jesse o'neill

singer. songwriter. guitarist


Armed with just six strings and songs to sing, Jesse O'Neill is an acoustic blues/folk singer-songwriter with the ability to strap on an electric guitar and turn the amp up to eleven. This multi-faceted New York talent has also been known to get down on the bass, banjo, mandolin, piano and drums.

The “string seducer,” as he has been called, has just released his brand new album, talkin’ paradox blues, a more layered approach to his music than his last effort, 2014’s sleepwalking sessions. While sessions played across a stripped down acoustic landscape, blues showcases a spectrum of instrumentation, and has allowed Jesse to explore his more varied tastes in genres.

His unique influences while growing up have enabled him to shape a sound all his own. “It’s like Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kurt Cobain, and Tupac all took a bad acid trip together; anyone who really feels the music can pull that unspoken wavelength out of thin air and ride it like a badass.”

Born and raised upriver from the city in Albany, Jesse took piano lessons as a child, and dove head first into guitar as a pre-teen. Before his teenage angst years, Jesse was a precocious toddler with a record player and two loving parents who passed down countless folk and americana albums that he played until they were worn through. As he got older, his musical influences expanded to classic and indie rock, blues, punk and hip hop, helping shape his own sound into self-described, “Rootsy American music with attitude.”

Jesse has played his distinctive blend of folk rock to audiences far and wide and at a number of notable venues from New York to California and Quebec to British Columbia, hitting many clubs in between. He was recently one of the first American acts to perform music in Paris following the terror attacks of November 2015. Jesse has also toured through the United Kingdom and Ireland, rocking clubs in London and sitting in on traditional sessions in Galway. As he continues to travel in support of "talkin' paradox blues," Jesse is planing on spending more time in the American South and Midwest in 2016.

In addition to his solo work, Jesse exhibits a more bluesy side as part of the duo Max Caddy, with vocalist, Corina Corina. Together the two have released an EP, Caddy Tracks (2013), engineered by Willie Green, and continue to collaborate on stage throughout the tri-state area. Jesse credits Willie Green as an engineer on Blues as well.

As Jesse prepares for this latest chapter, his focus is on connecting with his fans on a more personal level, trying his hand at Instagram and Twitter (@joneillmusic) and will be back out on the road in 2016 to play talkin’ paradox blues to a live crowd. I’m not cheesy. I play from the heart.  I want to share my music with the world and be inspired to make it as honest as possible.”


Photographer: Zarif Taufiq