Jess has her hands and heart at the helm of a nationally-touring, award-winning American roots ensemble called the Bumper Jacksons. With baby Monk in tow, the six-piece piles together in the band van named Olga and tour around the country, from sea to shining, glorious sea. They are an eclectic ensemble to be sure, drawing from swing, blues, country, old time, gospel, and bluegrass traditions to channel their own distinctive, wild style. Powerhouse vocals are flanked by a brassalicious horn section and an angelic pedal steel, and backed by a groovy rhythm section of upright bass, drums, and acoustic and electric guitar.
HONKY TONK HEROES
Country music lovers, your heroes have arrived! The Honky Tonk Heroes are the perfect two-stepping band. Pedal steel, electric and acoustic guitar, upright bass and drums sets the perfect honky tonk sound and groove. We honor classic country's greatest – Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard – with straight, to-the-record renditions as well as re-imagined versions with new, creative arrangements. We'll also throw in some of our own original songs, as well as those of our friends.
JEM JAZZ BAND
This collective loves the early sounds of jazz and blues - think Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. Playing primarily for swing dances, 20's-style speakeasy parties and private events, this group sticks close to the hip as a traditional jazz band, playing jazz and blues standards from the '20s - '40s. Jess leads on vocals & clarinet, and the group can include trumpet, trombone, saxes, guitar, keys, violin, drums, or bass.
Sligo Creek Stompers play a raucous but refined blend of traditional roots music: Appalachian & Midwestern old time and bluegrass, haunted Irish fiddle tunes, honky tonk & classic country, Texas & gypsy swing. Inspired by scratchy 78 rpm records, contra dancing and a good bottle of whiskey, the Stompers are keeping the flame of American stringband music alive in the Washington, DC area. You can find us playing contra dances at Glen Echo, square dances at St. Stephens and local barn parties, and festivals and clubs in the region.
Entering a Bumper Jacksons show is warm and inviting, like opening the front door of a neighbor who's just taken bread out of the oven. Roots jazz rhythms and country swing harmonies are vignetted by stories and sounds of Appalachia. Come in, take a seat, and be woven into a musical story that never stops being told. Co-founders Jess Eliot Myhre and Chris Ousley lead with their signature sun-dappled vocal harmonies, and the multi-instrumentalists trade off on strings and horns, playing fresh originals and dusted-off tunes from their great-grandparent's coat closet. But don't let their disarming folksiness fool you: their performance is silver-polished and highly acclaimed. Bumper Jacksons have been honored multiple times as the Mid-Atlantic's "Artist of the Year" & "Best Traditional Band" by the Washington Area Music Awards, while both Jess and Chris as individuals are award-winning songwriters, alumni of the Strathmore Artists-in-Residence program, and regular Maryland State Arts Council grant recipients.