Country music has a unique ability to cross borders and bring people together. It’s a genre on the crest of a wave in the UK and part-Texan, part-UK group Jess and the Bandits have been a constant in the growth of the movement.
Frontwoman Jessica Clemmons, the singer-songwriter from Texas with a big voice and warm personality, bonded with the four Brits who make up the Bandits over their mutual love of authentic, Country music. Since then, they’ve been touring and releasing their own brand of UK Country, building a loyal and dedicated fan base along the way. In the last few years, their singles have racked up multiple BBC Radio 2 playlists, and they’ve even performed live on the late Terry Wogan’s Radio 2 Sunday sessions. They soon took their sound beyond the airwaves, appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, Aled Jones’ Weekend, Channel Five’s The Wright Stuff and Sky’s Sunrise show. They signed an endorsement deal with high-street retailers ‘Evans’ and ‘Burtons’ and debuted their feel-good single ‘Nitty Gritty’ in The Independent.
For Jess and her bandits, there’s nothing more important than performing live to their fans. And so followed a hectic touring schedule including The Isle of White Festival, Country to Country and Cornbury and a string of UK tours.
Always looking toward the next step, Jess was soon back to Nashville working with some of the countries most in-demand writers and producers when disaster struck. Her family home in Houston was hit by Hurricane Harvey, and Jess felt duty-bound to join the incredible effort by locals to rebuild the area she grew up in. Though later than planned, her sophomore album Smoke & Mirrors debuted at #1 in the UK Country Music Chart, whilst single Sister, with its anthemic battle-cry, was added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist. Singles from the album also went on to heavy support on key Country music Spotify playlists Very Nearly Nashville and Wild Country.
This year, the prolific country outfit are returning with a UK Tour in October and a string of new singles. Written with James T Slater (Carrie Underwood/ Rascal Flatts/ Willie Nelson) and Zach Abend, ‘Don’t Let Me Take You Home’ is an emotive, anthemic piece of songwriting powered by Jess’ distinctive vocal. The track develops from a piano-led ballad, to a wall of rich guitar layers in a powerful crescendo. On the track, Jess states:
“This has always been one of my favorite songs I’ve written. It’s been completely finished for quite some time but we’ve never had the opportunity to put it on any of the albums. For me, this song encompasses so much that I love about country music. I’m excited to release ‘Don’t Let Me Take You Home’ as a single so it can have the life it deserves.”