Kent’s Jessica Lea Mayfield Performs Her Emotionally Challenging Music at the Beachland


Fri 12/21 @ 8PM

Kent’s Jessica Lea Mayfield just turned 29 in August, but she’s already been playing music professionally for more than two decades. She started playing in her parents’ bluegrass band when she was 8 (along with her brother David who also has his own flourishing career), started to play as a solo act under the name Chittlin when she was in her mid teens, and released her first official album, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, when she was barely 19, produced by Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

She’s been through a series of moods, musical styles and looks in her long career.

In fall 2017, she released Sorry Is Gone, her fourth album. While Mayfield’s earlier music contained more evidence of her early rustic roots, she’s more and more drawn from various corners of indie/alternative music with its brooding, emotionally complicated feel.

Her producer on this album is John Agnello, who has worked with Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. There’s often a bleak, almost stunned quality to her vocals, which fits her subject matter like a glove: she’s said that most of the material on the album refers to the domestic violence she endured at the hands of her husband and former bandmate, bassist Jesse Newport.

The album press release says, “Sorry Is Gone is a raw document of a woman in progress; one weathering cruel storms but finally able to blame the rain itself for the flood. Written as the truth of her own poisonous marriage unfolded before her eyes, Sorry Is Gone is a record of permission. Permission to create freely, to escape what is no longer safe and to stop bearing responsibility for things done to her, not by her.”

Mayfield performed at Mahall’s in March and now she’s back for another, mostly seated show Beachland Ballroom so fans can soak up the nuances in her songs. Another musician who started young opens the show: Lorain County singer/songwriter/guitarist Emily Keener has been building a local following since her was in her mid teens. She’s just turned 20.

Tickets are $18.

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