Miss Tess Trio
Join us to hear a special collaboration between longtime Boston favorites Miss Tess (vocals), Zachariah Hickman (bass), and Lyle Brewer (guitar). This trio will be celebrating the release of a new album of early jazz + swing tunes, revisiting the music with sparse and very skilled instrumentation and restraint. Tess has been known for releasing many albums of original music over the years, and is excited to share some of the roots of her inspiration in a tender jazz setting.
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.
Lyle Brewer is a guitarist from Massachusetts. He plays original instrumental music and is influenced by folk, jazz and classical music. He studied at The New England Conservatory of Music starting in 2004 and has maintained a strong presence in the Boston music scene ever since. He has performed as a sideman with Ryan Montbleau, Dietrich Strause, Caitlin Canty and Peter Mulvey. As a solo artist Brewer has released 7 albums. He is currently on faculty at The Berklee College of Music and is working on a new album with Kristin Slipp from Cuddle Magic.
Zachariah Hickman is known as a bassist, producer and bandleader for such artists as Josh Ritter, Ray LaMontagne, Barnstar!, and many local luminaries. He once spoke to Tom Waits in an elevator, and used to wear a beret non-ironically. This is not his first time performing at Club Passim.
Dave Godowsky’s songs combine emotion, intellect, and humor, occupying a distinct place in the songwriting world of the past decade, both locally and nationally. No stranger to Passim, Godowsy is also an active member of Sub Rosa and collaborates regularly with several local musicians including Dietrich Strause, Rose Polenzani, Mark Erelli, and Dinty Child.
His first two records, All You Love Is Need (2009) and Pregret (2016) span a diverse range of influences, earning him diverse accolades as well – from media like Billboard and Boston Globe to opening spots for bands like Bon Iver and Counting Crows.
His upcoming album, Cuts (due out Feb 28), is infused with introspective positivity, equally analytic and grateful.
According to Godowsky, the intent was not necessarily to express inner peace, but to inspire others’. “In the writing and recording processes, I focused my and the band’s energy on trying to stay Zen,” he says. “The goal was to create a sort of ‘musical Xanax’…to make an album that people could listen to and feel a little calmer and more grounded, without compromising its message or intellectual integrity. It’s positive even though it’s not always happy.”
The album ranges from upbeat roots-y pop songs (“Better Just To Be,” “So & So, By & By,”) to tongue-in-cheek irony (“The Ballad of the Man,” “What’s Her Name? What’s His Face?”) to pensive ballads (“Good Graces,” “Ghost.”) The songs lean heavily on sardonic wit and sincere lyricism, with an emphasis on melody and concision. Guests Gene Ween (“The World’s Fair”) and Sadie Dupuis (“The Ballad Of The Man”) lend their vocals, while the musical arrangements are largely centered around the presence of harpist Mairi Chaimbeul. Cuts was mixed by GRAMMY-winning engineer Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan, Public Enemy, Weezer) and mastered by GRAMMY-winning engineer Emily Lazar (Vampire Weekend, Sia, Coldplay)