Jess Knights is a blues and rock singer whose voice has echoed across Calgary, around Canada, and recently on live streams in Haliburton County, as well as her home on Lake Kashagawigamog.
For Knights, getting back on stage in Calgary in 2020, after COVID-19 restrictions eased “was like being home again,” she said. “I remember having this moment of looking around at my band, looking at the crowd, thinking ‘I could cry right now’,” she said.
She said she “leaves it all on stage” at each show. “I always used to say my mouth is so wide my heart might pop out.”
In early 2020, concert venues were shuttered but Knights has a brand-new album to share.
Knights released Best Kind of Light via live stream. It wasn’t the launch she imagined, but she and a professional production team expanded Knights’ reach to a worldwide audience during the high definition, professionally-produced stream.
“I wanted the highest quality live stream I could present to the world,” she said.
Knights aims to create a rocking, intimate atmosphere with her music and shows.
“I think my purpose as a musician is to build connection, I like to connect with other humans,” she said.
She does that through blow-your-socksoff vocals and powerful lyrics paired with snarling guitars and fast-paced drums. Best Kind of Light explores the ins and outs of a breakup.
While she spends much of her time performing in Calgary, Knights said she found solace in Haliburton County during the rollercoaster of COVID-19.
“I have so much family in the area. This landscape feels very much like home I would say,” Knights said.
She has started working on new songs that may form a follow-up to Best Kind of Light in the County.
“I am noticing other themes emerging,” she said. “There are really profound love songs, there are songs about mental health and depression and how that’s been brought to the forefront for a lot of people during this time of isolation, uncertainty and restrictions.”
She plans to continue open mic shows with the Haliburton County Folk Society, and getting to know other local musicians.
“I want to perform, and I think there’s going to be something quite magical about performing in the summer out here,” she said.
Knights will play with Cassidy Taylor in a Folk Society concert on March 19 at the Haliburton Legion.
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