Crafting a unique style that mixes poetic ballads with swinging rockers, Eilen Jewell ranks among the best in the Americana genre today. As the reigning Queen of the Minor Key, Jewell leads a tight quartet who blend influences of surf noir, early blues, rockabilly, and 1960s era rock and roll.
Over the course of a decade, Eilen and her band have toured relentlessly. They have performed for legions of fans from Boston to Boise and Madrid to Melbourne at festivals, theaters, rock clubs and coffeehouses. Eilen’s fans marvel at her warmth, unique wit, and onstage humor alongside her beautiful songs and fiery performances. Jewell’s fifth studio album, Sundown Over Ghost Town was released in May of 2015(Signature Sounds). The album was recorded with Eilen’s longtime road band in her hometown of Boise, and is composed of twelve stunning, original compositions that feature some of her most personal stories yet.
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
On her new release Baby, We All Know, Miss Tess continues to explore her own personal crossroads of American roots music. This full-length release features eleven finely crafted and well-sung original songs. Heightened by Tess’ prowess on her Weymann archtop guitar, she is accompanied by her top-notch band, The Talkbacks, featuring guitar ace and co-conspirator Thomas Bryan Eaton. The songs were further enlivened with piano, organ, pedal steel, and fiddle in the studio.
Tess says “I consider this my best yet collection of original music. In writing these tunes I stepped out of myself and into many different characters, based on real life and my imagination, and pulled sounds and stories from my musical fantasyland. Baby, we all know their secrets and on goings, in a world of mischief and troubled fun.” These songs were penned at Tess’s yearly writing retreat in New Hampshire, and at her home in Nashville. Yet time and place don’t bear much relevance here; the subjects she speaks through live in the streets of New Orleans, in the backwoods hollers of Tennessee, on a train heading to Mexico, and under the sheets.
Tess got her musical start at home in Maryland, her childhood nights ending in music. Her parents would sing her to sleep with the gentle, tender sounds of American folk songs, occasionally interrupted by their 30s swing band rehearsing in the basement. Tess studied pianomas a child, and continued on as a teenager to take up the guitar and singing, and eventually began her own studies in early jazz and blues. All grown up, Miss Tess and The Talkbacks regularly steal the show at venues with something a little rowdier and more eclectic. Infused with classic country and honky-tonk, southern rhythm & blues, New Orleans jazz and swing, and sounds of swamp pop and early rock n’ roll, she is an embodiment of everything that it still home-grown in America.
Miss Tess has been releasing albums and leading a band for over a decade, spanning her career over many different cities including Baltimore, Boston, NYC, and her new home base of Nashville, TN. Straddling her move from New York to Nashville, the new album was recorded in both cities. The recording cast includes her steady band mate and co-producer, Thomas Bryan Eaton, producer Dan Knobler (Rodney Crowell, Tift Merritt), Robin Macmillan, Jake Silver (Lee Fields), Roy Williams, Stefan Zeniuk, Eric Frey (The Revelers), Dominic Billet (Andrew Combs), Kai Welch, John Pahmer, Aaron Shaffer-Haiss, Oliver Craven (The Stray Birds), Maya De Vitry (The Stray Birds) and Caitlin Canty.
A follow up to 2012’s Sweet Talk and 2013’s The Love I Have for You, both released on Signature Sounds Recordings, Baby, We All Know will be released independently. As she expands and grows more into her own sound, Tess is still hard to categorize. She says “Many times after the show somebody will come up to compliment the band and ask me what kind of music we just played. After mumbling through a few different genres I usually just tell them it’s my music and hope they enjoyed the show”.
Enjoyable is just what Baby, We All Know is, propelled by the classic quality of Tess’s vocals, compelling and totally believable. The production throughout is the right balance of punch and rhythm, without getting in the way of the vocals or songwriting, giving this collection of songs a plentiful dose of old-school swagger. Time after time, Miss Tess is able to utilize sounds and styles from a past era combined with modern sensibilities to present an authentic and engaging presence.
Singer/songwriter Seth Adam is well known for his passionate live performances. The alt-country, rootsy rocker draws comparisons to Counting Crows, Will Hoge, and Son Volt. His last studio release, "Amplify" (2010) was described by New Haven Advocate writer James Velvet as "This 10-song full-length is beautifully written, played and produced. This level of craftsmanship and polish are not often heard on the local scene." Never one to rely on the norms of the music industry, this self-described "scrapper" takes a page out of the Lucinda Williams instruction book by performing frequently and writing deeply personal, heartfelt rock & roll songs. He has shared the stage with Grammy-winning Robert Cray, Tonic, Vertical Horizon, Carbon Leaf, The Alternate Routes, Will Hoge, Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), and Mayer Hawthorne, has had a song licensed to Volkswagen, and was described by entertainment columnist Roger Friedman as "the hardest-working best live act in indie rock." Seth, along with Gerry Giaimo, John Jackson, and a cast of studio musicians, are currently preparing to release the third studio album, titled "Steel Tempered Pride," projected to release in September of 2013.