Showing posts with label Middle Ga.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle Ga.. Show all posts

Saturday

Why does my band keep failing?


Having trouble getting success with your band? Yeah, I don't doubt it. There is ALOT of competition out there.

A great many of the bands out there playing are not as good as you, but they bring a crowd -so they'll get booked LONG before you and 3 times as often.


Of course sound quality is important, but without a crowd, your sound doesn't matter. Here are a few tips to help you build that crowd.

1. Always make the effort to make your crowd feel special. This means take the time to LISTEN to them when they are talking to you. They believe that you are worth the cover charge and are excited to have your attention. Listen to what they have to say and engage in true conversation with them. It goes a long way.


2. We musicians are a strange lot...we are arrogant and uncompromising, but often we need reassurance that our direction is right. We can get that from an outside source or build it in ourselves but having supreme confidence is like a poker player having an extra card.
Not Confident? GET confident.


3. Whatever you do....COMMIT to it. Don't go in tentative and apologetic. There is nothing worse than some middle-aged guy half-heartedly wandering his way through a Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, or Adele song. You're thinking of singing "Let it Go"? BELT it out. Some people might hate it, but at least they will respect the courage you had to give it your all. When I sing "Baby, One More Time" I give it all I've got. If passion pays the bills....my bills are paid: and everyone in the room knows it.

4. Stop compromising on the members you choose for your band. Wait for someone you gel with. Like a car, a band NEEDS a destination, guidance, and motion. If you ain't steering, why are you surprised when you end up in a ditch? TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BAND. Lead, guide and direct it. Sometimes that comes from a mutual understanding of 'common sense'. Sometimes someone has to step up and say, "NO. We need to spend more time promoting THIS show than trying to find another one next month.". Drive your snowmobile-It's cold out there.

5.  I'll also add, wait until you're ready before you get out there. You got a gig coming up? Are you at your peak performance wise? No? GET AT YOUR PEAK. You can't afford to put on a shitty show.
Don't know if you're ready? Then you're not. Stop booking gigs and go back to the garage. You're screwing up the music scene with your out of key, off time, amateurish demeanor. GET IT RIGHT. Then get out there and kick butt.

6. BRING a crowd. Nothing attracts a crowd, like a crowd. Promote. Advertise. Be consistent with your logo. Offer incentives to your followers. Know that your niche helps you target your customer. Know your niche. Dress for your niche. Name your band for your niche. Let your niche dictate your bands 'personality'. Your niche should be painfully evident in every ad, post, pic, comment or interview you do. YOUR crowd will be able to find you, and they will be more dedicated to you than the ones just looking for something to do. A RABID following of 20 is 10 times better than a "doesn't care" crowd of 100.

Now ......Quit whining and get to work.

Monday

Josh Graff

From a recent press release:

 “Josh Graff is a real bluesman!” -Joseph Palmer, owner of The Hangar Bar and Grill

On Friday, June 1 the walls of The Hummingbird Stage and Tap Room will be reverberating with the sound of traditional blues guitar. Josh Graff has been making a name for himself in the Macon, GA area for nearly fifteen years now, and says, “I finally feel like I’ve found myself.”, and where better than where it all began. The twenty six year old guitarist/singer/songwriter has gone full circle, playing everything from blues, R&B, gospel, country, pop, and rock, to hip-hop all over the country from coffee shops, bars, churches, frat houses, festivals, and music venues, to opening shows for Blues Traveler, Huey Lewis and the News, Kansas, and .38 Special.

Josh Graff spent his early teens playing blues guitar and sitting in with bands like Stillwater and The Wall. By the time he had graduated high school, Graff had released three independent albums of mostly original music, and gained a local following doing solo acoustic shows. Then came the creation of Josh Graff & Co., which played relentlessly all across the southeast, and in 2006, recorded an EP in Atlanta, GA with Grammy Award Winning producer/singer/songwriter/musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band, John Mayer, Sugarland, Shawn Mullins, Marshall Tucker Band). After a few years together, Josh Graff & Co. went their separate ways and Graff found himself moving to Atlanta, GA to play guitar in Ben Deignan and Suburban Soul. Two years later you could find Graff on stage every Sunday playing guitar at a local church. Still not feeling as though he was doing what he knew he was here to do, Josh Graff found himself at a crossroads.

In early 2012 Josh Graff decided go back to his roots, and be true to himself, as a blues guitarist, doing something he has always wanted to do, put an all-blues band together. Graff throws a few original tunes into an eclectic mixture of traditional blues covers from Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, JB Lenoir, Otis Rush, Freddie and B.B. King, to name a few. With his ever-evolving and rotating backing band of A list musicians, Graff and his band keep the house rockin’ and the good times rollin’ all night.

The first time I met Josh, he sat in with a friend of ours to play lead. Josh proceeded to rip his guitar apart. He played behind his head, behind his back, he walked out to the crowd and stepped up on the fireplace. He really got the crowd going, and when he walked away, many thought the show was over.
In many ways, it was.
I'm bringing this to light, because it appears that Josh is trying to downplay his amazing stage presence. Does he play the blues? Yes, very well; but he is a professional showman waiting to scorch the venue with searing licks AND attitude.

Sunday

Fiddlers Blues Band

Fiddlers Blues band out of Columbus brings the 'Kit Shickin'" back to Middle Ga.
Check out their website!

http://fiddlersbluesband.com/

Pull on yer boots and get ready for the kind of hoe down you write home about!

