Who is Jesh Yancey?
Jesh Yancey is a folk singer and songwriter based out of Mobile, Alabama and has recently released his first full-length album, Livers and Diers, in the fall of 2018. Jesh began playing and writing music in 2002 and has been crafting his sound ever since. Jesh has been a college drop-out, Navy sailor and a park ranger. After failing out of college the first time and running off to join the Navy, Yancey found himself on the Gulf Coast with a pen in his hand with something to say. With influences like John Prine, Guy Clark, Todd Snider and Jerry Garcia, Jesh has established a catalogue of songs with a solid groove and an honest sentiment that takes a couple listens to fully take in. Livers and Diers is a journey from the darkest depths of ignorance to the blinding truths of everyday life and is an attempt to jolt the listener into deeper thought while their toe starts tapping.
Jesh grew up in rural northeast Alabama and was raised by a cowboy and an English teacher which is where he found his way with words and a working-man’s point of view that contributes to his fearless, gritty, no-frills style. Yancey pens songs that highlight the challenges in society while leaving room for the listener to draw their own conclusions.
Jesh found The High Hopes in the fall of 2018 and they've been playing everywhere that will have them ever since. The High Hopes, Lizz Hough on upright bass and Ethan Snedigar on drums, are a PsycheDeltaFolk band that allow Jesh to carry the listener through each song in any direction. One set might consist of heady jam-band songs while the next set grooves the country blues all while being all original music. Jesh Yancey & The High Hopes play mostly original music that makes a cover song seem out of place.
Jesh and his wife, Miranda, moved to the city of Mobile in 2017 to put down roots and get established in the rich Gulf Coast music scene. Jesh plays music regularly in Pensacola, Mobile, Ocean Springs and Birmingham.
"Jesh Yancey’s new album “Livers and Diers” is a solid induction into Americana, an album that feels like it is tracing the lineage of the troubadours that have walked that long hard road before him. The tracks “Another Day” and “Eureka” have that distinctive fiddle sound and storytelling that we usually associated with Southern music. In “Another Day” Jesh shows us how important not just the music is to him, but the lyrics as well, as he delivers us a literary nod to Dylan Thomas reminding us to “rage against the dying light.” Yancey fearlessly takes on the socio-political climate with “Government Work,” tackling the issues of our youth on the border, the drinking water, the education system, the justice system, climate change, fake news, corporate welfare and the ignored working class. Reminds me of the tradition of protest songwriters from Woody Guthrie to Todd Snider. And catchy as hell, too. Another catchy-as-hell tune is “Island of Truth.” When Zach Brown hears it, he may be mad he didn’t write it. Or better yet, he’ll pay Jesh a truckload of money to record it. The title track takes an interesting turn, musically. It sounds eerily like Tom Waits. Voice isn’t nearly as whisky-soaked or cigarette-stained, though. Fans of Sturgill Simpson will dig his song “Promised Land.” And I can’t help but think of Drive-by Truckers with the song “Right Before Dawn.” It’s not only a rocking song, but again the lyrics are raw, socially inspired and an ode to the oppressed and downtrodden. In the end, Jesh Yancey suggests that for all that is wrong with the American dream, it is us, “We’re All to Blame,” but somehow the beauty is still there and worth fighting for.
- Authur Nic Schuck, Native Moments, Panhandlers
With southern characteristics held tight and a focus on storytelling, Yancey invites everyone to pull up a barstool and soak in his homespun wisdom. This full-length release nicely frames Yancey as one of the region’s most sought-after singer-songwriters. Twangy enough to entice country fans and with a few upbeat licks to hook rock fans, Yancey hopes you get off your keister and continue to be a Liver.
Listen to and download Livers and Diers here: