The in-demand touring vocalist Jessie Wagner (Lenny Kravitz, Chic, Duran Duran, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul) and frontwoman for NYC rock/soul band Army of the Underdog released her critically acclaimed debut solo album ‘Shoes Droppin’ earlier this year via Wicked Cool Records.
It’s been a long journey to center stage for Jessie Wagner. Having gained her greatest exposure to date by singing songs everyone knows the words to, on some of the world’s biggest stages, it’s only now, through sharing her own triumphs and pain, that the spotlight is shining directly on her at last.
After logging thousands of miles as an in-demand vocalist on tour with Lenny Kravitz, Chic, Duran Duran, Kid Rock and most recently Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul, Jessie Wagner reveals a very personal collection of songs with Shoes Droppin’, her debut solo album for Wicked Cool Records.
Displaying an impressive range encompassing bluesy R&B, neo-soul, acoustic balladry and rock a la John Mayer’s more confessional side, Shoes maintains a unified sound rooted in ’60s and ’70s style production. The songs trace times of darkness and redemption for the Norfolk, Virginia native, now based in New York City, who also fronts the rock/soul band Army of the Underdog.
Recorded during downtime from the Little Steven world tour, the album was produced by drummer Dave Diamond (Bob Weir, Derek Trucks) with engineer Chris Laybourne. Seasoned soul guitarist Sherrod Barnes has the most co-writes with six; he’s previously written for or with Beyoncé, Angie Stone and Ashanti as well as recording with Whitney Houston, Roberta Flack and Queen Latifah. The album’s striking horn arrangements are by longtime Little Steven cohort Eddie Manion, who’s also worked with Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Darlene Love.
“This album really addresses every aspect of me as an artist. I don’t settle well in any box. I’ve hinted at that with my rock band Army of the Underdog. But this really shows my versatility – or my schizophrenia! I like that It’s honest and playful, with touches of hopelessness, but also the idea of redemption and faith.”