ACOUSTIC ANTHEMS OUT NOW!!

So this is it… My album has finally arrived just in time for the Christmas rush!

“Acoustic Anthems” is an album I’ve wanted to make for a long time. It features songs that I’ve played live at acoustic gigs for years, as well as some of my favourite ever songs. Songs that I love and I’m passionate about. Hopefully that shows through the music. I always try and be daring with some of my song choices, songs like Stairway to Heaven and Won’t Get Fooled Again are usually considered untouchable so I hope you like what I’ve done with them!!

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The full track list is:

1. Man In The Mirror

2. One Song Glory

3. Sweet Child Of Mine

4. Black

5. Innocent Flow

6. She’s Out Of My Life

7. Won’t Get Fooled Again

8. High Enough

9. Love Of My Life

10. Stairway To Heaven

11. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away

 

YOU CAN ORDER YOUR COPY RIGHT HERE… http://www.freewebstore.org/jesse-smith-store

 

 

DEBUT SOLO ALBUM – “ACOUSTIC ANTHEMS”

I’m currently sat listening to the masters of Acoustic Anthems my first solo album. It is sounding sweet! It’ll be available to purchase on November 26th from the Thriller Live shows in Oxford and then onwards throughout the rest of the tour. It will also be available online but more details will follow.

The album’s concept is basically “ridiculous songs on acoustic” or “songs you shouldn’t do on an acoustic”. I wanted to have a go at some seriously intense tunes stripped down to the bare bones of just me and my guitar. The album features a lot of my favourite songs throughout history. Some of the tracks feature a good friend Liam Holmes who is an incredible keys player but apart from a little percussion and some bv’s by myself that’s it!

I don’t want give too much away but there’s a bit of everything: Rock, Musical Theatre, Michael Jackson and one original song that’s been stripped back to it’s original form.

It was recorded and mixed by Oliver Hayward an awesome producer and engineer and also happens to be one of my best friends, at Churchfield Studio’s in Fawley near Henley on Thames, UK.

I can’t wait for you all to hear it!!!

Jess xx

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Above – Ollie working in the studio and me and Ollie posing for the camera.

Thriller Live

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I was very fortunate to have signed for Global Artists off the back of my last tour Bohemian Rhapsody. Me and my agent Michael had a few conversations about the direction we think we should approach auditions and the very first one Michael put me up for was Thriller Live. I had around four or five rounds of auditions and it was quite a difficult process.

What I didn’t realise was how incredible Michael Jackson was as a vocalist. I always knew he had the charisma and was an incredible dancer but his songs are some of the hardest vocally I’d ever encountered for an audition. To sing ‘She’s Out Of My Life’ straight into ‘Beat It’ straight into ‘Dirty Diana’ is no mean feat! I genuinely came out of the final audition thinking I’d got no chance. However the call did come and I was over the moon is been offered the role of Man 3 – the rock guy, on the UK and European tour of Thriller Live. I think even my agent was a little shocked that I’d been offered a lead role in the first show I’d auditioned for.

The cast I am part of are incredible. Cleo Higgins from Cleopatra and more recently smashing it on ‘The Voice’ has one of the most incredible voices I’ve ever heard, some of the things she can do just blow my mind. Lascel Woods has got the tone of an angel and can riff for days. Tyrone is the glue that binds us together and brings some smooth soul to the group and Rachel Adedeji (who was on the X Factor 2009) is also amazing. She sings like a real diva and is beautiful inside and out. Special mention must also go to my boy Sean Christopher who plays MJ. I’ve learnt a lot from him already about energy and feel. He nails the emotion and intent behind every MJ move which is something that I think is really important for any performer. Stay true to the material. Sing for the song. We’re also really lucky to have Craig Thomas and Jayde Nelson who are the swings they have to learn everyones parts for when we’re off. It’s crazy how many lyrics, moves and positions they have to learn these guys are machines!

Rehearsals were in Neasden near Wembley and we worked really hard nailing the intricacies of Michael’s music with John Mayer. Again Michael’s music seems a lot more simple on the surface than it is in reality.

Also complicated, (especially for me) is the choreography. Gary Lloyd is an amazing director and choreographer. He sees everything. It’s credit again to MJ that we have for me, ten of the best commercial dancers in the country, to be able to bring to life what one man did on stage. Each bring their own personality to the show and are all lovely people. We’re around five weeks into the tour now and I can genuinely say that everyone is really cool. We all get along and I think we have a really nice blend of people.

The band is packed full of musical royalty. Mike Lindup from Level 42 on keys, Francesco from Incognito on drums, Johnny Copland on Bass, Rob and Tom on guitar/keys and percussion and the Andy Chisolm who’s tour MD on guitar and is also an absolute legend. I hang out with the band a fair bit because deep down we all know I’m a muso!

We’ve had some amazing reviews so far, (I’ll try and post a few links shortly) and are having a wicked time.
Some people are already thinking about what they’re gonna do next. But for me the exciting bit is now. Traveling around getting to visit different towns and cities across Europe singing great songs to big audiences. It’s easy to forget how lucky you are sometimes. So I’m very humble and privileged to be part of this amazing show.

Pictures and reviews to follow.

Hopefully see you at one of the shows soon.

Jess x

For info and tickets please visit www.thrillerlive.com

Watch Over You – Alter Bridge Cover

So much has happened since I last did a blog!! So for now here’s a song I recorded in my hotel room this morning. I hope you like it, it’s one of my favourite songs at the moment. To see the real thing done properly by the legend that is Miles Kennedy watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdB3UkVQIko

I’ll try and do a proper blog soon :)

Much love,

Jess

Won’t Get Fooled Again

I’ve always loved The Who. I remember for part of my Music Technology A Level back in 2007 we had to study two popular albums; ours were Madonna – ‘The Immaculate Collection’ and ‘Who’s Next’. We got to study for a term what is now one of my favourite albums of all time. Who’s Next has everything. Love. Politics. Humour. Hope. ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ got me straight away, the entrancing synth, the raging power chords from Townshend, the sexy Entwistle descending bass line in the chorus, the orgasm of a drum solo by Moon.  I remember listening to the Daultry scream for the first time and thinking “fuck, this guy is incredible”. I was hooked. Me and my friend Ash took our Dad’s for father’s day to see the Who live at Wembley a few years back and even at the tender ages they are now, the energy and showmanship is paramount to this day.

I am in no way trying to imitate or better this song as for me it is Gospel. This is a merely a tribute; a tipping of the hat and a homage to one of the greatest bands who’ve ever lived.

 

To watch the real thing click here… Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who – Live 1978

Bohemian Rhapsody Tour Behind The Scenes Gallery