They read the crowd (cause readin' print is fer city folk) and give you what you came for.....A moonshine swillin', dance floor killin', rockin' good time! The keep it focused on real music. From classic and new country to southern rock..... from bluegrass stomps to jazz standards. And, of course, the blues.

Git in, Git down, and be proud of your country roots....Fiddlers Blues Band will make you pine for that old pickup truck, the sweet smell of fresh cut grass, and swimmin' in the crick.

Wayne Minor Band

2 keyboards, guitar and drums. An unusual setup to be sure, but the Wayne Minor Band makes full use of this setup to rock the crowd.

The songwriting will remind you of Leon Russell. The execution is flawless and the arrangement is painstakingly tight and purposeful, but doesn't lose that all to elusive feel.You won't spend a moment at a Wayne Minor Band show, wondering who else is playing around town. These guys know how to craft the soundtrack of your night. Check out this live recording done by Mark Foley:
 Wayne Minor Band Live at Fountainfest

This is one of the rare bands that other bands seek out to learn from.Don't pass up an opportunity to check them out live.
 
 

Monday

LegenDerry Vs. the Big Hairy Monster

The outrageous frontman for Ran$om has teamed up with the oddball geniuses of Big Hairy Monster to provide Middle Ga. with a much needed kick in the nuts.....(or maybe that was just me).

I want to add more to this article, but I simply can't- If the first sentence doesn't excite you then nothing I say could.

Derry has been a staple a round town for a few years now, and has always put on a great show. The band playing behind him as Ransom, have always been great musicians  able to pull out an obscure cover with no preparation at all. Derry has always taken this quality of the band and highlighted it to the thrill of the crowd. His shows are always fun to watch, as there is rarely a repeat from the gig before.

Big Hairy Monster is band of music afficionados who had gotten tired of the same old music being pandered around town.They started writing originals, and playing covers that lesser bands were afraid to touch. This led to Big Hairy Monster being considered by many to be the "cream on top of the cream of the crop".

Combining these two will undoubtedly be the highlight of the year. I can't wait.

Wednesday

Lance Rodriguez

Lance Rodriguez is the hardest working musician in Middle Ga. these days. He plays bass for American Lesion, drums and vocals for Holocaustion, and for Crescent Moon Dogs AND he performs solo acoustic as Tooley Deviljuice.

One glance at him and you know you're looking at the real deal. In 5 minutes of conversation, you find a humble friendly man with the mind of a poet and the heart of a lion.

His music ranges from heavy metal, to soulful acoustic. He delivers it all with the conviction and passion of  a world class performer.

The first time I saw him perform, I was hosting an 'Open Mic Night' at a nice little upscale restaurant in Warner Robins. He signed up to perform a few songs with Tom Harbs; another of the great talents in Middle Ga.

I was immediately nervous.

I didn't know what to expect. I knew that they were both in a heavy metal band called "Holocaustion" which was known for heavy guitar and screaming vocals. Tom shaves his head and Lance hasn't seen a pair of scissors in years. Lance appears to be the offspring of Rob Zombie and Prince. I was so afraid that they were going to rip into some death metal and screaming....I thought I would have to cut their performance short.

Tom grabbed the microphone, and Lance started playing his acoustic....and they BLEW ME AWAY.
Tom's vocals were beautiful, and passionate. Lance's guitar playing was intricate and nice and ....You can't say this about every acoustic player out there;....His playing was musical by it's own merit. They played country/ irish folk songs, and when they finished, I went looking for the original versions of those songs online. Now I know, not to judge a book by it's cover.

Whoever he is performing with, Lance makes the audience take note and his bandmates sound better. He takes the time to promote and push the local music scene like no one else does....

With all this in mind, I consider Lance Rodriguez to be MidGa's Most Valuable Player.

Lance on facebook
Or contact Lance by email~              The138Records@yahoo.com
And Check him out on Reverbnation

Tuesday

Session Road

The two men who make up the vocal powerhouse of Session Road, Lee and Chad, have been singing and writing songs together for a couple years now.

They have played together in other bands, have recorded in Nashville together, and have decided it was time to get serious about the one thing they love most - MUSIC! With the help of some friends and fellow musicians, they were able to put together a full band and demo to showcase their vocal talents and are working on getting their first full length country CD recorded.

There is no mistaking them once you hear them and the feeling is sure to stay with you. These guys are a national act, they just don' know it yet. Go check them out the next chance you get! They won't be around here long!!
Their website~
Myspace

Wednesday

The Evolution of The Outlet

I first heard the tremendous talent from this rock band with an expressive jazz, funk style band self introduced as FreeJay, featuring Big Mountain Little Everest, coming from the Coca~Cola stage at the Cherry Blossom Festival on March 22, 2012! I was impressed as two band mates "flipped the script" with the lead singer and the drummer switching out during their high energy performance. I introduced myself and passed my contact information to FreeJay band manager, Jessica, before the band departed the stage in hopes of gaining an interview with the band members.


Jessica contacted me and I was invited to interview the guys of FreeJay before their band practice on March 25. I was stoked to sit down with Jessica and the band mates to get a lesson in their music!

