Some of Jess's Albums

Bootleg - Live from Austin, Texas

Jess Klein

Bootleg was recorded on two summer nights in 2014 at Austin's amazing Strange Brew/Loungeside club. The first of these shows was the CD release for "Learning Faith," and the first time the new band had played together live. The second was in the early autumn after Jess had returned from a grueling but successful tour of Europe.

The players: Jess
Bootleg was recorded on two summer nights in 2014 at Austin's amazing Strange Brew/Loungeside club. The first of these shows was the CD release for "Learning Faith," and the first time the new band had played together live. The second was in the early autumn after Jess had returned from a grueling but successful tour of Europe.

The players: Jess - acoustic and electric guitar, Billy Masters, Electric guitar, Dave Madden, piano and organ, Brian C. Mendes, drums and Professor Feathers, bass.
Read more…
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/4:05
  2. 2
    0:00/6:06
  3. 3
    0:00/5:21
  4. 4
    0:00/4:17
  5. 5
    0:00/6:36
  6. 6
    0:00/4:43
  7. 7
    0:00/5:07
  8. 8
    0:00/5:41
  9. 9
    0:00/5:02
  10. 10
    0:00/4:02
  11. 11
    0:00/3:08
  12. 12
    0:00/4:56
  13. 13
    0:00/3:11
  14. 14
    0:00/6:25

Jess's Albums

Learning Faith

Jess Klein

Calling it her most "edgy and brutal" offering to date, Jess Klein's compelling 8th studio release features themes such as the hardships of youth and the search for self. Through it, Klein hits the sweet spot every time, making for an engaging listen.

"I pulled no punches on this album," Jess Klein says of Learning Faith. "It's edgy and brutal,
Calling it her most "edgy and brutal" offering to date, Jess Klein's compelling 8th studio release features themes such as the hardships of youth and the search for self. Through it, Klein hits the sweet spot every time, making for an engaging listen.

"I pulled no punches on this album," Jess Klein says of Learning Faith. "It's edgy and brutal, but it was inspired by a genuine love for this world."

Learning Faith —which marks Klein's third collaboration with veteran producer Mark "Professor Feathers" Addison—boasts ten personally-charged new originals that rank with her most compelling and illuminating work. Such bracing tunes as "Surrender," "So Fucking Cool," "Wish," "Long Way Down" and "If There's A God" (which she was inspired to write after protesting in support of State Senator Wendy Davis' pro-choice 2013 filibuster at the Texas state capitol building) embody the complementary mix of personal fearlessness and musical craftsmanship that define Klein's music.

"It felt a little different this time," the artist notes. "It was the first time that I ever went into a record really feeling that I'd paid my dues, and that now I'm just gonna do and say whatever I want. I finally feel like I really don't care what anybody thinks now. That felt huge, and it felt really empowering. I felt comfortable going as dark as I could, and not feeling like I had to pull back from that.

"It's also the first time I've started a record with a concept and tried to follow it through," she explains. "After I wrote the song 'Learning Faith,' that started me thinking about writing a whole album of songs about the process of developing faith—faith in people, faith in the universe, faith in a higher power. I wanted each song to be about some kind of struggle with faith, and asking what faith really means to me.

Learning Faith's rich emotional and musical palette is consistent with the level of commitment that Jess Klein has always brought to her music. The Rochester, NY native taught herself to play her father's acoustic guitar in her teens, and began writing songs as a college student in Kingston, Jamaica. After graduation, she relocated to Boston, where she began performing locally and won acclaim for her self-released debut album Wishes Well Disguised. The attention helped to win her a deal with the Rykodisc label, for which she recorded the albums Draw Them Near and Strawberry Lover, which were warmly received by critics as well as Klein's growing audience.
Since parting ways with Rykodisc, Klein has continued to stake out brave new lyrical and musical territory on such albums as 2006's City Garden, 2009's Bound to Love and 2012's Behind A Veil.

"This can be a hard job, and it does require a certain amount of faith to continue doing it," Klein observes, adding, "There have been several points where I've questioned my career choice. But every time I've gotten close to feeling defeated, I've pulled myself back up and come out of it stronger. And the more times I choose to keep doing it, the stronger I feel about it, and the stronger I feel about reaching a little deeper and putting everything out on the table.”

"When you're younger, you don't totally know who you are yet, and you're still trying to figure things out. Now I feel more at ease with who I am and why I do this. My motivation now for playing music is to connect with people, and to do that by connecting with myself, which is the hardest and scariest part.”

