Magically Minimalist Mayfield

Her rural music, tinged with a Liz Phair sound, is ever changing

Jessica Lea Mayfield
Jessica Lea Mayfield

Jessica Lea Mayfield is a chameleon. From her first folk-country release With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt (produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) through her grunge-alternative record Make My Head Sing, Mayfield’s rural music, tinged with a Liz Phair sound, is ever changing — like a pink-haired glittery punk rocker with the heart of a country singer.

“I feel like all of my albums could be a soundtrack to each part of my life,” Mayfield tells EW via email. “Each stage of my life has its different feelings and obstacles, so I’m still writing painfully personal and intimate songs — the subject matter changes and the sounds shift to match my feelings and moods as I grow.”

Last year, Mayfield released an Elliott Smith tribute alongside Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers. This year Mayfield has embarked on a solo tour.

“I’ll be playing a mix of all my records acoustically and quite a few new ones that I’ve yet to record,” Mayfield says. “It’s really exciting and also nerve-racking to play this super new material in such a bare way. It feels like getting back to the roots of where I started with songwriting.”

Mayfield continues: “This tour is also very special because I’m bringing my dog, who has never been to the West Coast. I cannot wait to show him how beautiful Oregon is, and it’s so great having him along.”

So this time through town, Mayfield will introduce her dog to Eugene. “I love Eugene,” Mayfield says. “I’ve been to and through Eugene a lot.”

Eugene’s fantastic and haunting alt-folk-country outfit Tara Stonecipher and The Tall Grass opens for Jessica Lea Mayfield 8:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 31, at Sam Bonds; $8 adv., $10 door. — William Kennedy

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