FreeJay was initially comprised in 2006 of front man Jeff "FreeJay" Warren and evolved with time to become the current band, FreeJay & $2 Fortys, which has been playing together for a month and a half at the time of our interview, although most of the material is previous. In speaking with Jeff, he will mesmerize you with entertaining conversation filled with stories and jokes. After taking part in definitively making forty six CDs through alternate projects, Jeff was determined he would make his own album, "and just find cats that just want to go play." Jeff is very talented as a lead vocalist, song writer, guitarist, drummer, and pianist. Jeff enthusiastically admits he has always written the same type of music, but the music as played "can range from simple to an eleven piece band with strings and horns and everything else, either way, it just sounds great." Jeff is in tune with his song writing style as he writes what comes, he says to sit down and think to write just didn't work for him, but to just sit down and let go, allow emotions to flow and "bam there it is." Jeff describes, "people say I hate my bad life, no - I'm learning to embrace it because it is the fuel to the fire. If I would just be content with what God has given me, it would be beautiful and that is where I am at." He will have you wondering where does the talent end, a better question is where does the talent begin?


Jeff met Michael "Mike" Roark in 2004 as Jeff played drums for another band. Michael charmingly joked, "they just threw a bass at me and I picked it up and started playing." In actuality, Michael is as multifaceted as his band mates with the ability to play bass, guitar, and drums with plans of performing back up vocals in the future. Michael began playing the first four guitar chords as taught by his older brother, from there picked the rest up on his own. In 2008, Michael graduated the Master Recording Program II (audio recording school) at The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences. Michael is currently attending classes at Macon State College toward a degree in Music Theory and Composition. Michael describes himself as "more conserved, I like to observe then just annoy people with witless banter." Cail describes Michael as, "able to do things on a bass that most people can't do on a regular guitar." During our conversation, Jeff correlated Michael to Beethoven. For inquisitive minds, I found out that Michael owns a Ibanez SR405QM Electric Bass Guitar that he plays in FreeJay & $2 Fortys. Michael owns a pretty serious guitar as well, a Schecter HELLRAISER-C1 Electric Guitar w/Floyd Rose tremolo.


Jeff and Cail "Boxxx" Huggins met in 2005 while Jeff played for "Face Down." Cail, 24, is a vivid artist as he plays drums, sings, writes songs, and plays guitar. Cail expresses "the music is about life, about celebrating." Cail says of Free Jay, "we all three bring something different to the table - like Jeff has his way of playing and singing that is really soulful and really uplifting. Mike brings the funk and groove to it, the mechanics of it all." Cail professed he has only been playing the drums for approximately a year and a half, has "learned finesse from playing with Jeff and Mike."

Cail's music influences include Alice In Chains, 311, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, and New Radicals. These multi-dimensional influences come to light in FreeJay's music.


What is in a name? Jeff explains FreeJay means "Free as a bird...it is a symbolization of who I am, how I was raised, what I have been through, and I believe these guys can relate."

In regards to $2 Fortys, "FreeJay" has a 1940 microphone he was using in rehearsals and jokes came of the other 2 members and Jessica in regards, leading up to the name.

Side Projects:
As if FreeJay & $2 Fortys were not enough to keep Cail "Boxxx" busy, he collaborates with his friend, Famine, on a side project known as High Class and Homeless, a notorious rap duo. Famine stated that the name for this project stems from an incident that occurred about four years ago when he borrowed his Mom's boyfriend's late model Mercedes. While Famine was driving the car, his Mom and her boyfriend broke up, Famine decided to stay out in the car, driving, sleeping and eating in the Mercedes for three days, returning the vehicle upon the make up of his Mom and her boyfriend. "Boxxx" expresses that High class and Homeless is "a clean living band," no drugs and little to no alcohol consumption, although they have a song that pokes fun at drugs, called "Bobby Bouche'." "Boxxx" addressed his concern of bands lacking the support of others, he feels that bands should collectively help one another by "uplifting and boosting one another up," rather than act in each for their own.


FreeJay is also collaborating on a side project compiled of "heavier stuff," called Big Mountain, Little Everest. In fact, the Cherry Blossom Festival performance was a compilation of material from FreeJay & $2 Fortys featuring Big Mountain, Little Everest. Jeff explains the thought behind this project, "Little Everest, for some people, is the pinnacle of climbing up that mountain per say, they have been at the at the top of that pinnacle, they have bigger mountains to climb...I have been through life, I have seen every up and down, that is why I have something to write about. I don't just sit down and write out lyrics, it just comes from the heart. Truth is it has worked, I used to write, think stuff out and it just didn't work for me. I sit down and let go and bam there it is, it is surreal sometimes, but at the same time I realize we can get somewhere, because the people are going to make the music, per say."

With that, Jeff recited these lyrics from "Notion":

Little Charlotte is on the corner
doing what her mama taught her
selling her body for some drugs
but if she'd look deep inside,
she'd see things that she hides,
and all that is missing is love
but she never knew a notion of fear
behind they lyrics: "the world is programmed, and she feels no fear, doesnt realize that she is destorying her life, she going to end up in the same pattern and burden that her mom did."
Cail feels this hits home, "a lot of people see that as just another song, but as I see it, that is a true story." Jeff concurred and added, "at the top of that pinnacle, they have bigger mountians to climb."


