She dropped out after freshman year, did home-schooling for half of her sophomore year, then decided to get her GED.
She started dating a boy against the wishes of his mother.
She saw Nikki Kvarnes, who she knew through friends at rock camp, at shows too. At the time, Lauren “LG” Gilbert, now the lead singer for Thelma and the Sleaze, was a guitarist in the band. I was surrounded by all these people who played music and loved it as much as I did. I just wanted to be somebody.”The story from there is fairly well-chronicled, but the short version is that Jessi went from being a kid on the porch to an internationally acclaimed musician.
After the show, Nikki pulled Jessi aside and apologized that they hadn’t gotten together yet, but explained that she’d been dealing with trouble at home. 1 of that year, she did.“I woke up every day and sat on the porch and played guitar,” Jessi says. Jessi and Nikki recruited Kelley to form a band they called Those Darlins, writing songs and playing at Murfreesboro holes-in-the-wall.
She had to decide if that tedium was worth a shot at feeling better.