The former Crossing Jordan actress records an "alternative, folk, rock" album

By Lesley Messer
Updated October 24, 2008 11:00 AM
Credit: Jemal Countess/WireImage

Audiences know her from her series Crossing Jordan, but actress Jill Hennessy says that her first love was singing.

“It’s what I did before I acted,” she told PEOPLE Monday at a party to celebrate Mario Batali’s new book, Spain A Culinary Roadtrip, at Bon Appetit’s Supper Club and Café. “To be honest I never thought the acting thing would get off the ground.”

Hennessy, 39, said she recorded an album, which she describes as “sort of alternative, folk, rock” in Austin with producer Patrick McCarthy, whom she met through Batali.

“I had just started writing songs,” Hennessy recalled. “I played guitar at Mario’s apartment one day at a brunch and Patrick heard me and somebody mentioned, ‘Oh, Patrick’s a producer! Maybe you guys should work together!'”

The rest, as they say, is history, and they’re now in the process of mastering the album.

And while Hennessy said she recorded in Austin, she was lucky enough to have two great guys with her at all times: her sons with husband Paolo Mastropietro, Marco, 5, and Gianni, 11 months.

“The older one was so great about protecting the little one, showing him how to play guitar and to play drums,” Hennessy said. The little one was playing piano. We had a good time!”