heartland ROCK with heartbreak soul
EASY ON ME (ORIGINAL) | FULL BAND
MAYBE IT’S TIME (COVER) | DUO
CROSSFIRE (ORIGINAL) | DUO
The Jesse Ray Smith BAND IS…
VOCALS / HARMONICA / RHYTHM GUITAR - JESSE RAY SMITH
BASS / LEAD GUITAR / BACKGROUND VOCALS - SEAN COX
LEAD GUITAR - GREG IRWIN
KEYS - JOHN VARN
DRUMS - JOE HAGAR
2 x VOCAL MICS
1 x ACOUSTIC GUITAR DI
2 x GUITAR AMPS
2 x KEYS DI
1 x BASS AMP
4 pc DRUM SET
THE JESSE RAY SMITH sound is…
Contemporary yet timeless sounds - Americana on the sleeve, Heartland Rock at the core, R&B at the roots
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