Harmonious balance...
Cail shares, "it is really neat we all three bring something different to the table, Jeff has this way of playing and singing that is really soulful and really uplifting. And then he (speaking now of Mike) brings some funk and all the groove to it, I feel like without bass in the band, without a good player like Mike, it would be difficult and different sounding in the band, just in the way he plays and has a certain sound, he brings the mechanics of it all basically. The way they work with each other it really brings out the essence of what each is trying to bring to the table." It is really easy for me to translate it on drums with Jeff also being an amazing drummer, he shows me alot because I really came into all of this not really knowing crap about anything and Jeff said 'Dont worry about it man, just play what you feel and I will teach you here and there, if there is a certain part you've got to learn later we will bang out the details, we will figure it out and we will do it together." Cail continues, "I have been playing drums maybe a year to a year and a half in being serious with it. Working with these guys has done nothing but made me better, learning finesse is probably the hardest thing I have had to do, because I am so heavy handed, emotions is what it is all about behind the drums."
Jeff advices "finesse is everything in music."

Inspiration...
Success comes the hard way for Jeff, "it is just experience the hard way for me" because he has collaborated on 46 Cds (including his own, which is to come out soon), Jeff stresses, "that is just forty six of the bands that were serious enough to get something done, that's not counting the other 700 that never made it out of one days practice, or the garage. It is hard, I think they all have the desire, they lack the drive. To be honest, I'd lack the drive too, but circumstances in life drive me which also gives me the inspiration to write. It's like people say I hate my bad life, well, no I'm learning to embrace it because that feeds the fuel to the fire and I feel like I ought to just be content with what God has given me even if it is bad, it is going to turn out beautiful and that is where I am at. I have nothing to fear, from now on I will be known as FreeJay, that is what my mom calls me, that has always been my nickname and it says alot..and I say why not? It is obviously a path I should have took because it has worked. I like when things work."

mixed tracks...
With debate, 47 albums were worked on in actuality, Jeff states, "we did an album but never played together." Mike clarifies, "I was emailed tracks and I just laid bass down and a couple of song programs I have gotten, - not one practice with that particular band," Mike laughs. Jeff adds, "good material though - could have worked, there you go with that - all the talent and desire but no drive. It is so weird what happened." Mike chimes in, "another guitar player gone bad." Jeff stated, "that is why I like to write my own stuff because this is what I hate, you write all this good music, you have a unique sound and you put your heart and soul, five years later, three albums in and boom they just quit, you're screwed, because if a label was interested, they want the whole package."

A background in music...
Jeff shares personally, "the truth is I met my grandma on my dad's side for the first time after 28 years, I met my dad and that whole side of my family finally. My grandma happened to be a famous R & B singer, Leona Rogers. Jeff expressed excitement, "I was like holy cow, man, wow! And I got to meet her and she said when you learn to use your voice, because I did metal or something and she said when you learn to sing and do soul then you have it right and she said I know it's in you. I said I have thought so for a long time and she said well, you're right. So, Try that on FreeJay. That is what my grandma said to me and it just blew me away." Jeff and his grandmother spoke further in regards to his talent and career and to that, Jeff says, "Almost overnight, two worlds of a difference, like a studio opened up, all these people came, we just filled in the gaps, got in the studio to get this project done, including Mike who recorded on the album as well. The album turned out beautiful, I cannot wait to get it back. Beauty is, it is done now, we can finally establish my grandma was right. Like the other day, we just came to play, we didnt know how it was going to turn out and the response we got out of the crowd, all sorts of ages!"


Networking in Harmony...
Jeff, a Macon native, lived a few years in Tennessee. Of the Tennesse scene, Jeff tells "on the scene the people are super, super supportive at the club, the scene and all the bands are wide open. Starting musicians can play on the street or at ball games and an appreciation comes to them. Down here - I can say this because I have been in the scene, in every aspect of it, even played a street party...In Macon, Georgia, it is much more difficult to find that support". Jeff elaborated that he was in Tennessee, performing at a football game at UT and a patron requested that Jeff put a hat out for tips. Jeff put his drum snare case out and kept on playing. In a matter of about four or five hours he made little over $800. After feeling the support of the scene, Jeff spoke of finding a rare coin in what he recieved in tips that night. He took the coin in and recived $14 for that one quarter. Jeff says "I want to bring that here, now that I have got some real connections in Tennessee, alot with the clubs and radio stations"... Jeff states, "The Hummingbird is connected in that scene, in a sense, they bring in the good groups to the scene. I want to try to talk with the owners and people we know in different clubs and try to do that here because it creates a good network for the bands." Mike stated, "It would be nice to get a good circuit going." Jeff agrees, "that is what's missing, In the nineties, the circuits were everywhere, just get on one and it was amazing, the bands were cool and you played all these cool cities and you knew that every club you were going to was a cool club, good crowd, good people whose supportive of the music." Jeff enthusiastically proclaims, "The Press Club - thats the coolest venue I have ever been to, anywhere, so far - it's small but the crowd, the atmosphere, the bands - its like no other." That is the atmosphere Jeff wishes to bring into Macon.
Mike shared, "something that bothers me about Macon is the fact that it claims to be a music city yet there is hardly any music in it." Mike articulates, "I am not saying the talent wasn't here, I was saying that there are limited places to play." Cail added, "There is so much music, that there is so little opportunity to be heard, for instance, the Power Station requires you to have a press kit." According to Cail, this is a concern as alot of musicians aren't aware as to how to acquire press kit.

