Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jess Yoakum has intrigued audiences from Massachusetts, New Mexico and Oregon to Ecuador, El Salvador and Mexico with a sound that is the right mix of soulful lullaby and coy rock. Following with admiration in the footsteps of Patty Griffin, Yoakum currently performs in Boston as a solo, acoustic guitarist and singer but can also be found playing with the accompaniment of other local musicians. Her 3-song demo, met with high demand, and her fans eagerly await her first full-length album, released in Spring 2005.
With a textured, mature vocal style and a playful yet commanding stage presence, the 27 year-old Berklee College of Music employee has created a following nearly overnight. Yoakum's audiences are treated to captivatingly bold lyrics that dare to reach beyond the comfort zone, and she balances lines like "I watched the rage thrown at you in the kitchen" (Emily's Song), which silence even the rowdiest crowd, with thought-provoking, catchy choruses, fresh rhythms, and richly warm tones. Proudly affiliated with Move On.Org, Mercy Corps, and the Human Rights Campaign, Yoakum brushes her music with a mix of politics, confessions, and reflections that run the gambit of raw emotions.
Unique to her music is the participation of one of her special guests, Charlie Worsham, a Dobro, Mandolin, Banjo and Guitar player who reconnects Jess' sound with her southern roots. Now settled in Jamaica Plain, she has recently performs regularly at the Milky Way, Mid Way Cafe, Sky Bar, and All Asia Cafe. Current projects include collaborations with other artists in the Boston singer/songwriter scene, hosting a monthly acoustic evening at the Midway Cafe, releasing her debut full-length CD, and deepening her involvement with women's rights and GLBT organizations.
Most recently, Yoakum held a Tsunami Relief E-bay auction in conjunction with Berklee's Women's History Month Celebration. She welcomes opportunities to participate in other Boston area benefits.