Jessica Lea Mayfield
She’s already sold out the Troubadour in Los Angeles and, in markets like Seattle where radio stations like KEXP have embraced her music, she has hit the mid-sized venues.
All this from a woman barely in her 20s. She was 15 when her breakup songs recorded in her brother’s bedroom and distributed on 100 CDs grabbed the attention of Auerbach, a fellow Ohio native. They got together and recorded 2008’s With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, which Pitchfork rated highly.
“It was at that stage when I met her through Dan,” manager Jody White told Pollstar. “I thought it was amazing. I went up to Ohio before that Christmas and saw her open for The Black Keys. I was mesmerized.”
Since then, it’s been nonstop touring, supporting Tell Me, on Nonesuch.
“She’s so young and enjoys being out and playing shows at this stage. … It’s really about these offers coming up and me saying, ‘Jessica, hey, do you want to go do this tour?’ and her saying, ‘OK, sure.’” White said. “This year’s been a combination of things: the record release, hitting the major markets, South by Southwest and a handful of spot dates, and supporting the right bands that have been offered to her.”
She’s also visited the big festivals like Bonnaroo and will be at San Francisco’s massive Hardly Strictly Bluegrass at the end of September.
“She’s now poised to really break through with her next record and start moving into the 1,000-cap rooms,” White said. “When will she get a break? Probably starting the middle of December. After that she won’t be touring for quite a while. She’ll be writing and working on her new record.”