Room for Music Growth...
Jeff is a veteran at spreading his love of music, "look, I used to do this in the ninties, and I believe it helped, I used to go and set up in Central City Park, create our own show. It's free, it's not against the law and as long as you're out by ten o'clock, it was perfectly cool. we would get hundreds of people down there and have our own show. Everybody would just set up on the gazebo, play until you're done, another band would set up and just created our own shows. But that created something so unique down there that it carried over onto Cherry Street. In the ninties there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people on Cherry Street. Now there may be a hundred people on Cherry Street." It's starting to grow again, I noticed some little stores opening back up and Mercer getting the Villas, kind of enhancing the college and that helps the city." Jeff elaborated that Mercer (or any independent entity), could start a local radio station, similar to what he witnessed in Tennessee, to help promote local music amongst the big hits, offering local musicians the opportunity to send in their music to the station for potential rotation. Mike warns, "you would have to find out what regulations they have." Jeff shared, "you used to not get the games televised, we are now starting to get the Mercer Bear games televised, people get into that...if Mercer were to get a football team, it would be where it's at!" Jeff used to perform at local college games in Tennessee, so he sees potential for Macon there as well.

Growing Ideas...
Jeff and a friend want to start "The Four Seasons Festival, every season we want to have it in the same location, like a three day weekend event and bring in bands from everywhere, and all these big bands and at the very end of the night have one headliner, don't have the financials now. I actually have the connections to make it happen."


All in good fun...
Jeff broke up the serious talk with an amusing joke in a sombrero.
Mike joked, "It only takes Jeff seven hours to do a two hour interview."
Cail poked fun at Jeff telling nearly his life story, "I am FreeJay", Cail giving a brief break down of events and adding ...."by the way my left hand got cut off in the war." Jokes continued about Jeff's conversational review, Jessica throws in a joke, "he is just excited about seeing actual people." Cail says of Jeff, "we are what you see, we are very comfortable people, man, that is basically how it is. Jeff, he is a goof ball, but at the same time he is as cool as water in a swimming pool." Of course, laughs continue to erupt. Mike jokes about Jeff's sweater, "Next show we do, you got to wear that Cosby sweater, man." Jeff counters, "I will have my pudding pops sitting on the stage."


Influences...
I finally was able to turn my attention to the quieter member of FreeJay & $2 Fortys, inquire about Mike's music background. Mike shared he began playing bass in 2000, Cail chimes in "A.D.," breaking out another laugh amongst us. Michael admits "I was a band geek in school and Captain of my percussion line back in high school." After high school, he decided to learn another instrument and "picked up a bass and started playing Metallica." That was the first influence, Mike adds "let's see if I can play this and I will be all right." Mike was further influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Dead Kennedy's.

Natural talent...
Jeff, aka "FreeJay," began playing a snare drum at the early age of four. Jeff recieved his first set of drums at nine and was a comfortable musician at tweleve. "Drums - my natural talent, I guess," says Jeff. At fourteen, Jeff took up playing acoustic guitar. He learned to play by ear and the talent has grown more so through the years. Jeff confesses, "I always wanted to play guitar, but was too lazy to take lessons, so over the years I learned to play by ear." Jeff admits, "I am very theatrical as well." He has performed in a nun costume with Kiss-style makeup, a performance to this effect actually was included in a video music compilation that Jeff shared.

Word...
Cail has been playing guitar for about 15 years, he elaborates, "I'm not a master solo artist or anything, I try my best to pull a solo out. You either have it or you don't, sometimes you just have to do it like it or not, but the show must go on. I learned by ear, I still do not know how to read music to this day. The drums for me, is a new experience all together, I like to say you got to be schizophrenic a little bit to play the drums, man - everything you have, every appendage is doing something completely different, man". Cail continues, "I am just tapping into my schizophrenia. It is a big world, man, but you got to exist in it man, to come into it at this band, because we do so many different things, not only in FreeJay & $2 Fortys, it has alot of depth to it and it's hard music to understand from a musicality stand point - it is hard to think about what you are playing (yes, Cail was picked on for saying "musicality," so just remember you heard it here first)."


Personal Thoughts Of the Music...
Jessica asked what I thought of FreeJay & $2 Fortys, I stated, "well obviously, I stayed, that says alot." I elaborated further with Jessica, "I think it will really come together for the guys. Jeff's experience is amazing. The talent of all three is unbelieveable! You know I thought a lot of them, because I gave you my contact info."

Cail expressed, "our style of music is something you don't hear every day." Cail describes FreeJay & $2 Fortys' music as "R & B mixed with a little jazz, mixed with a little southern rock, mixed with some funk, mixed with some..." Famine cuts Cail off to share, "it is like Batman riding around in the Batmobile listening to Sublime."

Jessica declares, "what I love about FreeJay & $2 Fortys and their music is that it is so eclectric, it isn't this genre or that genre, they are everything and I think that is what is going to attract alot of people because it is so different. It don't matter what genre you think you like, you can listen to them and like them."

Michael affirms of FreeJay & the $2 Fortys' music, "The harmonies are good, and I like the fact that you can dance or rock out to it."

Jeff "FreeJay" says, "I am for the people, I want to appeal to everyone in the show. I am genuine in my writing, I write for me - I write what makes me happy at the moment. I am enjoying this music, I am enjoying playing it." Jeff adds, "If it doesn't work, I can say I was genuine to me."

