When most people think of defiant music, they think of punk rock or outlaw country. But defying genres while transcending eras and resisting clichés is hard to pin down when it comes to artistry—unless you’re talking about Miss Tess, who does all of that and more on her new release, The Moon Is an Ashtray (released Feb 7). Swinging for the fences and from the branches of jazz, country, blues and old school rock and roll, she has employed all of her influences and talents on a tour-de-force, while cleverly taking standard perspectives and ideas, like the definition of a love song, to task.
To help capture and shape her own unique sound, Miss Tess enlisted not only her trusty 1930s Weymann archtop, but also heavy input from co-producers Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) and Thomas Bryan Eaton, her full-time bandmate and musical partner. Tess elaborates, “I think Andrija’s indie leanings were pivotal in taking these songs into a transcendent space, while still supporting my initial vision. He definitely pushed me in new ways and the three of us found a very interesting mix between bold experimentation and a more traditional approach.” Combining Thomas’s arranging ideas and skilled instrumental work with Andrija’s studio full of vintage mics, tube amps, keyboards, and tape machines, the resulting record has a rich, buttery warmth well-suited to Miss Tess's voice and authentic, retro-contemporary songwriting style.
“A duet with former roommate (and Lake Street Dive frontwoman) Rachael Price, Miss Tess’ “True Flood” swings and swaggers, rooted in a retro groove that’s equal parts blues, mid-century rock & roll and Booker T-worthy R&B.” – Rolling Stone
After over a decade on the road, now making her home in Nashville—by way of Baltimore, Boston, and Brooklyn—Miss Tess has found a creative community that encourages and embraces wide artistic exploration and expression as much as she does. She has “a sound that’s both contemporary and timeless. More than merely emulating her obvious influences, she effectively situates herself on a pedestal right beside them, resulting in a set of songs that swings, sways, rocks and evokes her own personal perspective.” – No Depression
7pm doors – 8pm show | $15 adv. – $20 day of