Jessica Stone was selected as one of Femmusic's Top Five Independent Solo Artists of 2002, and in January 2003 she was picked by Independent Songwriter Magazine for their 'Best Independent Songwriter on the Internet' and 'Best Website' Awards. Stone's music reflects a wide range of influences - from folk to rock - and a penchant for play-on-words poetic lyrics. Jessica's song 'Got To Be Me' spent over 10 days at #1 on the MP3 AAA/Adult Alternative chart in the US, and was selected as a finalist for Sports Illustrated Women's Magazine's 2002 theme song.
Jessica graduated from the LA Music Academy in Pasadena, CA, and founded indie record label Maidenstone for her debut full-length release, Seven Letters (April, 2002). Jessica has performed at the Knitting Factory, Genghis Cohen and The Derby in Hollywood, the Poetry Café in London, and at Marz and The Crocodile in Tokyo among other venues. Jessica typically performs with a full band, but she also performs acoustic sets.
Jessica Stone's music reflects her varied background, colorful interests and a penchant for play-on-words poetry. Raised in a folk-music tradition, Jessica combines strong melodies with occasionally complex meter, satisfying harmonies and richly thought-provoking lyrics. Her vocal delivery is at times deep, warm and suggestive and at other times high, clear and haunting.
Seven Letters, Jessica Stone's debut effort, combines a variety of musical styles ranging from folk to rock to blues, all held firmly together by her distinctive songwriting style and her keen ability to speak to the hearts of her listeners. From the rocking politically-inspired "41 Gun Salute" - a reminder of the persistent racial inequities in America, to "What About You" - a touching dedication to her own musician father, and "Need To Know" - a smoky reflection on her past studies in philosophy - Jessica shows us she is not afraid to reach deep, share raw emotion and bare intimate thoughts. What emerges is an impressive package of well-crafted artistry, beautifully-delivered melodies and a touch of the timeless wisdom that runs through the veins of our most beloved songwriters. Add Seven Letters to your collection today.
Note from the artist on the album tracks:
Hey everyone! Thanks for reading this far. Enough of the marketing mumbo-jumbo...I thought I'd give those who are interested a little more insight on the inspiration for the songs on Seven Letters. Here you have it!
41 Gun Salute - Ever heard of an African immigrant named Amadu Diallo? He was an innocent man, who looked like a black rape suspect, who was shot while he stood - unarmed - in front of his apartment door in NYC. But here's the real kicker - he was shot at 41 times in total. 19 bullets entered his body, 6 in the bottom of his feet after he had fallen...what can we say? And, not surprisingly, when the trial of the policemen who shot him was moved to upstate NY, they were acquitted. Larry Jaffe, a wonderful LA poet, read a poem about this incident in the Poetry Cafe in London. It left me with tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms. I knew I had to write the song to go with it.
Got To Be Me - This one is a happy-go-lucky anthem for the independent woman of today. I've been told it sounds like a soundtrack song - anyone making a movie or sitcom about a strong-willed, independent women of the 2000's? Here you go!
At Your Door - At Your Door is a song for anyone who has loved someone they couldn't have - its a song of letting go and moving on. The beautiful bridge section on this song was written together with Bill Fowler, the same guy who plays a gorgeous 1968 Gibson guitar part on this track.
Brand New Day - This song was written for someone I am very close to - it is biographical - and a tribute to her strength, courage and beauty.
We Made This Space - Though many might think this is a love song - it is actually a song about friendship - about the amazing place of comfort, confidence and camaraderie that is created by truly great friends - I wrote the song on the inspiration of one such friend of mine in Switzerland. Love you!
What About You - This song needs no explanation - just read the lyrics about the most selfless sage I have the honor of calling a friend - my dear 'ol Dad. If you are privileged enough to know him, you'll understand this song even better.
Seven Letters - Stylistically influenced by the great performance poem diatribes of Ani DiFranco - this track speaks about remembering to slow down and make time for what is most important - for connecting with the people you love in a meaningful way - it is a good reminder to me to practice what I preach.
Need To Know - Need To Know is a song about waking up to the realization that the 'big questions' really go unanswered, and aren't really so big when you take stock of your more basic needs and instincts. After a year of Philosophy in grad school, I was ready to have my feet back on solid ground and my head down out of the clouds.
Charm In My Pocket - To my surprise, this is the popular favorite so far of the people who have given me feedback on the album. The reason I am surprised is that I worried that this song is borderline cheesy, but I'm glad to hear that people appreciate it. It is a love song for my husband, written when we were spending too much time 10,000 miles apart from each other while I worked in London and he was in LA.
Until The River Runs In - Who doesn't love a gospel blues? This is one of my fav's - both because of the great arrangement and playing, and because of the message in the lyrics - preachy, but very clever, if I don't say so myself! :) And you gotta hear that organ!
Addison - Addison is a real person who was born to really inspiring and courageous parents who I am lucky to count as friends - I wrote the song in the voice of mother - imagining what I might say to Addison, if she was my baby daughter. And boy, is she beautiful!
Snow Angels - Another performance poem...I wrote it four days after Sept. 11th, when I found I couldn't sleep - it is more about the victims who were left to ponder what it all meant than about the victims who perished in the tragedy. I really wanted to find something uplifting in the whole mess, and I did - I imagined the angels of the towers lifting our hearts up in peace.
Enjoy! And if you like what you hear - I'd be so happy if you entered a review for me!
Peace and love,