Bearing witness to small details and fleeting moments is what dignifies our everyday stories, rendering the mundane profound.
This principle has governed Erelli’s approach to his two decade career, including 11 solo albums, stints accompanying Josh Ritter, Paula Cole and Anais Mitchell, and a pair of records he produced for GRAMMY-winning songwriter Lori McKenna. Ever since Billboard magazine heralded the “simple, atmospheric grace” of his Signature Sounds debut, Erelli’s belief in the sacredness of an examined life has driven him between the ostensible extremes of lullabies and murder ballads, western swing and protest anthems. Whether he’s holding a pen or a Telecaster, Erelli’s music welcomes even the casual listener, but those who choose to dig more deeply are richly rewarded.
Perhaps that is what Folk Alley hears in Erelli’s songs, when it encourages people to “listen close; there’s sure to be something in there to break your heart a split second before it leads you straight to grace.”
Miss 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 piano as 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 and currently living in Nashville, Miss Tess and her band 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.