4 piece [photo rachel winslow].jpg

photo by Rachel Winslow

Joybird is the band alongsie Chicago songwriter & fiddler Jess McIntosh. Impressively direct, her songs bare the intimacy of a letter to a friend, a healing balm for burned-out activists, tired hearts, anyone who has tried and failed. The band is a mostly 4-piece cast who trade banjos, guitars, fiddle, drums, bass & keys, with guest appearances from alto sax, french horn, clarinet and flute. McIntosh's Appalachian heritage and giant heart beat life into modern folk formations that don't hold back. "At times playful, at times immersed in longing...fiercely hopeful and deeply communal."

(Abigail Zimmer, Author girls their tongues)


Since taking its name in 2017 Joybird has evolved collaboratively, though it's core members Jess McIntosh, Aaron Smith and Bill Harris remain. The three have written and played together since 2014 -  adding frequent contributors Emily Nott & Sara Leginsky since 2018.