With a sly sense of humor and charisma to spare, Jenny Tolman is making her opinions known about modern society with “Invent a T-Shirt,” but she’s doing it with a wink and a smile… and square dancers. It’s a fun, fast-moving video from the Nashville native who made a name for herself with her 2019 debut album, There Goes the Neighborhood. And really, who can disagree with its catchy, sing-along chorus?
Watch “Invent a T-Shirt,” then read our interview with Jenny Tolman below the player.
What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?
What I remember most about the day we shot this video was just how much fun everyone had! It’s so important to me to have positivity flowing on the set, and everyone was really upbeat and happy to be there that it really made the day so special. Even though it was a sweaty one — haha!
We shot this at a neighborhood barn, so there were kids running around outside, playing, so that just added to the fun-loving nature vibe to the air that I wanted to put in this video.
How does the video bring your song to life?
Having the live performance aspect of this song with the full band, coupled with getting to have the Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers, really brought this video to life! The song itself is so full of quick and witty statements that I didn’t feel like the video needed a lot of fluff. But, as soon as I heard the final mix of the song, I looked at my producer, Dave Brainard, and I said, “I need dancers!!!”
So I immediately thought of Marcia Campbell, who I knew through being on her WSM Radio show in the past, and how she was a square dancer at the Opry. She was so kind to get all of the dancers together and create this moment for me. It was so special and I will cherish getting to have a little piece of country music history in my video forever!
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
With this video, I really wanted to portray how much fun it is to be able to laugh at ourselves. We can all get so uptight with the state of the world right now, so I think it’s important to be able to enjoy a moment that isn’t so heavy every now and then. I feel like this video did such a great job at embodying the tension release that I hope this song gives people when they hear it.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
It felt so incredible to get to watch the video back for the first time! It really does seem like you’re in the barn, dancing along with everyone. To me, it feels like a belly laugh followed by a big exhale. Haha!
Songwriters: Dave Brainard, Jenny Tolman, & Bill Whyte; Directors: Jeremy Burchard & Dave Brainard