Cail closed out my interview and FreeJay & the $2 Fortys' band practice session with a beautiful acoustic original that he wrote, "Meteors."


More to come...
I was able to catch FreeJay & $2 Fortys playing another live gig on Tuesday, March 27 at The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom! Even with an instrument mishap and a missing musician, they never cease to impress! FreeJay & the $2 Fortys can pull off anything in my book! If you ever get the chance to be captivated by this vivacious talent, be there!


Rolling with the changes...
FreeJay & the $2 Fortys underwent band member changes since our interview with an addition of full-time drummer Phillip "Pip" Park, placing Cail "Boxxx" on guitar full time. "Pip" also takes part in another project called Failtrain. Shortly thereafter, Cail "Boxxx" departed when High Class and Homeless signed a contract, requiring "Boxxx's" undivided attention for now. Freejay & the $2 Fortys replaced Cail with local guitarist Cameron Sandoval. Cameron shared that he has been playing guitar for approximately thirteen years.

No matter what comes, keep expecting the unexpected as the energy of Freejay & $2 Fortys remains unchanged for this driven band. Cail added, "All I know is that the unexpected is what you can expect from every aspect of a spectacular group of musicians...and I hope we can meet the expectations of our spectators and special fans." Does this mean Cail may return? He definately has plans to work with the guys of this vivacious band in the future.

With a growing band and fan base, a name change came into play for FreeJay & $2 Fortys. After much deliberation between the band members, the name transformed to The Outlet. Philip Park shared of their name change,"We decided not to go with the $2 Forty's because we didn't want to portray the image of we were all a bunch of 40's drinkin hoodlums. We chose The Outlet because everyone needs an Outlet in life to deal with all the wrong in the world, to escape whats going on around us. Music is probably one of the biggest outlets and we hope that our music can be that outlet for everyone."


If you would like more information and music samples, please visit:
http://www.myspace.com/freejsupreme
http://www.facebook.com/FreeJay
http://www.reverbnation.com/hiho

For upcoming gig information or to book FreeJay & $2 Fortys, please contact Jessica Boone at 478-284-9190.

Friday

Phenomenal Cherry Blossom Music Tidbits

I attended the Cherry Blossom Festival Thursday, March 22, where I witnessed Bobby Ferguson perform his original song,"Carolyn," acoustically at the Cherry Blossom Festival. Amazing song writer! Bobby followed with three cover songs including Tom Petty's "Last Dance with Mary Jane."

Bobby spoke with me briefly after his performance on The Coca-Cola stage. This performance was actually a milestone for Bobby, who has not played for an audience in some time. Bobby had surgery five months ago in regards to a nerve in his right hand, with determination to play, Matt Moncrief worked with Bobby to help regain his ability to play guitar. With due diligence, Bobby plans to release an album in June with his band, Interlude featuring Matt Moncrief.
www.reverbnation.com/bobbyfergusonandinterlude


As Bobby and I spoke, Freejay took the stage and caught my attention with the energy coming from the stage! This three member rock band blew me away as the lead vocalist/guitarist swapped places with the drummer during their show. Freejay played original songs, "Price of Gas,""Notion of Fear," Disappointed," "Game," "Sleep," "A Place," and "Goat Man." Freejay also performed Sad'e cover "No Ordinary Love". Incredible talent to say the least! I spoke with band manager, Jessica, to assure I will collaborate more with these guys to get all the details!


http://www.myspace.com/freejsupreme








I returned to the Cherry Blossom Festival for more music on Friday, March 23. This time I caught a young country music talent from Dacula by the name of David Leon! David has a star-like voice, considering he is only 19! David is quiet the entrepreneur, as he sells his own CDs and pictures (with his Mom's help). To deepen the experience, David is prepared to autograph his CDs and pictures for his fans! I certainly plan to share more about David Leon in the future!
www.reverbnation.com/DavidLeon
http://facebook.com/DavidLeonMusic

As David Leon surrendered the stage, Louise Warren was the starlet with her scarlet guitar! This young artist strummed solo and sang her original songs for a growing crowd including "This Could Be Love," "Security Breach," "Tom Cat," "Every Soldier," "My Heart Is Yours," "Camaro," "Siren," "Lavendar Sound," and her country song, "A Little Bit Yours."
http://www.louisewarrenmusic.com
http://m.facebook.com/louisewarrenmusic

Louise Warren gracefully gave up the stage to Birmingham, Alabama talent Christa Jordan! Christa has a voice that reminds me of Paramore with a clean metal/rock vibe! This being the band's first show this year, Christa Jordan shared a brand new song, "Stand Against the Storm," with an unbelievable instrumental twist that reminds me of Nirvana. Christa expressed she turned to her faith at a time she felt insignificant and unloved and in turn she wrote a very special song called "Yours," that starts out with a solo acoustic guitar and is joined collectively by the band. Christa Jordan closed with another band original, as Christa introduced band mates(each with a solo part upon introduction): Brandon Watson on guitarist, Kyle Bolton on Bass, and Hunter Reid, on drums. The purple clad band continued to play "Dreams Come True," which cleverly incorporates Aerosmith's "Dream On" at the end and back into their original artistry. Amazing (I am so going to sound bias right now, but these guys were my favorite)!

