Jessie May (Owl Maker/Turkey Vulture)

Jessie May
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In this offering, we are very pleased to get up close and personal with Jessie May, who plays in the Connecticut bands Owl Maker and Turkey Vulture.

Before we start, please know that I’m very new to vinyl collecting — as in, Santa just brought a record player for Christmas 2020! In the spring of that year, I wrote one side of the liner notes for Polderriffs Vol. I, a compilation album put together by the label Polderrecords. Tom Maene, who runs the label, was nice enough to send me a copy all the way from Belgium, but I didn’t own a turntable to play it! So luckily, Santa got around to solving this dilemma and my record-collecting journey began in earnest.

Another important point: many of the records in “my” current collection are actually my husband’s by way of his late grandfather. Some of his beautiful classic jazz records have made their way to our home.

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ Once Upon a Christmas, purchased from Heather’s Records and Relics.

The record that made me want to make music was…

If we think of “record” as in an album and not a physical vinyl, probably The Offspring’s Smash way back in middle school. It was one of the first CDs I ever purchased and the whole thing made a big impact. I’ll admit, though, that I thought “Bad Habit” was called “Bad Headache” for like 15 years! I guess I wasn’t paying much attention to detail…

The record I’ve played more than any other is…

The Bass, a three-LP compilation of various artists released in 1974, is the most frequently played record in our collection. This is one of the records from Jim’s grandfather and it’s really neat — the three records span jazz bass history and genres from 1939 to the early 70s, featuring classic players like Jimmy Blanton, Ron Carter, Paul Chambers, Oscar Pettiford… It also has a few folks I hadn’t heard of before (but maybe should have). It’s amazing and I’m grateful that I get to listen to it!

The record that always make me feel good is…

Tantivy’s Eyes in the Night. This is a high-energy thrashy EP from a random band in Wisconsin; it always gets me pumped up.

The record I turn to when I’m feeling down is…

Tony Reed’s Funeral Suit. Part of Ripple Music’s Blood and Strings acoustic series, it’s very soothing and thoughtful — and also melancholy, as you might guess from the title.

The record with my favorite cover art is…

Casting the Circle by High Priestess. The artwork by Jill Colbert of Manfish Inc. evokes the pagan and feminine.

The strangest LP I own is…

More silly than strange, but Jim has tracked down a few vintage kids’ records, like Sesame Street Disco and The Chipmunks Christmas Volume 1 and 2. (Because you can have just one Chipmunks holiday record…)

The rarest LP I own is…
Probably that Tantivy record, I don’t think they printed too many and it’s now sold out!

The last LP I bought was…
An original pressing of Bruce Springsteen’s The River.

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