Letters

Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Miss Tess
. . . .

Miss Tess

Kristi Kates - February 28th, 2011
Miss Tess’ leads the Retro Parade
By Kristi Kates
Being compared to the likes of both Ella Fitzgerald and Madeleine Peyroux - and being dubbed Outstanding Folk Artist of the Year by the Boston Music Awards - is no small feat.
But Boston-launched, New York-based singer-songwriter Miss Tess, who will be appearing in Traverse City at the InsideOut Gallery, on March 2, is no small-minded musician, pushing and pulling her talents through a wide range of projects but always keeping her own musical sensibilities intact.

PUNK TO PARADE
With her 1940s guitar and her band, the Bon Ton Parade (Danny Weller on upright bass, Raphael McGregor on lap steel, and Matt Meyer on drums), Miss Tess - no last name, thank you - is making a big splash these days with her latest album, The Waltz Set. It might seem like something of a breakthrough for those outside of the East Coast musical scene - yet Tess has actually been pursuing her career for the past six years.
Growing up in Massachusetts, Tess says she was influenced early on by the music heard in her family home - which she did a complete 180 from in later years by buying her first pop-punk CD.
“I grew up listening to my parents playing old folk, swing, jug band, and big band music,” she reminisces, “but I think the first CD I bought was Green Day’s Dookie.”
Fortunately for her audiences, the old-school tunes stuck for Miss Tess far more than any renditions of Green Day’s “Basket Case” may have.
“It was inevitable (to create a more retro style of music) based on my background,” she explains, “I grew up listening to so much of that style of music that I think it’s just in my blood.”

THE WALTZ SET
She eventually took piano lessons, and then spent some time couch-surfing with her guitar in tow - and by 2005, Miss Tess had already formed her Bon Tons band, which began playing at nightspots around the Boston area. The first pair of Miss Tess albums would arrive in 2007, one a “regular” album and one a set of jazz standards on which Tess was accompanied by a sextet of Washington, DC-based jazz players.
And to think that all of this accomplishment was started primarily out of Green Day-worthy ennui.
“I think it was actually boredom,” Tess chuckles, “I used to work at an art gallery, and sometimes there was nothing to do all day. Then I started traveling with my guitar and wrote more songs that way.”
“More songs” is an understatement. In 2009, this overachiever released two more albums, Live on the Road - a live album, ‘natch - and “Darling, oh Darling,” a quirky playlist of original tunes on which Tess experiments with jazz, blues, rockabilly, and even country-western sounds.
“The Waltz Set definitely has a few more country influences for sure,” she says, “as well as some folk inspirations. I wanted to try a concept album, so waltzes were my concept.”
“Who doesn’t like 3/4 time, ya know?” she smiles.

NEW AND OLD
The past four years have seen Miss Tess spending much of her time on the road, criss-crossing the country on a range of national tour dates. And that aforementioned album, The Waltz Set, debuts five original waltzes - certainly a diversion from today’s radio hits - plus a waltz-based cover of the Skeeter Davis song “End of the World.” The vintage tunes and sharp musicianship showcase just why Miss Tess is finally starting to get more and more attention outside of her home region.
2011 and 2012 is slated to be a very busy year for Miss Tess, as she’s relocated to New York City and is also carrying a consistently heavy touring schedule. She and the Bon Tons are currently on a six-week tour from Nashville to the Midwest (TC included, of course), and are then heading to Austin, Texas for the big SXSW Festival. A new full-length album is also in the works, with recording set to begin later this summer.
And as for her influences of today, they’ve shifted a little, from the pop charts to music crafted by her peers - but her love for retro sounds is always in effect.
“A lot of the newer stuff I listen to is music being created by my friends,” she says, “but I still listen to a lot of the old stuff.”

Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade will be performing on March 2 at the InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City. For more info on Miss Tess and her band, visit www.misstessmusic.com or www.myspace.com/misstessmusic.
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
 

 

 
 
 
Close
Close
Close