In December, Miss Tess was voted Best Folk Artist at the annual Boston Music Awards. While the honor was certainly appreciated, it was also more than a bit confusing.
Because even a casual listener to her new album, “Live On the Road,” would readily recognize that Miss Tess doesn’t really play folk music at all. Yes, she’s a singer, a songwriter and a guitarist, but the charming Miss Tess is quite obviously playing jazz. Smokey jazz. Swinging jazz. Rootsy jazz that would appeal to a crowd of singer-songwriter fans, sure, but nonetheless, it’s clearly jazz.
Miss Tess doesn’t really go out of her way to put her music in a neat little box, so you can call it what you like. She calls it “modern vintage” music, and that’s as good a description as any.
Backed by her band, the Bon Ton Parade (sax/clarinetist Alec Spiegelman, upright bassist Paul Dilley and drummer Matt Meyer), Miss Tess cajoles and captivates the crowd at the intimate Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass. at 9pm Friday, May 15.