While Jessica Lea Mayfield has often earned comparisons to the Black Keys (Dan Auerbach produced her debut album, and she was the first guest vocalist ever to be featured on a Black Keys album) and Foo Fighters (she counts Dave Grohl as a key influence), it’s never hard to hear Mayfield’s musical roots – she first performed with her family bluegrass band One Way Rider at the age of 8. They began touring as a family band, boarding a 1956 tour bus (once belonging to Bill Monroe, Kitty Wells, and Ernest Tubb) and headed south from Kent, Ohio, to Tennessee.
At age 11, Mayfield asked her brother David to show her a few chords, and then she started using those chords to write her own songs on guitar. Mayfield would accompany her brother David at open mic nights, often covering Foo Fighters songs. Her rootsy beginnings combined with her love of grunge results in her sounding like a female Neil Young and Crazy Horse with an ear for pop melody.
Earlier this year, Mayfield and Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers released an album of Elliott Smith cover songs.
Mayfield’s songs have been featured on The CW’s hit series “Gossip Girl” and on CBS’s “CSI: NY.” Her cover of the Buddy Holly song “Words of Love” is included on the Starbucks compilation “Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs.”
In addition to opening for many artists, including the Black Keys, the Avett Brothers, Cake, Band of Horses, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, and Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo), Mayfield has frequently toured as a headliner and performed at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, as part of “A Prairie Home Companion” in July 2010.
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