Nominee at the 10th annual LA Music Awards
Popular or famous Jessie and the Raindogs music songs: Bus Driver, Far Away, Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, Gimme Today, Don’T Lie About Me, Hold on Call Waitin’. More music songs My New Best Friend, I’d Give It to You, Whole Lotta Nothin’, Pussycat Moan, Stringbean, Lil Ways Down the Road, Talk To The Hand. More music songs The Next Time, The Way I Feel About You, Walkaway, If I Wait For You, I Don’t Deserve This, Helluva Man, Soul Child
Short history of Jessie And The Raindogs
11-year-old Jessie Payo sings Janis and Aretha songs at backyard parties backed by members of Jose “Papadog” Payo’s band, Blues Garage and assorted family and friends. Jessie’s mom, Cyndy Payo, encourages Papa to form a band for Jessie.
14 year old Jessie competes as a soloist in a choir competition and to accompany her, Papa forms a band. Papa plays keyboards and bass and enlists a bandmate from Blues Garage, Christopher “Spike ” Clarke, for the drums and guitar. Spike, an elementary school teacher by day, nabs fellow teacher Jaime Bonilla for additional keyboards. Meanwhile, another bandmate from Blues Garage Tom Romero releases his own CD and Jose asks permission for his daughter to be the opening act for his release party/concert at Club Fais Do Do in Culver City. He agrees.
Jessie and the Raindogs forms for the purpose of opening for Romero’s CD release party. Named for the “dogs” in the band (Rex and Spike) and for Jessies and Jose’s appreciation for Tom Waits. A true mom-and-pop outfit, Mom does the booking and publicity and Pop leads the band and writes and chooses the songs.
Added to the line-up are Rex Olson on drums, Nicolette and Cheryl Olson and Rony Pannell on backup vocals.
Although initially, the sound is rough and the musicianship is raw, the atmosphere is friendly and enthusiastic– the perfect environment for the young singer to develop. The band works hard to get the sound together, and although most of the band members had never been in bands before, the rehearsal s pay off and the band is ready to play out.
To gear up for the record release, the Raindogs hit the the coffehouses. The sound begins to take shape nicely and before long, they play their first gig at Billy Million’s Hot House in Studio City. With overwhelming response, word spreads and they play the Stage Left Coffeehouse, The Gascon Theatre, Fais Do Do, and the Topanga Canyon Country Fair.
Pegged at first as a retro-band, Jessie concentrates on the blues and leaves her earlier influences behind for more traditional blues women (Big Mama Thornton, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Katie Webster, Memphis Minnie).
To get to a harder blues sound, the band undergoes a metamorphosis. Tom Romero from Blues Garage takes on guitar detail, the amazing Steve Kim adds his ferocious playing style to the drums, and Jose Payo fills it all out on the bass.
The band hits the LA music scene at the Mint, Lunaria, the Swing Cafe, The TCEP Music Festival, and the Pershing Square Summer Concert Series and the Burbank Village Concert Series.
Cyndy takes Jessie from club-to-club on open mike nights and she becomes a fixture in the local blues scene. She meets and quickly befriends her local idols, Mickey Champion and BJ Sharp and receives further encouragement from John Marx and the Blues Patrol.
On one memorable night, when Mickey Champion and BJ Sharp (each a legend of the LA blues scene in their own right) were treating the audience at Cozy’s to a double-whammy of femme fatale blues, Mickey pauses briefly and calls Jessie up to the stage saying, “Okay, baby, it’s time.” And with that 16-year-old Jessie is called on to hold her own against these two greats. Not only does she manage to rise to the ocassion, she brings the house down to the approval of her two mentors.
From these jams she meets Benny Golbin, a saxophone whiz kid from Cal State Northridge who joins the Raindogs as a featured player . Also from the jams she meets 15 year old guitarist Reeve Carney, a regular at BB Kings Blues Club and a frontman in his own right.
From the over 2,000 bands submitted, Jessie and the Raindogs is selected to play for the EAT’M music conference in Las Vegas. They play Gilley’s at the Frontier Casino. The gig is a huge success and they move on to play more clubs in Southern California: BB King’s in Universal City, Luna Park in West Hollywood, 14 Below in Santa Monica, Yesteryears in Pomona, Cozy’s in Studio City. Lake Alice Trading Company in Riverside and the House of Blues Foundation Room in Los Angeles where they packed the room so far beyond capacity that they had to turn away more than 200 people.
They sign with Frank Mayer of Artist International Management.
News articles and radio interviews attract more attention to the young blues sensation. The band opens for the likes of James Harman, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Fliers, and legends Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin. Jessie is inducted into “Women of the Blues”.
The band records their first CD “House Broken” adding harp player Just Dave and trumpeter Josh Bower.
On internet giant mp3, Jessie reigns as the #1 blues vocalist for months not once, but twice with “Soul Child” and “I Don’t Deserve This”
The record release concert at BB Kings is a smash with the addition of two guitarists (Johnny Statchela, Reeve Carney), a horn section (Benny Golbin, Tim Vaughn, Josh Bower, John Diaz) and backup vocalists (Cate O’Neill, David Diaz). During the concert, BJ Sharp literally climbs up on stage and adds her voice to the backing vocals on “Chain of Fools”.
Guitar player Tom Romero moves on and featured guitarists Reeve Carney and John Stachela are received by Jessie’s audiences with enthusiastic approval.
Jessie sings at the Crazy Horse backed by Etta James’ Band Roots. Soon afterward, she performs at Cozy’s on a double bill with her mentor, Mickey Champion .