... And I try to help them any way I can… I just hope it lights a fire in a lot of these girls that it can be done. I certainly have had some times, especially when I first stepped in the studio and they're like, 'Oh, gosh, here's the girl'."

— Jenee Fleenor

"My dad actually did most of the cooking growing up. I remember him making chicken and dumplings, which was one of my favorite dishes. And I remember helping him cut the dumplings into little strips and we'd hang them over the sides. That's a great memory for me. And his chili? We would go to these fiddle conventions and mom would say all the ladies would come over and go, 'George, that chili is so good. Give me that recipe.' "

"The one thing my mom did make a lot was pimento cheese. And my family is going to laugh because during the quarantine when we were really locked down, I would talk to my family on the Marco Polo app and pimento cheese would come up, I swear, every other day. And her recipe is so simple. It is just Colby cheese, which, she shreds. You don't buy it pre-shredded. Plus, pimentos and Miracle Whip and that's it. And it's real good."

About Biscuits & Jam

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Get a transcript of the full interview with Jenee Fleenor.

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