The bust of creativity unleashed when Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and musician Pi Jacobs lets loose her pipes is one of an explosive strength that runs back to eras of rock past and present. Think a mix of Melissa Etheridge, Beth Hart, and Wynonna Judd wrapped around snug vintage musicianship.
Jacobs is amplifying the concert experience on Live From Memphis, an inventive new album and her first for the Blackbird Record Label that places eight original songs alongside the personal stories that shaped them. Recorded with a full band, the project offers a sincere and sometimes funny look at her formative years, her family relationships, and even a few lessons she’s learned along the way.
“I feel like with all art, there’s an important sense of connection for people,” says Pi, who has previously released eight albums since 2013, toured worldwide, and developed a global fanbase. “It’s part of our humanity. We don’t want to feel alone. The only reason to put these stories out is to help people. That’s it. It’s not for my ego–in fact, parts of them are super embarrassing for me!”
With a laugh, she continues, “In writing these stories, there’s been a little more acceptance of myself. I can’t even explain that healing feeling I had, but it’s been a happy side effect.”
A blend of roots-rock swagger and storytelling soul, the music on Live From Memphis comes from Jacobs’ live taping for Ditty TV, which was filmed without an audience. For the set list, she drew six songs from 2020’s Two Truths and a Lie and two others from 2017’s A Little Blue. But rather than using the between-songs banter intended for the viewing audience, she took a page from one of her favorite NPR podcasts and decided to share more of herself than ever before.
“The band and I loved how that concert came out so much,” she says. “I thought, what if I write an intro that’s my very personal inspiration for the song? I was listening to people doing that on the Moth Radio Hour and some of these people are so brave. I thought, well, maybe I could do that, too. So, I started putting these stories on paper.”
Glide is premiering the single and video for Jacobs’ sly and soulful new single “First Thing Tomorrow” (below). With heartfelt gritty vocals atop a melodic punch that tugs the listeners’ ears to their favorite twang recordings. Jacobs enthralls with that resourceful musical pull effect, enabling her live renditions to evolve immediately into that of true musical keepers.