Abi Reimold and Jessica Lea Mayfield‘s musical paths cross at several points, one of which is their shared ability to turn bleak, heavy subject matter into darkly glimmering gems of songs. Reimold opened for Mayfield in Lancaster last month and has now posted a cover of the latter’s “Standing in the Sun” on Soundcloud.
“When I first heard Jessica sing this song, there was a spark,” Seth Avett said while sitting at the piano to the far right of the Keswick Theatre’s stage. He talked about when he realized their this common love for Elliott Smith had to become a project, and how he kept coming back to Jessica Lea Mayfield singing “Twilight” as the push to keep up with it over the years.
Conveying a sense of home, Avett and Mayfield performed in front of a kitchen backdrop on Saturday evening, complete with a working kettle, refrigerator, vacuum, shelves of teas and cereals, and a table placed to hold Seth’s various guitars. Touching on a bit more than cherished Elliott Smith tunes, the two musicians intertwined some of Smith’s influences along with their own works for the set. Continue reading →
Jessica Lea Mayfield’s introduction to Elliott Smith was the song “Clementine” – some dude with a Weezer tattoo played it for her after a gig in Ohio, hoping to impress her, and she was pleasantly surprised.
Seth Avett’s gateway song was “Say Yes” – a friend wanted to learn it, and asked the singer-guitarist of The Avett Brothers to teach him.
This winter, the two musicians – both big players in the American roots / rock scene – are releasing a tribute album to the iconic singer-songwriter, who died tragically in 2003 at age 34. Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliot Smith is out on Tuesday, March 17th, and it’s an outstanding record (listen to it in its entirety via NPR Music’s First Listen to hear for yourself).
Over the course of twelve songs, Avett and Mayfield mix up well-known numbers with deep-cut fan favorites; some arrangements stay relatively faithful to the original recordings, others take thrilling liberties. And all around, they channel the raw emotion that lives at the music’s core. Continue reading →
Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers and singer, songwriter and guitarist Jessia Lea Mayfield have teamed up on a collaboration of cover songs of Elliott Smith, the influential singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon, who died in 2003 at the age of 34 from stab wounds. Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith is out March 17th and features some of Smith’s best known songs including “Baby Britain,” “Between The Bars,” and “Roman Candle,” the title song to his debut release in 1994. Continue reading →
Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett (of The Avett Brothers) are ready to take their tribute to Elliot Smith out on the road. The record, called Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliot Smith, comes out March 17th following a country-wide tour, which hits Philadelphia on March 14th when the duo performs at the Keswick Theatre.
Kicking off the music for day two of NonComm, as well as the first of two Free at Noon doubleheaders, was Jessica Lea Mayfield, fresh off the release of her new alt-rock album Make My Head Sing. Unlike her previous music, this new album is incredibly grunge influenced, and is a definitive nod to Dave Grohl, who she calls one of her musical influences. Mayfield’s performance was highlighted most by her heavy reliance on distorted twelve and six string guitars, most apparent on her single “I Want To Love You.”
Singer / songwriter and guitarist Jessica Lea Mayfield brings her ethereal vocals and creeping, crunching guitar riffs to Johnny Brenda’s tonight in support of her recent album release Make My Head Sing…. Sometimes touching on psychedlic shoegazey rock, other times inserting her bluegrass roots (she was in a bluegrass band with her family as a young girl), Mayfield’s sound is unique and all her own. Get tickets and info on the 9:15pm show here.
Kicking off this week’s love-filled download offerings are Juston Stens & Jessica Lea Mayfield with “Strange Love,” a tale of long distance connections and making the most of time spent together. The jangly duet is track #4 in the Valentine’s Day compilation, curated by XPN Philly Local’s Helen Leicht. Each day leading up to February 14th The Key will post a new track by a local musician for free download (last week’s picks featured The Hooters, Jesse Ruben and Joe D’Amico). Go here to get the full With Love, From WXPN Philly Local collection, and see Juston Stens with his band The Get Real Gang at Johnny Brenda’s on March 1st. Tickets and more information can be found here.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2nd XPN Welcomes Ryan Adams with Jessica Lea Mayfield at Academy Of Music (8 p.m., SOLD OUT) Click here to listen to his recent interview and performance on World Cafe with David Dye. During the episode, Adams discusses and performs tracks from his new acoustic album, Ashes & Fire, which he is currently touring in support of.
Also Playing: XPN Welcomes Sam Roberts Band + Zeus, Canadian Invasion at North Star Bar (9 p .m., 21+, $15); XPN Welcomes Marin Sexton at Sellersville Theater (8 p.m., $33–$45)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3rd XPN Welcomes Jukebox The Ghost, The Spinto Band, and White Birds at Union Transfer (8 p.m., all ages, $12–$14) You can watch Jukebox The Ghost’s new video for the track “Half Crazy” off the band’s 2010 album, Everything Under The Sun; the video was shot in South Philly by local animation production company Juggling Wolf. You can check out White Bird’s recent Key Studio Session here.
Also Playing: XPN Welcomes The Roches: Suzy And Maggie Roche with a Holiday Twist at New Hope Winery (8 p.m., $30–$40)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4th
XPN Welcomes the 6th Annual Lizanne Knott And Friends Philabundance Benefit at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $10)