Won't Let You Get Away
For Ships To Come In
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Something To Be Said (Live Acoustic)
THIS IS ME
Recently interviewed in American Songwriter Magazine’s “Daily Discovery” section.
Recently interviewed in Inked Magazine
"Criminal Love" featured in ABC's hit series Revenge & “The Reset Button" featured in TBS's Sullivan & Son.
"For Ships To Come In" was spotlighted in Eating Out: The Open Weekend and aired internationally on Viacom Networks.
Jesse's track "We Can Let Go" was produced by Paul DiGiovanni, lead guitarist of the multi-platinum band Boys Like Girls (Sony Music/Columbia)
Jesse's track "Rollin' On" features two-time Grammy winner and long-time guitarist for Etta James, Josh Sklair
I grew up in a small town in Northern California called Carlotta in the County of Humboldt. We had about 5 acres of land that we grew produce and raised animals on. It was beautiful territory, the tallest trees in the world, the redwoods, were in my back yard, along with a creek that led to a river that led to the ocean not so far away. There were mountains and wildlife and a combination of hippies - who loved the earth and practiced different ways of life from my own - and what some might call rednecks - who also loved the earth and beer and farming. I learned to see the good in both and became the product of that environment. From a young age I felt a connection with the Earth and learned from my father that you could live off of it. We would take our produce to the farmers market in a town not so far away but also sold it in a roadside stand along the highway just down the dirt road from our house. My father was also a Pop Warner football coach and my family was very much into athletics. I enjoyed them and dabbled in just about everything but I found my niche in running and stuck with that throughout High School.
We belonged to a small Catholic Church called St. Patricks. It was in the nearby town of Scotia which was owned by the local mill. Every citizen was an employee or family-member of the mill. Every house looked the same and it, still to this day, is like somewhere out of a movie set. The church was high up on the hill and it was here that I got my musical upbringing. However, it wasn’t your typical droning church music. It was a folk band led by my Aunt and mentor and it was all about love and doing good for others. We were small-town folk and farmers and the dogma wasn’t something that I really remember being too caught up in. Everything I was taught was seen more as a metaphor, or at least that’s how I interpreted it. This gave me my spiritual roots, taught me to sing and lead a group of people, and influenced my style of writing and the idea that music is most enjoyed when the audience can easily sing along to songs that make them feel good.
I think all in all I'm very much a California guy. I love the beach. I love the sun, and nature, I love just being out and about meeting people and hearing their different stories and their perspectives. I read a lot about different religions and different viewpoints and I surround myself with many different types of people. I think over the years it has influenced my songs and my stories and my hooks and beats and the way that I blend many different genres into one thing - it’s all a byproduct of the many different places I've been and the many different people I've made friends with. I think we can be so set on being so different and standing out but really we are all so very much the same and the same things make our hearts beat and when you sort of get to that then I think you have the recipe.
Over the years I've dabbled in so many different types of sounds because I love music and sound and the different ways of using it. I’ve worked with producers who have given it a polished pop feel, EDM DJ’s who gave my stories a dance club vibe, I've had a fiddler and an upright bass and gone more western from time-to-time. I love reggae and R&B and those were some of my favorite CD's growing up. I was in choir so I love harmonies and layers and the blend of many voices and one part of the song doing one thing and another part of the song doing something totally different. I love dancing, letting music get to your body, moving you to the spiritual. I think music is the one thing in the world that can really tear down walls, end the wars and disease and hunger and is one of the great gifts of life. The stories that people have passed down through the years through song is such a huge part of life that I love and the interconnectedness of all, and the forever that we are.
I've always been a songwriter and singer. I remember when I was very, very young making songs throughout the day, jingles, about anything and everything. I love musicals and I love the story telling aspect of country music, both of which were big in my house. I started formally learning when I was six or seven, I had a guitar and a piano and I would just kind of noodle and figure things out for myself. I took lessons for a little while but I wasn’t as passionate playing someone else's song. I wanted to tell my own stories and make my own music and so I began doing so around the time I was 8. I was into the music programs at school. I tried trumpet and trombone for a little while but was more focused on songwriting.
Around 8th grade I was introduced to someone who became my mentor. His name was Justin and he was very much into the reggae scene, an excellent guitarist and artist who exposed me to ideas I hadn't been exposed to yet. He helped me pen a song and gave it a nice reggae vibe on guitar that my whole eighth-grade class sang later at our graduation. It was called “Friends Forever" and though I felt the title was a little bit cliché I kind of knew what I was doing and I knew it would be easy to sing-along to and it had a very happy go lucky rhythm and rhyme about it.