Miss Tess & The Bon Ton Parade will swing by during the last half hour of The Jazz Messenger this coming Friday. In Central Virginia for a concert later that evening at Staunton's Mockingbird, the quartet will close out the morning with some great live music.
Miss Tess is a Brooklyn-via-Boston-based performing songwriter and bandleader. She currently tours with a tight knit quartet complete with Raphael McGregor on lap steel, Danny Weller on upright bass, Matt Meyer on drums, and Tess on guitar and vocals. Similar to artists such at Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Madeleine Peyroux, or Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, Miss Tess draws inspiration from older styles of music, and uses those sounds in the service of her own personality. Miss Tess & The Bon Ton Parade have been touring nationally for the last three years, and continue to maintain a rigorous performing schedule.
This performance will celebrate the release of a new ep, The Waltz Set, the sixth release from Miss Tess. The album debuts five original waltzes and a waltz cover version of Skeeter Davis' hit song "End of the World" (1962). The compositions are airy and heartfelt descriptions of biycle rides, ferris wheels, and lost love. For a preview of the new album, visit the website and on the music page, check out "The Bicycle Song".
Critics have had a hard time assigning Tess’s music to a specific genre; when she still lived in Boston she won a Boston Music Award for "Outstanding Folk Artist of the Year" (2008), in 2009 she received a nomination for "Best Jazz Act", and in 2010 was nominated for "Best Roots Act" by the Boston Phoenix. Miss Tess & The Bon Ton Parade not only played in most venues in Boston, but are also hardened road warriors who have found homes in all types of venues ranging from upscale jazz clubs, music festivals, to local dive bars.
"To classify this Boston-based singer-songwriter as merely a jazz singer would miss the point – she’s a musical chameleon, recalling at various moments Tom Waits’ barfly humor, the cabaret-rock of Beirut, or even the wink-wink wit of early Bette Midler. On previous albums (this is her fifth), Miss Tess has included a fair number of jazz standards, but Darling, Oh Darling takes a bigger leap — Miss Tess has written every track, revolving like a vintage jukebox through a whole catalog of musical styles. What’s impressive is how thoroughly she has absorbed the old-school genres – these aren’t just catchy songs with retro arrangements, you’d swear they were 30- or 40-year-old standards.” –Holly Hughes, Blog Critics
Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk