It was inevitable that Jaime Redden would pursue a career in music.
“I asked for keyboards and guitars since I was six years old,” said Redden, who started playing saxophone as a sixth-grader at Machon School in Swampscott, stuck with music, and served as the band’s drum major in 2000, her senior year at Swampscott High.
“I started writing songs on guitar my senior year. My first solo gig was at the Senior Show. I played Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here,’ one of the benefits of my mom’s excellent record collection, which included Janis Joplin, the Moody Blues, Yes and others.”
Her first concert, as a youngster, was New Kids on the Block in Foxboro. “I was so excited, the next day I put my karaoke boombox in my bedroom window and sang Paula Abdul’s ‘Straight Up’ for my neighbors. Everybody on Euclid Avenue, where we lived at the time, could hear me.”
Her smoky, strong, soulful voice is shown to great effect on “A Fool’s Hope,” the album the full-time singer-songwriter/guitarist released in August. Redden, who goes by her professional name Jme Redd, recently returned from the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, where she performed an acoustic solo set as part of the Mouse Fest show sponsored by Brighton radio station WEMF at the Aquarium on Sixth club.
“Austin was cool. All the bars on Sixth Street had no doors or windows, the sound of music was everywhere. I loved performing there and loved touring the city,” she said.
In 2004, a supportive, well-connected aunt in Philadelphia flew Jamie to the City of Brotherly Love where she recorded an EP, “Same Old Stories,” with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Gene Leone (“The O’Jays, France Joli, Teddy Pendergrass) at Wallabee Studios.
“What an experience. I played drums, bass, guitar. I sang and wrote the songs. When I got home, I looked into guitar lessons, found a band and dove right in.” That band, Manifest, was a loud, crunchy, guitar outfit that won a battle of the bands at the Middle East. The grand prize: a set at Hempfest on Boston Common.
Redden, who lived in Lynn for eight years before a recent move to Salem, performs frequently on the North Shore, at open mics and paid gigs at such venues as Bent Water Brewing’s tap room, Plough and Stars, and District 45, where she’ll be the featured artist on May 13. Her CD-release party was held at O’Brien’s in Lynn.
On June 23, she will play the North Shore Pride festival on Salem Common. “I’m very excited about this, it’s important to me to be a part of the North Shore Pride fest. At my record release party I had an all-female lineup. Two female-fronted bands, Katey and the Illicit and Ponyfish, shared the stage. The place was packed. It was a celebration.”
Jme Redd’s “A Fool’s Hope” is available at all online retailers and at Reverbnation.com/jmeredd,