“Her previous album Mirrors reveals a penchant to reach the prayer-like epiphany of Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan… her new song, “California”, achieves the singularity of a celebratory Jewel.”
- The Somerville Times
Powerful, witty, and sultry, Jess Justice is reinventing pop country with the grit of a seasoned road dog and the sparkle of a young star.
Born in Hollywood, Florida and raised in Buffalo, New York, Jes began writing music at the age of 14, citing the Temptations, Patsy Cline, Reba McEntyre and Janis Joplin as childhood muses. She began singing in At 18 Jes moved to NYC and began to perform in the bar and club scene at such historical venues as the Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall. In 2009 Jes released her first album, Mirrors, as Jessica Labus, and has since been a featured and background vocalist touring with the Zak Smith Band while steadily touring solo on the east coast.
“Jewel was the reason I started playing guitar and also learned to yodel,” says Jess. “Ani DiFranco inspired a lot of my early songwriting days. I also love Patty Griffin, Lori McKenna and Miranda Lambert and the Dixie Chicks for their down-to-earth writing style. I’m inspired by Eminem and Kanye West for their sometimes offensive, honest and funny lyrics… The older I got my music got a little more edgy and jaded. I also started writing funny songs and swearing a bit more. My vocal style matured from experience as well as singing in other styles with other bands.”
After 9 years in New York City, the lifestyle began to take its toll. The songstress took a break from the night life to regain her sense of self and made the move to Boston where she quickly formed a new band and making a name for herself on the local scene. After two years in New England, she booked a national tour from Boston to LA, ultimately hoping to move to LA. This tour included a flat tire in rural Alabama, needing new brakes in Houston , TX and getting an emergency root canal in Arkanas. While passing through on tour Jes fell in love with Nashville and by the following year she moved there permanently.
While Jes recorded her new EP The Realest in Brooklyn, NY she began to finally feel the transition she had been yearning for. She funded the album through a successful crowd funding campaign and featured the musicians that have been with her the past decade. The power and dynamic of the new songs, with their straightforward lyrics and explosive melodies, inspire the listener to raise up with Jes and make moves. From the triumphant country-pop California to the vengeful rock song Judgement Day to the acoustic folk Reality each song on the EP encapsulates a different aspect of Jes’ voice and writing ability. The Realest is entirely self penned by Jes and co-produced by her and Christopher Shurtleff.