Ears Wide Open: Jessi Williams & Coyote

Jessi Williams
Jessi Williams

Jessi Williams is best known to L.A. audiences as the multi-instrumentalist/singer in the folk-rock ensemble the Lonely Wild. But predating her membership in that band, and just after her 2008 move to Los Angeles, Williams played in a folk-rock quintet going by the name Coyote (pronounced KYE-oat). And last week saw the release of the first single from the newly christened Jessie Williams & Coyote.

“Roam, Little Gypsy, Roam” is a lovely, lilting waltz about leaving the party-girl life behind and becoming a wife and mother. It was written for country singer Margo Price, who was Williams’ pal when she lived in Nashville. “Margo and I would frequently get together to drink, smoke and play Nirvana or Dylan songs in her basement,” Williams recalls. “We were a little wild back then, so these nights felt pretty tame to us. When I got pregnant and moved to Kansas, my life was strikingly different than the life I’d been living. Margo wrote a song for me called ‘The Ballad of Jessi Williams.’ I remember it had a great line about trading cigarettes for apron strings. When Margo got married and subsequently pregnant with her boys a few years later, I wrote ‘Roam, Little Gypsy, Roam’ as a response song. She’s heard it and is really supportive of this release.”

It’s the first single from an EP planned for a fall release.

||| Stream: “Roam, Little Gypsy, Roam”

||| Live: Jessi Williams & Coyote perform Sunday at Grand Ole Echo at the Echo, supporting Leslie Stevens. Tickets.