Sister - Jess and the Bandits
Our next LCM featured artists are one of the leading Country music bands in the UK, the fabulous Jess & The Bandits. Jess and the guys are due to release their great new second album 'Smoke & Mirrors' on the 15th September, one all of us here at LCM are looking forward to. Our LCM #TrackOfTheDay is their new single, the very powerful blusey-pop gospel infused 'Sister'. We think it really has hints of Jenn Bostic :) It has just been Radio 2 playlisted, so you will be hearing a lot more of the song across the airwaves.
Due to the current situation in Jess' home state of Texas and to provide support for her family, Jess has postponed her September launch tour moving it to next February.
Jess and the Bandits are US/UK country rock band fronted by Texan vocalist Jessica Clemmons. The band line-up is completed by Louis Riccardi (guitar), Dave Troke (bass), Steven Reid Williams (keys) and Ricci Riccardi (drums). They are often joined by Matt Park (pedal steel). They released their debut album 'Here We Go Again' in 2015.
Jess and the Bandits formed after meeting on 'The Overtones' 27 dates UK and Ireland theater tour. At the time Jess was a solo artist, who had recently released her sophomore album Loving This Day, which was released independently in 2012 on Jessica's own record label, After Midnight Girl Entertainment having partnered with UK distribution and marketing company Absolute earlier that year.
While Jess was focused on a pop sound at the time of the tour, she took time away from touring to reflect on her recording career to date. As a Texas Girl born and bred, Jessica felt that she had drifted from her roots and early inspirations founded from her love of Country Music. She traveled to Nashville where she focused on writing songs that were honest and reflective. Jessica spent time in the studio with multi-award winning songwriter Jeff Cohen, who won a BMI Award for his song 'Postcard From Paris', recorded by The Band Perry. Cohen's credits also include Sugarland, Josh Groban, Macy Gray, and Nick Lachey. Jeff introduce Jessica to songwriter James T Slater, infamous for his Grammy nominated song 'In My Daughter's Eyes' by Martina McBride, and to Country Music star and writer Sherrie Austin. The resulting body of work became Jessica's EP 'What If' co-written with all three writers, produced by Jeff Cohen and recorded at the Beaird Studios in Nashville.
At the end of 2013, Jess was invited to join Boyzone on their BZ20 20th Anniversary tour. In need of a band to play with on the road, she reconnected with Dave, Louis, Ricci and Steve and asked them to join her as her backing band. The response to her new sound, which featured her BBC Radio 2 playlisted single Single Tonight, taken from the 'What If' EP, was huge and the group really bonded over the formative tour. By the end of the tour, the band had been born.
In September 2014, Jess and the Bandits accepted the invitation to join Pete Molinari on his UK tour. To coincide they released their debut single 'My Name Is Trouble', which has been described as 'infectious and uplifting experience' (Nashville Over Here).
Following the Pete Molinari tour, Jess and the Bandits spent the remainder of 2014 writing and recording their debut album. Having kept a low profile, they returned to the stage in February 2015 for sold out performances at The Little Rabbit Barn and as the headliner of the Country Collective alongside Red Sky July and Lucy May, which led to For The Country Record declaring, 'I’m sure these guys are on the brink of a huge career.'.UDiscover selected the group as one of the stand out performances of C2C: Country to Country 2015, noting their 'two winning shows' at the Brooklyn Bowl.
On 6 April 2015 Jess and the Bandits released their debut album 'Here We Go Again' to critical acclaim. The album featured lead single 'My Name Is Trouble' alongside Jess' solo single Single Tonight and a recording of Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman, which had previously been showcased on Sir Terry Wogan's BBC Radio 2 show. After their performance, Wogan declared 'Well with the greatest respect to Glen Campbell, that was the most fabulous version I have ever heard. That was terrific.
Following a series of festival appearances over the summer of 2015, including Isle of Wight Festival, Ramblin' Man Fair and SummerTyne, the band announced their debut headline tour for October 2015. In the build-up to the tour, they announced that Belfast's The Rising would be joining them at all dates, while each date would see a special guest appearance - these included The Southern Companion, Dexeter, Acoustic Journey, Luke & Mel, Na Fianna and Fitzwallace. The band had a headline tour in April 2016 with Luke & Mel as support.
Jess and the Bandits are due to release their second album 'Smoke & Mirrors' on the 15th September.