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Local woman hits No. 8 on country charts

April 26, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

WEIRTON - Jeanie Slusarek of Weirton, who performs in the Wheeling-Fairmont area as country performer "Miss Jeanie" has seen a single, "A Cloud of Dust" from her album, "Sweet Sarcastic" hit No. 8 on the independent country charts.

A second single "One Heart Away" charted in Europe, and another single, "Small Talk" will be released Tuesday.

"Sweet Sarcastic," recorded with Megalith Records Nashville, is the follow up to her album "Bingo Forever! Housework Whenever," which earned her a Horizon Award and Award of Merit from Foxfire Records in Nashville. She also received international play and Foxfire's Country Songwriter Award with the single "Bingo Blues."

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Jeanie Slusarek of Weirton has released a country album, “Sweet Sarcastic,” under her stage name “Miss Jeanie,” which has had two singles appear on independent country music charts.

"My son (Shawn) and I just sat down and wrote it one afternoon," she said.

Slusarek began singing at the age of 8, and her first musical memories are of her mother and aunt who sang and played guitar on local radio in Clarksburg. Slusarek remembers listening to records in her room, using a hair brush as a microphone and pretending to be Brenda Lee, Lynn Anderson or Barbara Mandrell. Comfortable on the stage from an early age, she seized every chance to perform.

"I started taking vocal lessons at a young age from Helen Mickey of Steubenville," she said. "She would have me in recitals. I sang wherever and whenever I could."

Slusarek said her love of country music was a gift from her parents, who both loved country, but especially her father, who she described as her first and biggest fan.

"He followed (my career) no matter where I went," she said.

In the 1970s, she learned to play guitar and she and her husband, Paul, formed the band, "All In the Family," with three of their four sons, touring West Virginia, Virginia and Ohio, doing fairs and festivals.

"It was a chance to be together and a happy time for all of us," Slusarek said. "The youngest, he just went with us everywhere we went."

The group also made a single "Jump, Dance, Shout"/"Summer's Gone" with independent label AMG. "Summer's Gone" also is featured on "Sweet Sarcastic."

"I've worked on this tune for years, and I finally thought it was ready," she said. "I updated it for my new record."

The original recording of "Summer's Gone" reached No. 13 on the independent charts.

Following her husband's death from multiple sclerosis, Slusarek took time away from the stage to raise their four children.

"I never stopped singing," she said.

Several years ago, she auditioned for a part in "Hosanna the Musical" at the Victoria Theater in Wheeling.

"It uplifted me," she said of the experience.

Slusarek then was invited to appear regularly in Wheeling and will be appearing at 7 p.m. May 4 at the Victoria Theater.

She also will appear May 25 at the Fairmont Community Center and June 23 at the Sage Brush Roundup in Fairmont. She has performed at the Lincoln Theater in Moundsville and at the Wheeling Jamboree.

Slusarek had assistance in making "Sweet Sarcastic," which she described as "new country sound," from producer Lonnie Spiker and singer-songwriter and vocal coach Judy Rodman, who wrote the title single "Sweet Sarcastic" and "A Cloud of Dust."

"I've never given up my love for music and never will," Slusarek said.

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