photo by Rachel Winslow
Joybird is the band behind 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 and tried again. The band is a (mostly) 4-piece cast of in-demand multi-instrumentalists whose compositions are as strong in sparse fiddle-banjo duets as they are electrified with full drums and horn section. McIntosh's Appalachian heritage and vibrant life as a social worker, educator, visual artist and perpetual side woman in many beloved Chicago bands set the backdrop for Joybird's stunning contributions to modern folk music. "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.