Miss Tess got her musical start at home in Maryland, her childhood nights ending in music. Her parents would sing her to sleep with the gentle, tender sounds of American folk songs, occasionally interrupted by their 30s swing band rehearsing in the basement. Tess studied piano as a child, and continued on as a teenager to take up the guitar and singing, and eventually began her own studies in early jazz and blues. All grown up and currently living in Nashville, Miss Tess and her band regularly steal the show at venues with something a little rowdier and more eclectic. Infused with classic country and honky-tonk, southern rhythm & blues, New Orleans jazz and swing, and sounds of swamp pop and early rock n’ roll, she is an embodiment of everything that it still home-grown in America.
On her new release Baby, We All Know, Miss Tess continues to explore her own personal crossroads of American roots music. This full-length release features eleven finely crafted and well-sung original songs. Heightened by Tess’ prowess on her Weymann archtop guitar, she is accompanied by her top-notch band, The Talkbacks, featuring guitar ace and co-conspirator Thomas Bryan Eaton. The songs were further enlivened with piano, organ, pedal steel, and fiddle in the studio.
Tess says “I consider this my best yet collection of original music. In writing these tunes I stepped out of myself and into many different characters, based on real life and my imagination, and pulled sounds and stories from my musical fantasy land. Baby, we all know their secrets and on goings, in a world of mischief and troubled fun.” Enjoyable is just what Baby, We All Know is, propelled by the classic quality of Tess’s vocals, compelling and totally believable.
“An amalgamation of country-blues music with influences from artists both old and new, Baby, We All Know is decidedly old school. Miss Tess & The Talkbacks have truly crafted a winner.” –Paste
Celia Woodsmith is a GRAMMY Nominated performer, vocalist, and songwriter. The daughter of the Vermont based poet Sybil Smith she is influenced by artists such as John Prine, Janis Joplin and Mahalia Jackson. Over time, and without any formal training Celia molded her own vocal style and has been hailed by the Boston Globe as "Unvarnished and intimate (...) but then sounds like she's about to part the Dead Sea".
Woodsmith's performances can be described as "one of a kind: gritty, muscular, folksy and intimate sometimes all at once" (Bluegrass Situation) Not confined by genre she is as comfortable playing Bill Monroe as she is singing an old jazz standard, or a Led Zeppelin rocker.
In the last 14 years Celia has released nine albums of original music most recently with Nashville based bluegrass band Della Mae and her Boston based vintage rock project SAY Darling. In 2014 Della Mae was nominated for a Best Bluegrass Album GRAMMY for their record "This World Oft Can Be".
The all female Della Mae has performed in 19 countries with the US Department of State's cultural diplomacy program "American Music Abroad". Woodsmith recently spoke about her experiences with travel and music at TEDx Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, NH.
In 2016 Woodsmith took a hiatus from Della Mae to write, listen and reflect about her years on the road. With her husband she biked 1.700 miles from Geneva, Switzerland to Vlorë, Albania, completing a physical task that she was unaware she could accomplish. In that time off she was able to write and record for her debut solo record "Cast Iron Shoes". Recorded with New York musical heavyweights in July of 2017 Woodsmith brings 11 fresh new tracks to the table. A bold artistic nod toward Bonnie Raitt's Nick Of Time combined with firey notes of Alanis Morisette's Jagged Little Pill, Cast Iron Shoes is sure to please bluegrass and rock fans alike.