Music » Critics' Picks

Jessica Lea Mayfield

8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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It's the curse of the young artist to stay forever in the shadow of an older, wiser, more famous benefactor. And while it's true that Jessica Lea Mayfield has benefitted from the production know-how and collateral fame of Black Keys' singer Dan Auerbach, Mayfield's songs need little studio trickery or big-name bona fides to stand on their own. Last year's Tell Me was full of such songs, like with gentle melodic sway at the core of "Our Hearts Are Wrong," a song that can draw you close and unsettle you with the same force.

Middle of Everywhere: Thank her Kent, Ohio, upbringing — Mayfield's sound shows traces of America's finest musical exports, from acoustic blues to raw, muddy rock & roll.

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