After their riveting performance, Christa Jordan was ready to cash in on her talent as she and the band sold their new CD, "Dreams Come True," to fans! I should have made the purchase, I am ready to drive to Alabama for more! Definitely keep an eye out this rock goddess Christa Jordan in the future, if you are a rock/metal fan you will love her (and if she is willing to make the trip back to Macon, I will be there)!



http://www.myspace.com/officialcjordan/music>
http://www.christajordanmusic.com/
Other sites to follow Christa Jordan at:
www.myspace.com/officialcjordan
www.facebook.com/officialcjordan
www.reverbnation.com/christajordan
www.youtube.com/christajordanrocks
Follow Christa on Twitter!
www.twitter.com/christa_jordan




I would certainly say in two days, and only a few hours at the Cherry Blossom Festival, I took in five phenomenal performances!






Juliette Opry

Remeber that time that you were going through a particularly rough patch? Remember how that one song reflected what you were feeling, and it made you feel SO much better to crank it up and sing along? Sometimes, music does what nothing else on earth can do....It reaches in and gives us just what we need to make life easier to deal with.

The Juliette Opry offers that....
This locally-owned venue is open the first Saturday night of the month, March through November.

Local musicians gather up and jam on the front porch starting around 6 p.m. and then the featured act is inside on stage at 8 p.m. The venue generally features country, bluegrass and gospel, sometimes even a little Allman Brothers (Midnight Rider with a dobro is one of the most awesome things I have ever heard).
The venue is free but donations are accepted and needed for both the Artist and venue. They offer light refreshments, sodas, popcorn and homemade cupcakes at very low cost.
In today's ridiculous economy free is a good thing but they need folks and donations to keep this venue running. If you try them once I promise that you will come back .

The Juliette Opry cuts out all the fog and commercialism that distracts from the music. So, if at any point in your life a song has grabbed you by the heart.... You can relive those moments in Juliette.... at the Opry.

You can email us: Julietteopry@yahoo.com
This is just one of the featured acts you'll find at the Juliette Opry!!
http://forsythmonroe.13wmaz.com/news/arts-culture/69897-catherine-kimbro-juliette-opry

Thursday

Lane Richardson

I met Lane at an open mic recently, and found him to be VERY talented. He is young, in his early twenties, but he has the soul of an old man. His songs paint vivid portraits of heartache and pain, stained with the ironic relationship of love and hate and with a paintbrush dipped in influences of Irish folk, and American country.

He has many originals (which are totally worth the cover charge) but he can also fill the night with covers ranging from Hank Williams and Johnny Cash all the way to Mumford and Son's.

Find out more about him and his schedule on Facebook!

Wednesday

Macon Music- Listening Room

Silence. The occassional sound of someone shifting in their seat. No glasses clinking together. No one talking about Daytona. No one over-imbibing and trying to hook up with your date. Just silence.

Well, not JUST silence. There's a performer there, too. He'd have to be ridiculously good. But tonight is not the night that he entertains you with his crowd surfing. He won't be destroying his equipment, or cussing out the drummer. There won't be pyro or tshirt cannons.

He has a guitar and a microphone. We are all grownups here. He doesn't play to help you drown out you cares, your problems, your relationships long gone. His songs help you relive them. To help himself relive them. He talks about his past, his friendships and his losses. This is the goal of a songwriter's life-to have a roomful of people stop and absorb all the passion, the heartache, the pain, and love that pours from him. The crowd is made up of musicians and music aficionados- people who appreciate what it takes to put your soul to paper.
 Scott Pallot and Travis Bryant host an experience that has been absent from the 'nightlife' that is the Middle Ga. music scene. Thankfully, they did it right. Every show so far has sold out, and I am sure that will continue, because performers who would normally play 4 hours to a crowded nightclub with out breaking a sweat-walk off this stage in less than half that time visibly drained; and the audience is better for it.In this venue, performers give you all they've got, and more than they ever thought they would have to give.

It's music therapy, and 'intimate' is a word left wanting .

Check 'em out here.

Or view this video of Jason Taylor Hobbs on stage accompanied by Scott Pallot.

Flat Bridge

4 piece band out of Macon. Aidan Dibble, Lance Daniel, Stephen Thigpen, and Steven Taylor. They are recording their first album right now and you can get a sneak peek here.

Sweet Mckenzie and Grey Sky Day are really cool, well arranged songs. Their music has a very 'signature' quality to it, although I can't exactly explain it. At first listen it sounds almost off key or maybe the vocals aren't mixed right, but in no time, you get used to it and it makes the song 100 times better than if it sounded "perfect" from the begininng. It is a much needed injection of raw and real, in a world of digital masterpieces.

They bring a great combination of Country and Rock- I guess you would call it Americana with grit. I'm really looking forward to listening to the whole album. I'm curious as to whether they have stumbled across something or if it's by design.

Rock on, brothers. You have set the bar high.

Monday

Back City Woods

Southern Americana at it's finest! These good ol' boys bring out the footstomping mountain man in ya.
Their energy is infectious and their style unique- but in the best way possible.

Just try to imagine a bottle of moonshine beside a spitoon; both being shaken off the stage by a crowd of college kids stomping to a set of  "homegrown country/bluegrass" flavored "GIT DOWN" music.

This is what your Grandma got aroused by when SHE was in college on Cumberland Mountain. The formula worked back then...and it STILL gets the ladies sweatin'.


