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Loretta Lynn

Thirty-five-year-old year old Jessi grew up in a small Belgian town called Brussels. If you look at the "thumb" of Wisconsin you'll find a little speck on the map in southern Door County where Brussels sits.

Her upbringing was similar to Loretta Lynn's herself having grown up in a modern day countryside 30 minutes away from any department store. Her summers, like Loretta's, Jessi Rouer ran around barefoot spending every daylight minute outside looking for mischief in their barns and fields, climbing trees, and swimming. Matter of fact, that very "country" wild and untamed personality as a kid earned Jessi a name in town that you've probably heard. People called her a little Tom Boy attributed to the dirt on her face, grass stains on her knees, cuts and bruises all over her body, and long knotted up blond hair; which always certainly could be found with pieces of hay in it. Just as Loretta seemed favored by her daddy growing up so was Jessi. They both were "daddy's girls" recalling favorite memories rocking on their daddys' knees.

Neither of them were ever called by their full names rather, Loretta's dad referred to her as "Loretti" and Jessica was "Jessi." There was, unfortunately, one distinctive difference between Loretta's youth and Jessi's. At 5 years old Jessi lost her father. This unfortunate event led to major changes within the Rouer household. Roles shifted and her family struggled to find their groove with older brothers stepping up to help care for her. She was the youngest of five children. Jessi withdrew somewhat and tried to simply stay out of her newly "working mom's" way. When not outside you'd find her hiding in her bedroom with VCR tapes playing the same musical videos over and over again (wearing out the tapes!). Though her story is unlike most tribute acts that attribute their love for the legends to parents playing these classics around their households growing up, music was never played anywhere in her childhood after her dad's passing. His passion for music and ballroom dancing was laid to rest right along with him. It was VCR tapes that led Jessi to her interest in "impersonating."

You could hear her belting out each and every song (memorizing all dialogues as well) outside her closed bedroom door down their stairs to the first floor. She impersonated all parts, both men AND women, which earned Jessi her first impersonation in front of an audience at 10 years old. The performance was for a 5th Grade school musical Beauty and the Beast. She auditioned and won two lead voice roles, one as a man (Lumiere the Candlestick) and the other Mrs Potts (the Teapot). In a duet between the two ("Be Our Guest") Jessi had to sit in the soundbooth singing BOTH parts switching back and forth between the two characters' accents and inflection.

The rest is history though the scenes are always changing for her from a county pageant auditorium stage to Patsy Cline Tribute Acts in smaller venues. Despite Loretta being new to Jessi, looking at their life similarities, she holds a soft spot for Loretta Lynn's music and life. Just as Loretta's daddy passed away before ever getting to hear her sing hits written for him like "Coal Miner's Daughter" Jessi's dad was never able to sit in her audience either. It's tonight that with great pride Jessi is honored to share with you her very first Loretta Lynn Tribute.