Renowned folk-Americana singer-songwriter Jess Klein announces April-May UK & Ireland tour, in support of acclaimed new album ‘Back to My Green’

Over two decades and 11 albums, Klein has built a powerfully personal body of work that reflects an instinctive emotional insight, an organic sense of introspection and an unshakable social conscience. Her newest release, Back to My Green explores what it means to maintain hopefulness in America today.  It also reflects a bevy of changes in Klein’s personal life, including a new marriage to fellow songwriter Mike June and a cross-country move from the “Live Music Capital” of Austin, TX to rural North Carolina. Back to My Green is a deeply felt set of original tunes that embodies the same intensity that made Klein’s prior releases so powerful, while adding a playful sensibility that reflects the inspiration of her new surroundings. Such new compositions as ‘In Dreams’, ‘Tougher Than I Seem’ and ‘Mammal’ pulse with 60’s era Motown grooves and Atlantic records-style orchestration while ‘Blair Mountain’ and ‘New Thanksgiving Feast’ (a tribute to Native American pipeline protestors) recall Klein’s folk-rock roots.  Co-produced by Klein and North Carolina native Mark Simonsen (The Old Ceremony, Weems/Gerrard Band, film scores: Elephant SighsRadiation Veterans and Rarefied) and Engineer Thom Canova(Amy Ray, 4 Non-Blondes, Oranj Symphonette), these ten new tracks resonate with feeling, painting a dynamic backdrop for Klein’s singular mezzo-soprano and incisive lyrics.

Jess Klein · April-May 2019 UK Tour

Accompanied on all dates by Mike June on electric guitar

APRIL

Wed 24      High Wycombe                         Kingsmead House Concerts

Thu 25       LauncestonCornwall                   No. 8 Café & Deli

Fri 26         KingskerswellDevon                 Kingskerswell Parish Church

Sat 27       Southport                                 The Atkinson        Triple header with Michael Logen and Blue County

Sun 28      QueensburyBradford                  Black Dyke Mills

Tue 30       LeithEdinburgh                           Leith Depot

MAY

Wed 1       Glasgow                                   The Doublet

Thu 2        Montrose                                  Montrose Folk Club, The Links Hotel

Fri 3          AshingtonNorthumberland            Ashington Folk Club, Ashington Cricket Club

Sat 4         EccleshallStaffordshire                The Royal Oak

Mon 6        Birmingham                             Kitchen Garden Café

Wed 8       London                                     Green Note        co-headline with Michael Logen

Thu 9        ClifdenCo. Galway                       Mullarkey’s Bar

Fri 10        CloughanoverCo. Galway            Campbell’s Tavern

Sat 11       CoolderryCo. Offaly, nr. Roscrea      Leap Castle

Sun 12      Dublin                                       Whelan’s

Praise for Jess Klein

“A songwriter with a voice of unblinking tenacity, who finds parables in the everyday and humanity behind the archetypal.” The New York Times

“Jess Klein’s music is one part grassroots social activism and two parts alt-country guitar rock – a combo we can certainly get behind.” The Bluegrass Situation

“Jess Klein writes songs that are fully realized, finely observed and deeply felt.” The Cape Cod Times

“She has one of those voices you want to crawl up close to the speakers to listen to.”MOJO

“Unquestionably the finest album of her impressive career.” [2014’s Learning FaithFolk Radio UK

“The finest roots sound of any album we’ve heard this year.” [2007’s City Garden]Maverick

Bio

“This group of songs,” Jess Klein says of her new album Back to My Green“are a time capsule of everything I’ve been feeling about our country, finding my place in a new reality, wanting to take responsibility for my role in the world. I’m trying to express that learning curve and respect the struggles of the people who have gone before.”

Over two decades and 11 albums, Klein has built a powerfully personal body of work that reflects an instinctive emotional insight, an organic sense of introspection and an unshakable social conscience. Those qualities are prominent throughout Back to My Green, the much-traveled artist’s first new set since marrying fellow singer-songwriter Mike June and relocating from her longtime base of Austin, Texas to Hillsborough in rural North Carolina, in 2016.

“We relocated in May 2016, and it was a huge change,” the artist recalls. “I had several major personal changes between the release of my last album, Learning Faith, and this one. I fell in love, got married, moved across the country to a town I’d never been to. Then the election happened, and all the upheaval that came with that…”

Although Back to My Green reflects a range of changes in Klein’s creative and personal life, its rich emotional and musical palette is consistent with the level of commitment that she’s always brought to her music.

“The decision to leave Austin wasn’t originally based on wanting something different musically,” Klein explains, adding, “I felt really proud of the work we’d done in my eight years there. It had more to do with wanting a better quality of life. The small town vibe of Austin had changed; it started to feel like there wasn’t enough to go around anymore.”

“It took me a while to adjust to North Carolina,” she admits. “When we first got here, I hid in our house for almost a year, too scared to put myself out there or look for a new producer. The idea of sending half-finished songs to someone I’d never met was paralyzing!  But it felt important to me to work with people in North Carolina.  I wanted to honor this place, to make something that could only have been made here, and to challenge myself to grow into something new. Once I met with Mark Simonsen, who ended up producing the album with me, things started to change.  Mark is a constant, bubbling fount of creativity. I could see our potential to create something really powerful and uplifting together. So I started to feel better, more empowered.  The songs we chose for the album reflect that.”

One unexpected change in Klein’s creative life was a physical one that forced Klein to retool her songwriting process. “In early 2017,” she explains, “I developed a Repetitive Strain Injury that made it painful for me to play guitar or to write or type for long periods of time. That was terrifying for me. I felt overwhelmed with fear of what the election was gonna bring, and now, the one way I was used to channeling my emotions into something positive had become physically painful. I had to learn to write music differently, to run with melodies in my mind and not rely on the guitar to dictate the chord changes. I had to trust my imagination and trust the musicians around me to execute what I was hearing. In the end it led me to a much bigger and more collaborative sound.”

That collaborative element was encouraged by Klein’s production team: “When I first met with Mark, we were planning something stripped down and raw. But I soon learned that he and [engineer] Thom Canova were up for anything and I decided that this was gonna be way more fun if we let loose and allowed ourselves to experiment. It took longer than any other album I’ve ever made, but also taught me to walk the line between taking charge and letting the chaos in. When Mark said he could compose string quartet parts for ‘Kid’ and ‘In Dreams,’ I was like ‘Hell yeah! I’ll figure out how to pay for all this later!’”

“It felt like the more confident I got, the bigger my ideas got all around,” Klein notes. “I became determined to write songs about being strong and resilient and finding hope and healing. It can be scary to say those things in dark times. But it’s not naive. It’s powerful. Positivity is still a powerful choice.”

Read our review of the album Back to My Green

 

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