Raised in rural Washington state in the log house built by her parents, Jessi McNeal has been singing and writing songs in some shape or form for most of her life. Simple hymns and old country tunes formed the soundtrack of her childhood, and her ear for melody and passion for storytelling developed at an early age.
Stylistically, Jessi draws heavily from Americana, bluegrass and folk traditions in both her lyrics and music. The landscapes of country life weave their way into her songs, in an easy style with warm imagery. But she also doesn’t shy away from hard subjects like grief and loss, and finds that songwriting is a soothing balm for many wounds.
Jessi’s newest album “Promised Land” was produced by Ryan McAllister (JJ Shiplett, Tim Neufeld) at Five Acres Studio in B.C., Canada. Set against a backdrop of swooning dobro and pedal steel lead lines, the record tells a hopeful and honest narrative about both hardship and hope, often in the same breath. Songs rooted in the dead winter of grief keep company with full-hearted moments around a campfire, a reminder that the movement from one season to the next isn't always a clear-cut path.
Songs from Jessi's latest album have been featured on Under the Radar and on No Depression's Freight Train Boogie.
She has been honored to share the stage with The Vespers, SHEL, Shawn McDonald and Megan Burtt. She is currently working on a new album with Ryan McAllister for release in 2019.
Jessi and her husband have four children, and they make their home north of Seattle in the Skagit Valley on their five-acre farm.
It's a rare treat to find a songwriter that feels like they have walked the dirt roads of your heart. Jessi McNeal did that exactly with these songs that touch on longing and struggle, hope and gratitude.
DAVE TROUT, DIRECTOR
UNDER THE RADAR
Top-notch production from Ryan McAllister and Jessi’s superb vocals and unmistakable Americana spirit help solidify this as one of the best and most hopeful records of the year.”
KHAC RADIO, TSE BONITA, NEW MEXICO
JESSI'S LATEST ALBUM | PROMISED LAND
Jessi McNeal's 'Promised Land' is a blues-tinged Americana record filled with candid real life lyrics and heartfelt, soulful vocals. Her first full-length studio album reveals the depth of Jessi's writing and is paired with the perfect amount of tastefully arranged instrumentation. With songs about struggles, family, and our never-ending need of God's grace, this is a significant and beautifully executed recording.
-Larry Stephan (Editor and Writer at The Phantom Tollbooth)
"‘Promised Land’ is a beautiful record full of thoughtful, lyrical storytelling set to a rootsy, folk sound. Achingly honest, the songs take us on a journey that is equal parts yearning and hopeful. With hints of Alison Krauss, Shawn Colvin and Joy Williams, Jessi’s voice is perfectly suited to this lovely slice of Americana landscape she’s created with producer Ryan McAllister."
-Staci Frenes (Singer/Songwriter, Stone’s Throw Music)