Let’s face it — growing up the heir to a movie star can have its perks: First-class travel, celebrity buddies, houses fit for kings — and that’s just the beginning. But when it comes time to strike out on your own, sometimes having an über-famous parent can also have its drawbacks.
Though she started writing songs in high school, Jessie Bridges, 30, is just now stepping into the spotlight. This Saturday, Bridges (yes, that’s Jeff’s daughter) celebrates the release of her debut album, Let It Breathe, with a release show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club.
Recorded last year in Vancouver, Canada, and mixed by Santa Barbara–born music maestro Gabe Lackner, Let It Breathe is a sweet and solid collection of singer/songwriter fare that easily navigates the void between country and folk rock. “I had no idea that the songs would take on that twangy vibe when I first got into the studio,” Bridges said, “but I wouldn’t call them strictly country, either. There are bluesy rock elements, and there are folksy pop elements. I guess I’d call it Americana, if I had to name it.”
Still, Bridges said, the decision to record an album was not an easy one to make. “I’d always been really resistant to pursuing my music, particularly because of who my dad is. I have a wonderful family who I love very much, but being the child of a celebrity can be really difficult because that’s what people associate me with. I knew that if I pursued it, I would really have to prove myself to the world, so for a long time, I purposefully avoided it.”
Then, while working as an assistant for her pops in Vancouver, opportunity came knocking in the form of a young music producer. “We met and recorded what became the title track. When it was done, he asked if I wanted to stick around and record a whole album, so I moved up to Vancouver for two months and went for it,” said Bridges.
The result is a shining debut record about being far from home, finding yourself, and forging your own path — a fitting narrative for this young talent, who is just starting on the path of what promises to be a long career.
Jessie Bridges plays SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Saturday, August 31, at 7:30 p.m. Call (805) 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for tickets and info.