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As Comfortable as Home: Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield perform at the Keswick Theater

Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko
Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

“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 →

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Interpreting Elliott Smith with Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield

Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield | photo via sethandjessicasing.com
Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield | photo via sethandjessicasing.com

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 →

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Download a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield

 Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield | Photo courtesy of Crackerfarm

Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield | Photo courtesy of Crackerfarm

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 →

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett will bring their tribute to Elliott Smith to the Keswick

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield | photo via youtube.com

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.

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Non-COMM: Jessica Lea Mayfield kicks off day two with heavy riffs and loud amps

Jessica Lea Mayfield | Photo by Cameron Pollack
Jessica Lea Mayfield | Photo by Cameron Pollack

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.”

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Jessica Lea Mayfield at Johnny Brenda’s, Cayetana at The Fire, Chalk and the Beige Americans at Kung Fu Necktie

Jessica Lea Mayfield | via facebook.com/jessicaleamayfield

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.

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Download a free new music sampler with music from Old 97′s, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Old Crow Medicine Show and more


#XPNFest artists Old 97′s, Hurray for The Riff Raff, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and Rodrigo y Gabriela are four of the artists whose new singles are available to download for free on a 15 song ATO Records Spring Sampler. Other artists on the collection include Built To Spill, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Kaiser Chiefs, Midlake, Benjamin Booker, Midlake and more. The Old 97′s are represented with “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,” from their new album Most Messed Up. Below, download the sampler. Get tickets for the XPoNential Music Festival here.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company