Tess Henley is not your typical R&B/Soul artist. Born on Halloween to a professional singer and Seattle record collector, Tess credits daily Suzuki piano lessons from the age of three for developing a “musicality” in her songwriting. A recent college grad, the hard-working Tess has performed 100s of shows at the area’s top venues, often with her brother, Carson.
The Appetizer (EP), showcases an emotional voice and rhythmic piano that got her voted Best Local Band by the listeners of the Northwest's largest radio station. Tower Records has also become a supporter of her unique brand of music, pushing a Japanese Special Edition CD with some very large in-store displays and recommendations. "Tower has been so nice” says Tess, “they’ve blessed the record with marketing that some big labels don't even get these days, Arigato! Tower".
Tess’ sound draws comparisons to Alicia Keys, Corinne Bailey Rae and a "soulful Sara Bareilles". Music lovers from all over are beginning to take notice, thanks to reviews like these; The highly respected Soul & Jazz & Funk (UK) says “Tess shows remarkable maturity and focus, her music is draped in luscious harmonies; it’s truly infectious. The Henley approach to music is all about craftsmanship, commitment and an appreciation of what truly constitutes musicality.” Jazz & Soul (EUR) calls it “An extremely fresh album” while the largest soul site in America, Soul Tracks, adds, “Henley as a vocalist doesn’t suffer from being compared to Alicia Keys. Both eschew the breathy little girl sound that is the rage these days. Henley, like Keys, opens her mouth and gives a full-throated vocal that sounds mature, passionate and believable."
Tess is currently working a new full-length CD that will be completed late 2011, and like her large, Italian family celebrations, it promises to include "big helpings of stick-to-your-ribs, main course entrees". But in the meantime, you can enjoy The Appetizer.