Mix three singer-songwriters, several stringed instruments, and a variety of percussive techniques, and you get Five Letter Word. Made up of Leigh Jones (vocals, guitar, percussion), Clara Baker (vocals, fiddle, guitar) and Audra Nemir (vocals, bass), this Portland-based trio of powerful women draws on influences such as The Wailin’ Jennys, The Dixie Chicks and Joni Mitchell, blending their harmonies into songs from folk to bluegrass to blues and beyond.
Five Letter Word began when Leigh and Audra, who met playing together in the Portland-based band Crow and the Canyon, met Clara at a show. Inspiration struck and these three crooning beauties quickly created an act that has wowed audiences across Oregon.
After growing up steeped in musical theater in North Carolina, Leigh Jones earned a Drama degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, then spent several years in the NYC music scene before moving to Portland in 2014. She has toured across the US and abroad, and in the fall of 2012 she released her debut LP, Worth Wild, which showcases the intersection of her theater background and southern roots. With an unforgettable voice that has been compared to Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss, Leigh’s musical performances show remarkable versatility as she bounces between stringed and percussive instruments, occasionally leaning on her dance background to round out the show, and always lending her clear voice to the melodies and harmonies that form the backbone of the band’s sound.
Portland native Clara Baker has toured the US from coast to coast, sharing her original songs, masterful guitar playing, and soulful fiddling with rapt audiences across the country. Her debut album, Temporary Things, came out in June 2015 and was met with widespread radio play, and two months on national folk DJ charts. Clara is years ahead of her time in terms of her songwriting, the quality of her voice, and her prominence on the local music scene.
Audra Nemir’s musical journey started with piano, which she played in her high school’s jazz band, and choral singing. Several bands and a cappella groups later, she discovered a passion for thumping low notes, and took up the upright bass in 2012. Since then, Audra has played in a number of Americana bands, where her energetic stage presence rarely goes unnoticed. Audra’s songwriting reflects her mixed musical background, with emphasis on multipart harmonies and instrumentation.
Vist Dead Horses at fiveletterwordband.com
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