David Mayfield is a popular on stage character in the music business. He is an unforgettable talent and simply irresistible to witness time and time again. He is currently on break with his band, The David Mayfield Parade. At this time he is touring with his musically gifted sister, Jessica Lea Mayfield on what they call, “The Sibling Rivalry Tour”. I got the chance to see the duo at The Grey Eagle Saturday night with a fully seated audience which made it easier for everyone to see and witness the pure, gritty talent of David and Jessica Lea Mayfield.
The two grew up in Kent, Ohio where they were their family were celebrators of bluegrass music. David and his sister began making music magic together in their own family band at a young age. They frequently traveled to festivals and concerts where they learned most of their talents from road hard veterans. Jessica picked up lessons by friends on mandolin and guitar but mostly singing which is where she excelled. David went on to win multiple national awards for his mandolin and guitar playing as well as making a well deserved name for himself in the music industry.
The onstage presence between the brother and sister is expected if you have seen either live. The reserved, light voiced Jessica, meshing with David’s feminine, flamboyant and sarcastic attitude is interesting to witness. However, their attitudes are a definitive factor when it comes to their talents. For example, if I were to go see Jessica solo, I’d have a hard time keeping my head up due to her slow, minimalist style. David’s amazing rapid guitar playing and his sarcastic banter leave you laughing between songs. The switching of instruments also mixes up the relaxed- lackadaisical attitude of the guitar playing. The yin and yang of the two are a perfect harmony that set the tone for a night of cathartic, misty eyed, introspection of Jessica’s songs. The seated show at The Grey Eagle had some upset that there was no room for swaying to the music, but it gave the audience a chance to truly witness the fingers, breathes, unabashed silliness and raw talent of The Mayfield’s. In between the onstage hugging and family love, it’s hard to not fall in love with the music they are producing.
In 2008, Jessica recorded “Blasphemy So Heartfelt” which was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. David played bass on this album while still making his own music and touring with his band, Cadillac Sky. Jessica then released “Tell Me” in 2011, which is where most of her songs come from that she plays live. In addition to opening for a number of talented artists such as The Black Keys, Band of Horses, The Avett Brothers and Cake, Jessica Mayfield has toured as a headliner numerous times and performed at the BlossomMusicCenter at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. This is just a few of the big names that have seen Jessica’s spark and helped her get to where she is today.
David and Jessica Lea Mayfield started their tour in Geneva, New York on November, 30th and are traveling through Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and back to Ohio just in time for the holidays. If you have a chance, check out the two battling it out on stage. In the meantime, check them out on Facebook or David Mayfield Parade at www.thedavidmayfieldparade.com