Jun 24, 2019 ~ Thanks Bay Area for all the love this past weekend! and thanks to Charlie Swanson for a beautiful article…
Marin native Jesse Ray Smith wears his heartland on his sleeve
“Smith’s sound bleeds through generations of Americana, feeling at once classic and contemporary in its melodies and arrangements.” ~ Charlie Swanson | Pacific Sun, 2019
“Smith leans into meaning with a full and open heart. His brand of Americana is earnest and uplifting, an open hand reaching through the inherent melancholy of the genre, while his voice rings with echoes of Chris Stapleton and Bob Seger.” ~ Annie Bacon | The Bay Bridged Apr, 5, 2018
EASY ON ME (Official Video) - FULL BAND
CROSSFIRE (LIVE from the Ice House) - DUO
MAYBE IT’S TIME (From ‘A Star Is Born’) - DUO
The Seaside Sessions are a North County San Diego neighborhood music series that some good friends and I started as a way to get friends and neighbors together. The idea was to promote community through intimate "backyard" music events, so we hosted a few and the energy & response was incredible.
The intimacy of the carefree backyard setting is something that I've only experienced playing at weddings, and I often feel that those are the moments when music is most appreciated and effective at bringing us together.
This experience suits my music and it's something that I want to recreate as much as possible. We keep everything donation only and haven't had a problem covering costs for the venue and music. If this sounds like something you'd like to attend or host, drop me a line below and I'll shoot you some details. Backyards or small businesses welcome. Happy Summer! ~ JRS & the SSS Crew
BOOKING & GENERAL INQUIRIES: firstname.lastname@example.org
So the "short story" is...
I was raised in the artistic, small-town suburbs of Marin County, a few miles and a full generation removed from the hippy movement that swept through San Francisco in the late 60’s. From Fleetwood Mac's Rumours to Stevie's Songs in the Key of Life, many great records came out of Marin County, fueled by the musical prowess of legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. This was my home, and these legends were a part of the infrastructure that sustained us. Although my parents weren’t big Deadheads, their catalog ran deep, exposing me to a vast collection of great records and artists. Whether it was Graceland, Ziggy Stardust or Dark Side of the Moon — a record was always playing and music was a very present part of my life.
My love for the craft of songwriting grew stronger as I got older. From as early as the age of ten, I had a pressing desire to follow in the footsteps of my musical heroes. Not because they looked cool or lived the dream; because they SOUNDED amazing and, musically, had IT figured out. IT was always about the music for me, and as my family life became more tumultuous in my early high-school years, I came to rely on the cathartic escape that I experienced while sifting through my deeper thoughts and emotions. I kept my head down through, what feels like, the dark ages of my early life, as I watched my mother’s addictions swallow her up. Music became my drug and has remained that way to this day, always providing me with the needed awareness and reflection to navigate my way through the rapids toward calmer waters. I feel like my best work has always come in times of need - when I had nowhere to go to find the truth but deeper within.
So here I am: a few bands removed, a husband, a father and a songwriter, finally facing the music and all my ambitions head on. I’m focused on making the one thing that has always intrigued me the most: a Great record. One that comes from a place of truth and passion and carries a self-contained, distinctive and palpable presence and intention. This quest may take a lifetime, as I navigate my way in and out of different musical and personal journeys. I hope you stick around for the “long story” and hear something you like.
~ Jesse Ray Smith