"On fiddle, McIntosh drives with her own characteristic sound and energy, and proves an equally adept singer, harmonizing closely."                                                                                                                                                                                            -VOLUME ONE MAGAZINE, MAY 2011

 

Fiddle-driven songwriter and composer Jess McIntosh released her debut album, Long Time Exhaling in early 2017. A classically-trained violinist turned fiddler/songwriter, Jess’s ten years supporting other artists as a fiddler, harmony singer, banjoist and guitarist inform her stage presence with easy wit and generous musical sensibility. Bandmates and multi-instrumentalists Aaron Smith and Bill Harris come steeped in avant-garde jazz, classical music, and traditional bluegrass. Together, the ensemble provokes an unrefined balance between familiarity and newness, held together by strong lyrics and melody under the umbrella of alt-country-folk.

 

McIntosh’s first all-original album follows the footsteps of her arrival in Chicago and dealings with grief and impermanence as a twenty-something stumbling under the weight of student loan debt. Whether in simple fiddle-banjo melodies, robust alt-country stylings, or stripped-down electric guitar and vocals, her storytelling is strong. In the title track, “Long Time Exhaling,” she mourns, “Get me the ones I’ve known so long / I will sing through all the lines that we have drawn / it’s a long time exhaling / that makes for one good song.”

 

Between tours supporting folk-punk banjoist Al Scorch (Bloodshot Records) throughout the US, UK and Sweden, Jess is a teaching artist at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, regular staff musician and teaching artist at the Augusta Heritage Center Old Time & Vernacular Dance Week (Elkins, WV) and composer, lyricist and violinist for the House Theatre Company of Chicago. In 2015, The Chicago Tribune declared McIntosh’s composition for theatre “...captures the evergreen desire for rebirth and freedom that drives us on to greatness and darkness alike.”

The Chicago Tribune reviews "The Revel" from The House Theatre Company - September 2015

 

(original score written by Jess McIntosh)

Chicago Sun-Times reviews "The Revel" from The House Theatre Company - September 2015

 

(original score written by Jess McIntosh)

"McIntosh captures the evergreen desire for rebirth and freedom that drives us on to greatness and darkness alike."

                                                                                                                                             -THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, SEPTEMBER 2015

photo by Jason Marck

September 2015 |The Revel

 

"a foot-stomping world premiere with the House Theatre of Chicago. Featuring a rousing country-gospel score by Jess McIntosh... Music that captures the evergreen desire for rebirth and freedom that drives us on to greatness and darkness alike."

        -The Chicago Tribune

April 2016 | American Songwriter Magazine premieres

"City Lullaby" by Al Scorch

Recorded and produced by Travis Button at Half Stop Sessions in Los Angeles, CA in February of 2016. 

© 2014 |  jess mcintosh

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