Jaime Wyatt is a singer and songwriter whose candid, confessional style bridges alternative country-rock and Americana. She had begun playing shows when she was just 12 years old, but it wasn't until she was 32 that she issued her first album, 2017's Felony Blues, where her tough, emotionally honest blend of rock and country finally found an audience. Felony Blues was a lean, powerful effort that blended Americana and roots rock sounds, while her follow-up, 2020's Shooter Jennings-produced Neon Cross, added a richer country influence while still offering an unfiltered look at personal issues.
Jaime Wyatt was born on September 29, 1985. Raised by musician parents, she grew up in Tacoma, Washington, listening to the likes of Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, the Pretenders, and '90s country radio. She started performing at local coffee houses when she was 12 and experienced her first wave of music industry success at the age of 17. After moving from rural Washington State to California, she secured her first record deal. However, her label intended to market her as a singer/songwriter with pop crossover potential, similar to Sheryl Crow, while toning down the country influences in her music. Despite Wyatt's misgivings, her songs were licensed for a handful of on-screen appearances and soundtracks, including 2004's Wicker Park, which featured Wyatt alongside the White Stripes, the Shins, and Snow Patrol, and 2007's The Feast of Love, which also included the Frames, M. Ward, and Jeff Buckley.
Finding herself in professional limbo after a second recording deal fell through, Wyatt continued to perform but developed a drug problem that took her further off course. Things got especially bad for her when she was arrested for robbing her drug dealer; she spent eight months in jail before a plea deal freed her, awarding her time served. Her experiences formed the basis for a new set of songs which, after landing a deal with the independent Forty Below Records, she recorded as her first album, 2017's Felony Blues. (The title was a play on Penitentiary Blues, David Allan Coe's debut album which chronicled his years behind bars.) Featuring a duet with label mate Sam Outlaw ("Your Loving Saves Me"), Felony Blues was well reviewed by critics, and after finally achieving sobriety, she signed with the respected roots music label New West Records. Her first album for New West, Neon Cross, was produced by Shooter Jennings and released in May 2020. ~ Marcy Donelson & Mark Deming