Wild Wool
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Wild Wool

Utica, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Utica, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Americana Rock




"The Taryn Jessen Band"

It’s not often that we get to experience that rare and magical moment of transformation. Whether its experiencing a baby’s first steps, or observing a butterfly’s eruption from its chrysalis, these times are fleeting, and very intriguing. Utica, NY is having just such a moment, right now. It’s the birth of a new musical force; the emergence of Taryn Jessen.

#UticaROCKS! was knocked off guard when, just yesterday morning, we caught wind of a new performer. Yes, we admit to a period of slacking in our otherwise constant trolling for new talent (further research uncovered that Taryn had already been ripping up the scene under our radar). A raw video caught our eye - compliments of Erica Moss (tremendous music promoter and animal rights proponent/fund-raiser). Intrigue!

This original music seemed to lie somewhere between rock, country, Americana, and folk. Maybe with a dash of rock-a-billy and pop. It’s a constantly swirling mixture of it all, yet never landing cleanly into any one camp. And the performer, songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, Taryn Jessen, delivered it in a seemingly guarded and experienced, yet very committed, vulnerable, and emotional style. More intrigue.

After a quick shout-out for input on Facebook, we were informed that The Taryn Jessen Band would be performing at Pizza Boys in a few hours! Bam! So, off we went. Snuggled in amongst old friends and the deeply comforting smells of all things mozzarella, we let the night’s performance wash over us.
As when watching other charismatic female rock performers (SIRSY, Hank & Cupcakes, Miss Marlow, etc.) we were almost unaware of the rest of the band. This sounds sexist, but we’ve tested the hypothesis, asking numerous men and women, and have heard the same report from almost everyone. That said, Taryn is backed by a sensitive, song-focused drummer, Collin Jewett, and sparse (thank you) bassist, Jason Conrad Roberts. The ensemble does a great job of delicately supporting Jessen as she lurks in the shadow of the spotlight, head slightly bowed, barely revealing her secrets. She weaves her lyrical stories with a matter-of-fact physical stance that bravely attempts to conceal her true feelings. But, Jessen betrays her attempts at stoicism with flashes of emotion and passion that, on occasion, leap from her eyes. Eyes that just may have seen more than they should at her tender age of 19. Further intrigue.

Jessen seems to face the classic battle with humility and slight insecurity. After all, she is only a teenager. She wears it well, coming across as very respectful of both the audience and her trade. Her strong, slightly quavering voice simultaneously expresses both a vulnerability and a deep strength and conviction far beyond her years. It hints at the characteristics of Patsy Cline (experience and accuracy), Janis Joplin (rawness and twang), and Joan Jett (confidence and sharpness). She also intrigues our ears with her guitar which is amplified loudly but played extremely softly and delicately - and, intriguingly, just slightly out of tune.

OK, once we got the flood of initial first impressions out of the way, we were struck with Jessen’s songwriting. This is when we had to keep reminding ourselves that she is just 19. Her original songs, lyrics, arrangements, pace, and delivery all transport the listener to some imagined honkytonk, full of cowgirls and waitresses, roughnecks, and ranchers. Her themes, and her style, are reminiscent of another place and time. Stories like, “Ain’t No Man”, and “You’re Weak”, celebrate the triumph of all women who must be strong to survive, and who, through the process, have affirmed (and own) their self-worth, value, and power. We couldn’t help but wonder if there were similar themes and thoughts coursing through the mind of a teenage Springsteen, back in the day.

Jessen’s original songs and style have ever-so-tentatively begun carving out a unique niche for this act. We were left with hopes that she will cultivate the characteristics that stand to distinguish her from the thousands of other performers who are also emerging on a daily basis (she can). We’d like her to hone her evocative themes to an even keener edge. Jessen has taken us on our maiden voyage, and we like it. We want an even richer experience the next time around. We were just slightly disappointed with the band’s treatment of the cover songs that padded out their set. We understand that, while an act is building out their repertoire of originals, they may seek to fill time by performing others’ tunes. That’s cool. In this case, Jessen has such a captivating style that we would suggest she take special care to interpret these covers in a way that truly stamps each performance as being her own. In other words, we’d like to see her transform any cover song into something barely recognizable as being from the original artist, and into a version that only Taryn, herself, can deliver (remember what Joe Cocker did to OWN The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” at Woodstock?). It all takes time and work - making it even harder to craft the originals, book the gigs, maintain the gear, and keep the band together - we know. This is just us being fussy. The audience seemed to really enjoy songs like “Jackson” when delivered straight from the Cash-Carter songbook. So, Taryn, just keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing. People really enjoy it.

If you’re in the mood to catch a captivating sunrise, to hear a one-day philosopher speak their first words, then make it a point to catch The Taryn Jessen Band. There’s no telling which direction she’ll ultimately chart, where she’ll end up, or how she’ll manage the journey, but right here, right now, something very intriguing is happening. Something magic. #UticaROCKS! - Utica Rocks

"Meet Taryn Jessen--50 Musicians in 50 Days"

This totally unassuming but very mature girl is new to the Utica music scene but is already making a name for herself and landed her first radio interview ever as one of our 50 musicians in 50 days. Taryn Jessen formed an ‘accidental’ trio and you can catch them for a short while longer, at least until she heads out to Music City as planned in the spring! Listen in and learn about this singer/songwriter who loves her some folk music, and she might even play a tune too! - 96.1 WODZ

"Taryn Jessen on Coming Home"

“I gained more independence and more of a vision of what I wanted out of life.” —Taryn Jessen on her formative years in the Utica area. - The Signal

"Wild Wool: Their New CD: City of Refuge"

"Taryn is well on her way to stardom with her songwriting. The picturesque visions she presents in her songs and the roller coaster hooks and melodies that she and the band develop in the process put the reader at the forefront of their creativity." - Mohawk Valley Living Magazine


City of Refuge (March 9th, 2018)
Preview (December 11, 2014)
Live from the Fuzzbox EP
 (November 13, 2013)



"This original music seemed to lie somewhere between rock, country, Americana, and folk. Maybe with a dash of rock-a-billy and pop. It's a constantly swirling mixture of it all, yet never landing cleanly into any one camp...She weaves her lyrical stories with a matter-of-fact physical stance that bravely attempts to conceal her true feelings. (Utica Rocks)"."

Band Members