For Booking: contact Adam Smith:  His email is.....    booking@backcitywoods.com

http://backcitywoods.com/

You can hear them here.
or Reverbnation



Home

Saturday

Big Ernie's Garage Band

A collection of historical musicians in the Georgia area that grew up performing in the 60's and 70's, now performing at special events and festivals. "We customize the gig to the age group" according to Ernest F. Rogers (percussionist, drummer and founder of the group). " We have performed in the past with Joey Stuckey as lead vocal and guitar." Basically we change the musicians to the demand of the event whether it is rock, soul, R&B, reggae, jazz or world music. Big Ernie also performs solo doing corporate events, parties and lectures at libraries / schools on art, music, culture, anthropology and music.

Contact (478) 414-6830.
and more info  here.
Rogers Entertainment LLC



Home

The Missin' Links Showband

This band is FUN! Here's a list of the bandmembers...

 
Dusty Malone
Rocky Malone 
Killer Malone
Hatchet Malone
Caveman Malone
Slick Malone
Doc Malone
Sparky Malone
Crystal Malone
China Malone
Diamond Malone.


Ok, yes. It sounds like a bunch of gangsters and flapper girls got together and formed a band...And the name...The Missin' Links Showband makes me think that they all look like Sasquatch.....Far from it Ladies are gorgeous and the fellas are gentlemen. They've put the time in to get great at puttin' on a show and it is immediately apparent when the walk in the door!

"Georgia's #1 beach music band, The Missin' Links Showband, has been thrilling audiences throughout the southeast since 1965. The group's powerful horn and rhythm sections have been heard at venues like Savannah Ga's Oktoberfest, The Ga Peach Festival, The Ga Peanut Festival, The Cherry Blossom Festival, and many other private venues through out the south."

 "The Missin’ Links Showband is recognized as Georgia’s premiere oldies and beach music group. The group continues to perform at select night clubs, weddings, reunions, and corporate events. The sound that was born in 1965 has not changed, but has grown more powerful over the years. The music of a generation lives on in The Missin’ Links Showband."

Check 'em out here!

Friday

Highclass and Homeless

A FIRED UP rap group from Macon/Warner Robins, GA formed by 2 former members of Sinville! these guys are really making a lot of noise and getting attention in Middle Ga.!!! If you can picture Hardcore HipHop meets an Electronics Doctor...."Boxxx" and "Famine" will help you to understand!

Famine-Vocals/Mad Scientist
Boxxx-Vocals/Laboratory Manager

You should check 'em out!!!
www.reverbnation.com/hiho2011

Photo

Thursday

Frances and Michelle

Female vocal/piano duo. Also members of The Neon Jug Band and the Air Force Band and have performed around the world with artists such as Daughtry, Blues Traveler, Wynonna Judd, Lee Greenwood, Jamie Oneal, and Take Six.

Wide variety from Elton John to Lady Gaga and just about everything in between .

Also available for restaurants and private parties .
Facebook says:
        
"Fabulous female duo rocking out on piano and vocals. We perform pop, rock, easy listening, and heart wrenching ballads....."

I don't think they dress this way onstage, but if they do; who cares? They sound as good as they look!

Just Friends

Are you in the mood for some music for grown folks? These guys are a GREAT R&B band! I found them playing at Applebee's on Riverside Dr. (YES. Applebee's) They are a full 6 piece band, and they play GREAT! I heard them soundcheck with The Temptaions' "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", and NAILED IT! No horns here, but the keyboards did the trick. I have seen most bands in Middle Ga. and I have to put these guys in the top 2%.  Definitely cream of the crop.

They're pretty new, so at this point there is no FB page. But you can call any of these guys for booking info: Michael Horgerbrook- 478-978-2987
Johnny Johnson- 478-978-9763
Wilke Hill  478-731-7443

Joey Stuckey

How can I describe Joey Stuckey?

Well... He owns Shadow Sound Studios....He owns Senate Records....and he teaches Music and Marketing at Mercer University.

This would be a pretty good accomplishment for anyone.

Oh that's not enough? How bout this.......?

He graduated high school at 14, He is an AWARD WINNING guitarist, songwriter, singer, composer, producer, radio and TV personality, music columnist, inspirational speaker, and sound engineer. He began his musical career studying with renowned guitarists Stanley Jordan and Steve Crowell.

All of this is pretty incredible, for sure...
But there's more.

 He has shared the stage with Ted Nugent, Bad Company, Trisha Yearwood, James Brown, Clarence Carter, Wet Willie, the B-52's, Kevin Kinney (of Drivin' and Cryin'), and Smashmouth.

He fronts an allstar jazz band and a power rock band -The Joey Stuckey Trio

OH. Did I mention he's been blind since he was an infant?

His list of accomplishments seems neverending, even that of legend.... but accolades aside, How does he SOUND?

Here he is on youtube doing Stevie Wonder's Superstition. Even with the poor sound quality of this fan recording, it is obvious that Joey has a gift. He would be the perfect musician for ANY circumstance!

Channel 41 did an article on him.
and now he hosts Studio 41....WMGT TV's outlet for Local Music
You can check it out ...Here
or his radio show at Joey Stuckey's audio-style
also being broadcast at www.artistfirst.com
facebook
website

Email contacts joey@joeystuckey.com

What is Mid Ga Live?

I'm glad you asked. MidGaLive is now a brick and mortar live music venue for all of you fresh local bands who need a place to gig....But...