"The reward," she concludes, "is those moments where all the other bullshit subsides and you have a total, pure connection with the audience, or with just one person. I feel so blessed to be able to have this connection with people that's based on something real, and I guess that that's what I look for now."
Read more…
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/4:50
  2. 2
    0:00/2:59
  3. 3
    0:00/3:22
  4. 4
    0:00/4:20
  5. 5
    0:00/3:03
  6. 6
    Wish 4:16
    0:00/4:16
  7. 7
    0:00/4:44
  8. 8
    0:00/4:11
  9. 9
    0:00/4:48
  10. 10
    0:00/4:25

Back to My Green

Jess Klein

"Back to My Green" is my first new album in FIVE YEARS.
In the music business, that is a lifetime.

I feel like I've lived a whole lifetime since 2014 when I released "Learning Faith." In that time, I fell in love, got married to fellow singer-songwriter Mike June, moved away from Austin, TX and my musical community of eight years to Hillsborough,
"Back to My Green" is my first new album in FIVE YEARS.
In the music business, that is a lifetime.

I feel like I've lived a whole lifetime since 2014 when I released "Learning Faith." In that time, I fell in love, got married to fellow singer-songwriter Mike June, moved away from Austin, TX and my musical community of eight years to Hillsborough, NC, a tiny town where I'd never been.

Then the 2016 election happened and everything that came with it. Like a lot of people, I was terrified. As a result I developed an RSI in my arms that made playing guitar and writing very painful. I felt isolated and restricted and depressed.

But "no" is death for artists, so I had to come up with new ways of doing things, new ways of conceptualizing music, and be willing to put myself out there and collaborate more.

As a result, "Back to My Green" is about becoming someone new. It's about facing challenges and rising. It's the musical equivalent of standing unprotected with my arms and my heart wide open. It's terrifying...but it's real!

I had the pleasure of working with Producer Mark Simonsen and Engineer Thom Canova at StudioM in Durham, NC, an extremely creative and uplifting couple of dudes. Mark was the lead producer and Thom and I co-produced. This is the first album I have ever co-produced! I had to learn to take charge in new ways, but also to let other people in in new ways. The result, to my mind, is a different kind of album for me, expansive, hopeful, out on a limb.
Read more…
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/3:30
  2. 2
    0:00/3:38
  3. 3
    0:00/3:26
  4. 4
    0:00/3:40
  5. 5
    0:00/3:29
  6. 6
    0:00/5:38
  7. 7
    0:00/4:08
  8. 8
    0:00/3:59
  9. 9
    Kid 4:24
    0:00/4:24
  10. 10
    0:00/4:11

Another Man Done Gone - 100% of proceeds to NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Jess Klein

The simplest songs often say it the best.

The first known recording of this song, "Another Man Done Gone" was made by Vera Hall in 1942. She recorded it with Alan Lomax. [You may know Vera Hall's voice from her version of "Trouble So Hard" sampled by Moby about a decade ago].

The lyrics Vera sang in "Another Man" lamented the fate of Black men
The simplest songs often say it the best.

The first known recording of this song, "Another Man Done Gone" was made by Vera Hall in 1942. She recorded it with Alan Lomax. [You may know Vera Hall's voice from her version of "Trouble So Hard" sampled by Moby about a decade ago].

The lyrics Vera sang in "Another Man" lamented the fate of Black men sent to prisons in the Deep South during Jim Crow, in particular Parchman Farm Prison in Mississippi. Often these men were sent to jail for minor violations. Once there, they were put to work on chain gangs where they were treated so brutally, many of them never made it home, dying instead from the labor.

I first heard "Another Man Done Gone" on the album "Odetta at Town Hall". Odetta sang it a cappella, in a similar form to Vera Hall's version.

A lot of artists have recorded amazing versions of this song ,including Johnny Cash, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Jorma Kaukonen and others.

I first recorded this song on my album "Wishes Well Disguised" which came out in 1998.

Several months back, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw that The Ebony Hillbillies, a musical super-group based in the NYC area, had recorded a newer version of the tune after the killing of Eric Garner. I wrote to The EH's and asked if I could have permission to perform their version and they graciously agreed.

This version draws on Odetta's and The Ebony Hillbillies' versions, with a verse I added in for 2020.

This Friday, 7/17/20 is the 6 year anniversary of Eric Garner's death.

All Proceeds from this track will go to the NAACP.
Read more…