September 16 2015
Jesse Lafser is a singer-songwriter named after a Thomas Hart Benton painting of a woman playing the guitar. Originally from St. Louis, MO, her musical style is inspired by the blues and ragtime sounds native to the port city - Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Elizabeth Cotten, and more. There is, however, another side to her style that evokes the acoustic folk and roots music Lafser was raised on: she cites Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson, and other great songwriting icons as influences.
She is a prolific songwriter and a talented instrumentalist - her stellar finger-picking and clear voice have landed her spots sharing the stage with artists like Steve Earle, Will Kimbrough, Robert Ellis, John Fullbright, Sarah Jarosz, Bobby Bare, Jr., and many more. American Songwriter magazine said of her 2012 debut Land in Sight, “Her ability to tell a story is remarkable.”
Instagram: @jesselafser #raisedontheplains #jesselafser
Laura Lee Bishop
Everything is bigger in Texas; the songs and voices are no exception. Laura Lee Bishop brings that Lone Star State power to new heights, countering it with small-town honesty and insight. From sleepy Gilmer, the town that gave us Don Henley and Johnny Mathis, comes Laura Lee Bishop, a singer of commanding ability, sensitivity, and confidence. No stranger to emotional hardships and the strengths and struggles of family, she knows you darkest secrets, and she'll tell you hers. No one gets off the hook in a Laura Lee song. It's her urban sensibility, however, that brings this part-time New Yorker/Texas an incomparable edge to her music, as she effectively and compellingly summons high-voltage pop, rock, and country undertones in her unique musical patois.
Hers is a voice wrapped in intricate lace; soulful as the first quiet Sunday after a broken heart, and powerful as the words that give healing a welcome home.
Spending her formidable years performing the southeast Texas Opry circuit in the mother/daughter duo "Melva Lee and Melany” and after many years of commuting back and forth from Houston to Nashville with her mother, Melany decided to make big move to Music City USA where she dove head first into the scene playing shows, networking and creating a buzz. Blending the best from her musical heroines (the rawness of Etta James, vocal acrobatics of Whitney & Mariah, vivaciousness of Chaka Khan, and universal writing style of Carole King), the Nashville years were spent developing her own brand of performance/songwriting style as well as earning a Vocal Performance and Music Business Degree at Belmont University. One of her many highlights during college was getting to perform at "Christmas at Belmont" with Trisha Yearwood on PBS National Television 2009.
In the summer of 2012, she followed her gut and up and moved to New York City. Shortly thereafter she became a regular performer in the NYC music scene playing Knitting Factory, Bowery presents as well as the LES favorite Rockwood Music Hall. This east coast momentum flew her across America to become a Top 100 Finalist on NBC’s Season 6 of The Voice. Most recently, she's been privileged to perform on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” singing background vocals for Tori Kelly. Fast forward to Summer 2015, she received the prestigious Abe Olman Scholarship: an award presented by SESAC and the Songwriters Hall of Fame up and coming writers for their excellence in songwriting.
Melany is presently finishing up her latest EP due out Fall 2015 while currently a staff vocalist for Vamnation and a professional plus-size model with NYC TRUE Model Management.
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