Asheville’s Idol

Wonder about the rumors that Asheville’s own Jesse Barry, lead singer of teen blues band Skinny Legs and All has made it to American Idol Season 9? While Barry’s family and friends have been sworn to secrecy (neither confirming nor denying), there is a trip to Hollywood currently underway. And a pretty impressive Web trail.

For starters, Barry’s name is listed under Made it to Hollywood, (updated Dec. 28, 2009) along with her fellow Idol competitors.

mjsbigblog, an excellent source for Idol spoilers, recently posted a video clip of judge Simon Cowell that includes some footage of the auditions for this season. Click here to view the footage.

Writes commentor jack5791, “Auditions usually always seem to drag on but I think it will be more entertaining with different guest judges. New people, with different personalities and different perspectives. And I liked that they showed Jesse Barry at the end. She seems like she is talented and possibly one to watch?”

That’s right, Barry claims a good two seconds of air time, belting out a blues number in a voice way beyond her years.

Barry can also be spotted around the 30 second mark of the 45 second Idol auditions promo video here:

And there’s already a Jesse Barry fan thread on Idol Forums.

The new season of Idol begins this week, Tuesday and Wednesday Jan. 12 and 13, on FOX.

—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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14 thoughts on “Asheville’s Idol

  1. Congrats to Jesse Barry.
    Not only is she a great singer, she’s a mature young woman with a good head on her shoulders.
    Her band, Skinny Legs and All, continues to amaze audiences with their performances which belie their youth.

  2. I’m fairly certain I wrote about Jesse Barry way back in like 2002, when she won a karaoke contest by beating out all the serious adults. Good for her, taking it to the next level like this.

  3. DanB

    We had the pleasure of providing Skinny Legs and All one of their first commercial venues at my coffee shop, Gourmet Perks. Way to go Jesse!

  4. Bugg

    It’s a glorified kareoke contest that has nothing to do with actual talent.

  5. Bugg

    Singing is a talent. Being a performer is an entirely different talent. These kareoke contests usually emphasize the wrong things.

  6. b.c.w.

    Only those who truly have the talent and the pipes succeed on the show and then transcend it. See Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. One may not like the music they sing, but they had the pipes from the start. I’ve shared the stage with Jesse and her band a few times on some co-bills and she has what it takes. The show may be mostly spectacle, but in the end spectacle doesn’t win. Spectacle doesn’t usually make it past the audition stage. GOOD LUCK to Jesse!

  7. shadmarsh

    Nice that the Xpress is providing free advertising to Fox. Can’t wait for the story on why Two and a Half Men is must see TV.

  8. When I worked at record stores here in the 90s, I had to endure dozens of people who said they jammed with Warren Haynes. One guy in a wheelchair told me his cousin jammed with Warren Haynes. I wish Jesse the best of luck but I hope she doesn’t become the Warren Haynes of this decade.

  9. “These karaoke contests usually emphasize the wrong things.”

    It emphasizes singing and doing so entertainingly. There’s no shame in being a talented singer, or performing the kinds of songs that middle America wants to hear. I don’t see why that’s something to be dismissed just because the show is not trying to showcase songwriting or originality.

    How is it not cool that someone local is getting a chance to showcase the talent she’s worked on for most of her life to this point? I’m not sticking up for American Idol here — I’ve never even watched one episode of it all the way through — I’m just saying that it’s not a bad thing that someone who performs locally in a local band is getting national attention for being able to sing well. It’s pretty awesome, actually.

  10. boatrocker

    Good luck to her, though “American Idol” is still glorified karaoke no matter how you slice it.

    Why? Because for all her talent singing, TV audiences won’t hear her band which is very good.

    She’ll probably win a record deal, get signed to a label after the label fires her backup band and replaces them with studio sidemen as they do in the Memphis Blues competition.

    Good for her though.

  11. brebro

    We jammed with Warren Haynes at Smuggler’s Den in the 80s.

    (By “jammed” I mean we refused to get off the stage when the announcer and most of the audience strongly requested that we sit down so Warren Haynes could come back on and play instead.)

  12. erock

    Ah get off the high horse. She’s a young local girl with talent that’s going on the biggest talent(Singing) show in the country. I don’t watch it but I could tune in just to see if she makes it far. It’s a good story…shame she can’t take her band with her.

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