Miss Tess & The Talk Backs with Tall Heights to Play Bridge Street Live, 3/27
For Miss Tess and her band, the Talkbacks, it seems the best name was one that didn't mean much of anything too concrete. The Brooklyn-based singer and her band make swinging, jumpin' modern vintage music that nods to the traditions of saloon jazz, country swing, early rockabilly, and New Orleans second line, yet somehow maintains a unique and personal sound.
In their earlier incarnation, they were known as Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade and that, says Miss Tess, proved both too small of a box and too confusing. They were consistently confused for a zydeco band or a New Orleans band. "When I conceived of the band in Boston back in 2006 or so, we had a horn player and we were a little more jazz influenced," she says. "In the last couple of years the sound has evolved, something that naturally happens when you spend so much time on the road with a band. We've become slightly edgier and there is some more country and early rock n' roll coming through. We now have two electric guitars. I'd been thinking about a change for a while and we finally settled on a name. With a name like the Talkbacks, it is what it is."
That's a good thing because it's not easy to define Miss Tess and the Talkbacks.
TALL HEIGHTS: In the summer of 2010, Tim Harrington and Paul Wright were playing for spare change in Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace. In a few short years since, Tall Heights has headlined packed listening rooms across the country, toured down to Austin, TX to showcase at South By Southwest Music Festival, and performed alongside national acts like Laura Marling, Ryan Montbleau, and Andrew Belle.