WUMB | New Music

I’ve settled into the groove of middays on WUMB… you can hear me from 10am until 2pm each weekday. One feature I love curating is the “10 o’clock Coffee Break” at around 10:20am. This is very often the new music that arrived in my inbox that same morning… we are lucky as a radio station to be the first to get the download links to the new releases, and often months in advance. Sometimes it’s coming straight from a CD that someone handed me the weekend before, at a live show.

However I came across it, it’s something NEW and something I think you might enjoy. More often than not, it’ll be an artist you’ve heard of, but occasionally I’ll try to introduce you to a promising new voice.

Here are a few of the latest new tracks I’ve featured on the 10 o’clock Coffee Break…

Frightened Rabbit “Rained On”

Son Little “O Me O My”

Deer Tick “Sea Of Clouds”

Rostam “Thatch Snow”

Tune in to commercial-free WUMB
91.9FM Boston|Falmouth|Worcester
Streaming online at www.wumb.org



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You know those passions you have in life…the ones that you don’t end up pursuing or keeping up with for one reason or another?

Photography is definitely one of those for me. I’ve loved snapping photographs for as long as I can remember. I even completed a film photography minor when I was in college.

I think that’s why I love Instagram so much… it’s an easy way for me to hang on to that passion, which is now just a hobby…I enjoy it immensely!

Follow my there – @phjess


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NERFA Standouts

nerfa_logoI’m excited to be headed to the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance in the fall. It’s my first such conference and I’ll be on a panel or two (more info to come). I was also asked to judge submissions for the semi-formal showcase at NERFA, and there were over 200 acts to listen to! It was quite an interesting process listening to such a variety of music and figuring out which score to dole out for each act. Obviously there were musicians and bands that really impressed me, so I figured I should share some of the standouts with you here…I’ll narrow it down to a few who particularly hit the spot when it comes to my own musical tastes as well:

Abigail Lapell
Moody, dark folk out of Toronto…

Emily Mure
Killer vocals on this NYC artist who has Boston ties…

Frances Luke Accord
A duo with delightful harmonies, based in Chicago…

Korby Lenker
Quirky folk/pop out of East Nashville…

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New Outreach Role

I’ve experienced lots of change since my last post… including a new job at Passim.
passimlogoClub Passim is a music venue tucked at the end of Palmer Street in Harvard Square… Passim is a non-profit, and it’s more than just a club. It’s a music community.

The roots of Passim run DEEP. In the 60’s, the venue played a big role in the rise of folk music in the city of Cambridge. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Muddy Waters all performed there, back when the space was called Club 47.


I’ve admired this venue for a very long time… it’s always a listening room. The people who attend the shows are there to fully absorb the experience, and with a room like that, every performance becomes a special one.

It doesn’t hurt that the talent that comes through is astonishing. Some folks have caught on, frequently coming into shows blindly and putting trust in longtime club manager, Matt Smith, who books the acts. The musicians are not always strictly folk…they dance around the genre every which way.

Beyond being a venue, Passim has a school of music, a scholarship fund, and a restaurant open for dinner every night of the week (during the performances) and Sunday mornings for brunch. They also host a winter Celtic music festival and a series of free outdoor concerts in the summertime… and that’s where I come in!

It’s been a whirlwind of a summer as I bounce around Cambridge, helping to put on the free outdoor concerts. I’ve been able to connect with so many wonderful people, hear plenty of amazing music, and help spread the word about Passim! And it’s not over yet… I’ve got about 6 more weeks of concerts (listed here: passim.org/summer-concert-series)

Then I’ll turn my focus towards planning and executing the 15th Anniversary of BCMFest – a three day Celtic Music Festival held in Cambridge in January.

To accommodate my busy summer schedule, I moved to the midday shift at WUMB – you can now hear me 10am to 2pm each weekday at 91.9FM Boston | Falmouth | Worcester (and streaming at wumb.org)!



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Reviving phjess.com

It’s been well over a year since I’ve posted on this site…which was for many years exclusively a music blog, and then gradually started to cover a more broad range of topics. Then there was a time where I didn’t really know what I should do with it, so I did nothing! I guess that happens to lots of things in life.

I’m definitely ready to resuscitate the site, but still not sure of exactly what it will be. I’ve realized that doesn’t matter! And what will be will be…

First I suppose I’ll attempt to fill in the blanks.

wumb_logoSince I last wrote at the end of 2015, I have been working at WUMB 91.9FM in Boston, and recently moved to Afternoon Drive. You can now hear me from 2 to 6pm each weekday —


| Boston, Worcester, Falmouth
91.7FM | Newburyport, Stow, Marshfield
88.7FM | Milford, NH
1170AM | Orleans

*streaming on the web at www.wumb.org*

Beyond the new radio gig, I’ve had the fortune to return to the stage (with a little push from a friend). Musical theatre is something I’ve always LOVED but haven’t done much with since high school, mostly because I’ve been pursuing my career in radio. Fall of 2016 I was a Silly Girl in Hingham Civic Music Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast, then I danced in Massasoit’s Miracle On 34th Street the Musical for the holiday season…and the new year brought a BIG audition for my dream role of Ado Annie in OKLAHOMA! back at Hingham Civic. I’m happy to report I landed the role, and this weekend will be the final two performances – all the info here.

Being back to singing/dancing/acting has been AMAZING. And I don’t want to stop! I’m not sure what my next theatrical endeavor will be…or when. But I’ll be sure to post about it here…along with plenty of MUSIC, ART and more.


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My Favorite Albums Of 2015

1) Alabama Shakes – Sound And Color

2) My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall

3) Decemberists – What A Terrible World What A Beautiful World

4) Josh Ritter – Sermon On The Rocks

5) Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter

6) Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands

7) Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit

8) Punch Brothers – The Phosphorescent Blues

9) Laura Marling – Short Movie

jd mc
10) JD McPherson – Let The Good Times Roll

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FALL // transition

There’s been quite a lot of transition in my life these days, and I know many of you feel the same…it’s that time of year after all. This is what I’ve been listening to lately…


The Tallest Man On EarthThere’s No Leaving Now

This has been my most recent ear worm. I cannot stop listening to these 10 tracks. The melodies are perfect for driving, and the vibe feels so much like the chill that’s been creeping in as December begins and winter approaches.


Willy MasonCarry On

This album is incredibly strong top to bottom and couldn’t fit the fall vibe more. Seeing as he’s an island native, listening to this one while on Martha’s Vineyard is especially effective.


My Morning JacketThe Waterfall

I’m partially listening to this album because it sounds lovely this time of year but in all honestly I simply haven’t stopped listening to it because it’s one of the year’s best releases!

I know with certainly that at least the lead single will be at the top of my favorite tracks of 2015.



If you missed the latest release from Feist (2011), I highly suggest you dive in now. So fitting for the fall, especially the cold sunny days.

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