Ken Leighton 5 p.m., Jan. 24
Sound description: Acoustic balladeering.
RIYL: Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Sheryl Crow
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Influences: Ani Difranco, Peter Gabriel, Patty Griffin, Howard Jones, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Habib Koite, Seal, Loreena McKennitt, Keane, Tori Amos, Kate Bush
Emily Tessmer grew up in San Diego, beginning her recording career while still with the local group American Myth. The band’s debut album for MCA was engineered by Noel Golden, knob-spinner for Matchbox Twenty and Edwin McCain. Aside from her annual shows at the Fair in Del Mar, she performs solo around California and has sung the National Anthem for Padre games.
“One of the most memorable, special songs I ever wrote,” she says, “was for a charity called a Song of My Own, which benefited terminally ill children through music. The song was written for a little girl named Annie who had leukemia. She went into remission after we recorded and donated ‘Annie’s Song.’ I will never know how much or how little that song affected that little girl. I can only hope and believe that the healing power of music is that strong.”