Artist: Free Thought

Single: “In Her Eyes”

Album: In Her Eyes

  • Jen Vanderlyn, from Morris, CT, is Free Thought’s main songwriter, singer, and guitarist.
  • Kate Vanderlyn, from Morris, CT, sings harmony and plays bass.
  • Jen and Kate are sisters with musical influences ranging from the Moody Blues, Donovan and the Bee Gees to Status Quo, Bruce Springsteen and Pink Floyd.
  • Blues Matters journalist Carol Borrington helped Jen and Kate come up with the name Free Thought. Jen and Kate have performed as Free Thought since 2005.
  • In addition to playing bass, Kate is also a freelance photographer. Her newly launched venture Ephemeros Photography features her own photographic prints for sale.
  • Jen has been writing songs since she was 12. She had dreams of becoming an author, but decided to become a songwriter after recording her first song for a school project.
  • While Jen composes all of Free Thought’s material, she is also a freelance reviewer. Her concert reviews have been published in local newspapers, Still Gigging Online Magazine and Blues Matters! Magazine.
  • Both Jen and Kate taught themselves to play their respective instruments. Jen, however, has also had formal voice and guitar training at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.
  • In addition to performing at coffee houses and town greens, Kate and Jen also perform at charity and community events. Most recently they appeared at Washington Depot, CT’s Relay for Life and Litchfield, CT’s Annual Road Race.
  • Prior to recording In Her Eyes, Jen wrote character sketches for each of the song’s speakers as part of an exercise to experience the songs from a different viewpoint.
  • In Her Eyes is Free Thought’s first full-length CD embodying their formally-written mission: to inspire listeners to appreciate life’s natural beauty while actively observing and expressing what they see.
  • In addition to Jen and Kate, In Her Eyes features Julliard violinist Bill Wisnowski on violin, dobro, and penny whistle, as well as Berklee jazz drummer Charlie van Kirk.
  • In Her Eyes, recorded at BackRoom Studios in Roxbury, CT, with engineer Mark Kaufman, was released on Dec. 18, 2009.