Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Miss Tess
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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.
 
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