NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

August 15, 2013

Country singer to perform, record album at Firehouse

Perhaps the first time was a charm.

Two-time No. 1 country songwriter, singer and musician Jess Leary liked her first visit to the Firehouse Center for the Arts so much that she’s coming back this weekend for her solo debut.

“Dust off the cowboy boots and come out,” Leary said. “I’ve got some friends who live out this way now, and it’s kind of how I found out about the place.

“I ended up singing one song at an event at the Firehouse, and the creative director asked me to perform for a night, and it was kind of perfect timing because I was planning on coming back up. I’m so excited.”

At the Celebration of Life for Cancer Survivors at the Firehouse in June, Leary was called up on the stage to play a tune. She had fun but, more importantly, liked the acoustics of the hall and will also be recording a live album Saturday night.

“I love the venue,” Leary said. “It feels good, and it’s a good fit. It sounds good in there, and the time is right. It all showed up at the same time, and I thought, this is a great opportunity and let’s capture the whole thing.”

Leary won’t need much of a setup either, as she will be playing a solo guitar and banjo set.

“I’ll be doing a lot of the songs that are good for me to sing,” Leary said. “These are songs that feel like me, as opposed to some of the other songs that typically I would write but would not be me, so to speak.

“I have some fun things warmed up and some great guitar pieces that I’m going to throw into the mix,” she said. “I’ve got a little bit of banjo. I sort of play off the cuff, shoot from the hip and have fun.”

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