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Miss Tess

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Named by the Boston Globe as a “Local on the Verge” for 2008, Miss Tess is a young, Boston-based performing songwriter. Aptly naming her style “Modern Vintage” , her music bridges eras and genres. True to the tradition, her vocals can soar or caress as she strums and picks her way through an array of styles, from ragtime, to blues; country, to swing. Tess writes songs with the folk sensibilities of a troubadour that engage roots-devotees and newcomers alike. A typical set conjures a cast of dreamers and lovers, down on their luck and charming their ways in and out of trouble, with familiar faces mingling in the crowd, courtesy of folks like Bessie Smith and Tom Waits—perpetual muses to her style.

Miss Tess is celebrating being named “Outstanding Folk Artist of the Year” at the December Boston Music Awards. The Folk part was a surprise but the award is much appreciated. Another small career breakthrough came from being booked on the 2008 Cayamo cruise with headliners Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett. This came about after she won the prestigious 27th Biannual Open Mic Shootout at Eddie’s Attic, Decatur, GA.

Tess first joined the storied Cambridge music scene in 2005, when she formed The Bon Ton Parade, a dynamic, solo-swapping combo, comprised of sax & clarinet, upright bass, brushes on drums, and backing harmonies. The Bon Tons began playing at rootsy hotspots, Club Passim, The Lizard Lounge, and The Plough & Stars. In 2006 they clinched an indefinite Sunday night residency at Toad, a cozy live-music joint off of Mass Ave in Porter Square.

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