Jessie Payo has literally grown up before my eyes. I first discovered her when she was fifteen through a blues site. She was playing in small venues and recording CD's which her mom would ship out, after making sure that customers were gong to stalk her underage daughter. She actually started singing in her father's band when she was 13, playing Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin covers. Her dad took her to her first blues festival when she was 14 and after seeing John Lee Hooker and Koko Taylor, she knew she was going to be a singer and a star. She studied music at Berklee College of Music, absorbing not only new skills, but a new climate (it doesn't snow in LA). She played around town and as people saw that in addition to being drop dead gorgeous she was drop dead talented she started opening for headliners like Dr. John.
When her father passed away in 2006, she doubled down on her promise to him to get serious about a music career. Up until then she had been flitting from style to style - blues, neo-soul, gypsy, jazz, whatever. She signed with Chime Entertainment as part of the dance pop duo Jupiter Rising, recorded new albums, shot videos went out on her own and the rest is history.
I have every one of her albums - I bought them by mail as they came out and even talked with her mom on the phone once to see if I could catch her act in NorCal (no such luck). I am so delighted that she has returned home to LA, as have I, and I can see her live next week and talk with her on the show.