Jessie Rae's™ music is raw, real, and full of feel. Alive with rough edges and magical moments, Jessie Rae mixes honest lyrics, smooth harmonies, and a bluesy beat, infusing Portland's indie music scene with a fresh sound. Whether they're playing original tunes or songs in the public domain, Jessie Rae's roots in folk, blues, funk and gospel hymns is unmistakable. With such a diverse lineage, it's no wonder Jessie Rae's sound has been described as "roots pop with a blues edge" and "cool funky folk." Joan Meyer's songwriting brings a subtle yet soulful groove to the Jessie Rae sound. From the rootsy tone of Lauren Semler's slide guitar to the sultry blues of the vocals, Jessie Rae offers a unique sound all its own.
While traveling as forest workers, Joan Meyer and Lauren Semler explored their love of nature and music. After playing music in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, Joan eventually formed Jessie Rae in the late 90s. Jessie is in honor of her grandmother and Rae is a nod to her eldest sister. Joan also enlisted drummer Jeff Graham and guitarist Jim Bronson, whom she met while performing in the Shards of Lace duo. Since 1998, Jessie Rae has performed in bar venues and small acoustic settings in and around Portland, Oregon, masterfully mixing Joan's rich tones and cool, rhythmic songs with Lauren's smooth slide guitar. They continue to play from the heart and let's face it, while the music keeps coming it makes no sense for them to stop now.
The music of Jessie Rae blends elements of pop, rock, blues, reggae and
R&B with its own subtle sophistication and under-stated style. They've created a sound that is down home and familiar, with an occasional dark & edgy theme. Combining acoustic and electric instruments, they perform songs that reflect a wide range of emotions with raw compassion. Their music is engaging and accessible with vocals that are as smooth, sweet and sad as the songs themselves. The sets are comprised of originals written by Joan Meyer and Lauren Semler, but also include gems written by such artists as New Riders of the Purple Sage, Jimmy Cliff, J.J. Cale, Ken Boothe, the Subdudes and many more.