Rockabilly singer Jessica Lee Wilkes is a throwback artist inspired by the rock and roll and rhythm and blues made in the 1950s. Wanda Jackson is allegedly a fan, and Wilkes is certainly inspired to be a modern rockabilly femme fatale similar to that legendary songstress. Wilkes cut her teeth playing bass in the group JD Wilkes & the Dirt Daubers, but now she’s striking out solo for her first record on her own appropriately titled Lone Wolf. Like the best of classic rockabilly, the music has a cheeky sexuality and sexy rebellious attitude set in a 12-bar blues. The album is due out later this summer, and you can hear songs from it this evening for free by catching Wilkes perform in-store at Grimey’s.
JESSICA LEE WILKES
Playing standup bass for five years in the Dirt Daubers helped Wilkes build her musicianship and the confidence to embark on her own venture as a frontwoman. She switched to electric bass in her solo project, adding swing horns, punk attitude, and surf guitars into the mix for a hodgepodge of vintage sounds — a pretty popular and modern phenomenon that just has an old-time feel. She also puts the original sex appeal meant to be found in rockabilly back into music you might usually see being played by a cover band composed of old men. See what I mean with the first single “The Groove’s Too Shallow” below.
Jessica Lee Wilkes will perform Wednesday, July 29 at Grimey’s. The show is all ages, begins at at 6 p.m., and it’s free!