If you’re looking for yet another sign of the reemergence of American Roots music, look no further than Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade. The Brooklyn-based Tess has been around the country and back again, performing her version of folkie Jazz and Swing music from sea to shining sea. The results of her extensive travels are nicely documented on the recent double album, Live Across the Mason-Dixon Line, recorded live at two shows — one at the Regatta Bar in Cambridge, Mass., and the other at Georgia’s famous Eddie’s Attic.
Live showcases just a smattering of Miss Tess’ many talents and takes you on a manic journey through her life.
She sasses her way through “What They Call the Door” with her distinctive brassy, sax-like voice, then lets “Stormy Baby” lull you into a dark funk. But don’t fret. Tess drags you back out again with the perky “I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me.”Miss Tess’ music is just as ever-changing as her mood. Since it varies from song to song, her style is almost beyond classification. She can conjure images of both a piano-sitting Jazz songstress and a rowdy honky-tonk girl, often in the same song. If Live is any indication of her shows (which, of course, it is), concertgoers are in for an entertaining night of flawless music.
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