25 & Under: Jessica Rose Powell

Singer/songwriter, 21, Safety Harbor

click to enlarge Jessica Rose Powell - Todd Bates
Todd Bates
Jessica Rose Powell

Beautifully blunt: A honey-haired beauty with a guitar — think Rebekah Pulley crossed with a young Cate Blanchett — Jessica Rose has been playing since she was 14 but only started writing songs a year ago. She describes her lyrics as “blunt — straight to the point,” as in “Maybe,” a ballad of romantic (and possibly criminal) obsession that begins, “There’s something about you that makes me want to tie you up.” Songwriting, she says, is “like writing in a diary. It feels good to let it out.”
Sing low: “I don’t know anybody that sounds like me,” says Powell, whose singing voice is surprisingly deep, and quite different from that of her father, John Powell, a Safety Harbor civil engineer/musician who’s inspired by Neil Young. Friends who’ve seen her dad play tell her, “‘It’s kind of funny because his voice is so high and yours is so low.’”
The Dunedin scene: Jessica Rose has played mainly at the Dunedin Brewery, where she’s one of the young talents spotted by musician and educator Ben Plott, host of the venue’s weekly open jams. “Ben’s really awesome,” she says. “To be honest, if I wasn’t so poor I would love to take lessons with him.” She’s also played gigs in Clearwater and Safety Harbor, and has recorded a demo.
Meanwhile… She’s paying the bills by working at Red Lobster and pushing her music out via YouTube, including the sweetly welcoming “Safe at Home,” recorded in front of her new couch in her new apartment with her new guitar, she says on her Facebook page. Listen at facebook.com/jessicarosemusician.