November 29, 2007

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Letting the music happen
Jess Klein brings the City Garden
By Alec O’Meara aomeara@hippopress.com

The influence for singer-songwriter Jess Klein’s most recent studio album came from a 600-square-foot vacant lot that sat behind her Brooklyn apartment.

Klein had high hopes for turning the area into a sanctuary for her and for friends, and for cultivating her own little garden.

“I even bought a hammock,” said Klein, who has since moved away from that particular place and now lives elsewhere in the city. However, her album, City Garden, remains a constant companion in her travels, which include a four-show swing through southern New Hampshire over the next few weeks.

“I love traveling to New England in the fall. There just seems to be a real appreciation of song writing in the area,” she said.

Klein would know. A product of the music scene in Boston, she has close ties to the region. The recent swing through the area is in part the result of a local fan making a request when she was playing a set at the Boston Folk Festival last September, Klein said.

“A fan in Deerfield asked and we set it up. At first it was going to be one show, and it kind of took off from there,” Klein said. “I just think it’s cool to sometimes work with real people and make things happen.”

“Letting things happen” is a trademark of Klein’s deeply emotional, intimate sound. She sings of heartache, lost love, and found love, but every lyric drips with all the pain, joy, or wanting, Klein’s rich voice can wring into it. For someone who includes the upbeat blues and R & B rhythms of Motown and the Rolling Stones among her influences, Klein’s music is actually closer to a mix of Jewel, Liz Phair or Sheryl Crow. The blues influence is clearly there, but it’s getting pushed by another influence. Life.

“City Garden is opening me up to more of letting more of my emotions into my singing,” Klein said.

Since 2000, Klein has parlayed critical acclaim into successful tours through Europe, Asia and the U.S. She keeps track of her travels on a personal blog on her Web site, www.jessklein.com.

The mini-tour in New Hampshire begins on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Lake Shore Farm Inn at 275 at Jenness Pond Road in Northwood. On Friday, Nov. 30, Klein travels to Tranquilities Tea Room at 4 Franklin Plaza in Dover for a 6 p.m. show. Saturday, Dec. 1, has her at the largest venue, the Mill Pond Center for the Arts at 50 Newmarket Road in Durham, with the music beginning at 9 p.m. Finally, Sunday caps the weekend with a show at The Lion Restaurant at 4 North Road in Deerfield at 6 p.m. The concert at the Lion will include the debut of a new song for Klein’s next album, set to come out next year. Admission costs for the four concerts vary; see Klein’s Web site.


Jess Klein
When: Thursday, Nov. 29, to Sunday, Dec. 2
Where: Lake Shore Farm Inn on Northwood, Tranquilities Tea Room in Dover, Mill Pond Center for the Arts in Dover and the Lion Restaurant in Deerfield
More Info: www.jessklein.com