Jessica Lea Mayfield has risen through the songwriting ranks with one foot in the old and the other in the new. She got her start touring with her family bluegrass band, but after a stroke of luck, she was suddenly pushed into the spotlight with high-profile tours accompanying the likes of Black Keys, Ray LaMontagne, Lucero and Jay Farrar. But success hasn't seemed to make her too happy: Her songs are still dark, brooding little things you'd expect more from a cranky old woman, not a 21-year-old. Listening to her, you might think she was an old country or folk performer, as her drawl comes across as something you'd be more likely to hear in the '70s than today. Still, she doesn't always play the jaded, lovesick adult, and her newest album, Tell Me, experiments more with rock and pop than her debut.
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