Showing posts with label original music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label original music. Show all posts

Monday

The Matt Brantley Band


I just heard their debut
WOW! these guys are going to tear it up!
 They will be playing Sept 21 in Sandersville.

I have GOT to check this out!!!

From Their Reverbnation Bio:

Matt Brantley is the 2012 second place winner of the Milledgeville Idol. He's bursting onto the Middle GA. music scene playing covers ranging from classic country gold to edgier newer country. But, don't mistake this boy from Ivey GA. for some spit polished, Music Row boxed and packaged deal. You just have to come to one of his shows and check him out. His band is made up of top notch players from his hometown and out of Sandersville GA. Ken Zeke Dixon also from Ivey is one of his two more than capable guitarist, along with Jason Black. Laying down the groove on bass is Chris Lanthrip. And the foundation of the band is Johnny Brewer on the drums. This is a tight group of musicians breathing life back into a suffocating music scene, not to mention they can throw one helluva party. If you're ever out and you see a flyer for this band, take note and go check 'em out. It'll be well worth your time and money!!!

The Matt Brantley Band on Reverbnation!

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.

LSD Crescent Moon Dogs

I wasn't expecting to go out on Friday, February 2, but fate pulled me to Friends On the Hill where I found Steven strumming his guitar and singing, as he was in a Lenny Kravitz hair fashion. I enjoyed the music as I found out that Steven was warming up the crowd for a bigger show to come, gaining word that Lance Rodriquez and Dustin were there as well.

The crowd anticipated.

To set the mood of what was to come, center stage was a bison skull, atopped with an inscent aglow and setting the scene with a vibrant fragrance. After much anticipation, Steven returned to the stage on guitar, bringing Lance to the drums, and Dustin on bass and lead vocals for most songs. Jokes broke out on stage and were woven between songs. The crowd jammed out to rock, hard rock, and metal songs performed through the night as LSD Crescent Moon Dog performed originals and additional cover songs, which are a rarity from this predominently original band.

This show was a treat for fans as a prequel and fundraiser for the new EP that LSD Crescent Moon Dogs will hopefully be releasing this upcoming March. Keep an eye out for these guys!

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!






Sunday

The Vineyard Band

I met Amber Marie Pierce for the first time on February 3, as she sat at Louise Warren's table at The Mellow Mushroom in Macon. My first impression of Amber was she is very pretty and quiet, as her mind seemed to be elsewhere. I did not realize her talent or who she truly was until she took the stage as lead vocalist of The Vineyard Band. I fully understood in that moment why Amber seemed miles away only moments before, as she is charismatic with a June Carter like voice on stage! As if the voice wasn't enough stage presence, Amber has an eye-catching, retro microphone, which makes a great band signature piece! Mind you, I have not been a country music fan in years, this night and The Vineyard Band changed that for me! Composed original songs with cover country songs from Hank Williams III and other popular country music artists comprises The Vineyard Band. The Vineyard Band's twangy originals "Cheap Motel Rooms," "Beach," and "1941," sold me! In fact, I was not certain "Cheap Motel Rooms" and "Beach" were an authentic at first, (sure, I had never heard them), the songs seemed star-studded to me as they flowed flawlessly, vocally and musically.


On March 13, 2012, The Vineyard made "All Songs" Charts with original songs, "Cheap Motel Rooms" ranking #24 and "Funky Song" ranking #92, check out http://www.uvumi.com for more!

Fans were lucky with two opportunities to catch The Vineyard Band on Saint Patrick's Day in Macon! At four in the afternoon, The Vineyard Band was playing their popular country songs in Central City Park at The Cherry Blossom Festival. At seven in the evening, The Vineyard Band, with their names on the marquee, were the stars at The Opening Act!

After taking in the wonderful music, I wanted to know more about The Vineyard Band. Amber shared with me that she and her brother, Andrew Pierce, have collaborated on creative endeavors since childhood. Together, Amber and Andrew, devoured music by memorizing albums, creating their own musical plays and acting them out. They most loved Broadway, oldies, and country music. Amber and Andrew were rivaled by another sibling who was in a metal band, he introduced them to various forms of independent rock music, which opened their eyes to the independent world of creativity. Shortly after, Amber and Andrew were trying to learn instruments and write songs of their own. Amber and Andrew grew to form two bands, The Vineyard and Baby Blue.

The Vineyard initially started as a fusion of reggae, soul, blues, and punk rock 'n roll. Amber stated they were told if modern day "sock hops" existed, that is where they would play. Amber, Andrew, and band mates "slammed" everything they loved about music into The Vineyard.

Baby Blue was artistically different than The Vineyard, the songs were played on acoustic guitar with a beat machine, Andrew rapped, as Amber sang the hooks. Amber describes this experience as "cool," although she adds, "the band did not last long because most people think they want to be in a band, until they actually realize how much is actually involved with it."

With only Amber and Andrew left in the smolder, they decided to keep acoustics and continue songwriting.

About three years ago, Sean Cargile joined the band on bass. Sean and Amber attended college together as Music majors. They drifted apart as Sean attended Audio Engineering school, but quickly reconnected as Sean returned. Although Sean had a rock 'n roll background with little country music listening experience, he liked Amber and Andrew's songs. Amber stated, "he is just as dedicated as we are and cares about the music as much as we do," in regards to Sean being a strength to The Vineyard. Sean is incredibly talented, can play several different instruments. Amber, Andrew, and Sean share a side project group called The Haints.

The Vineyard has been through a few changes,(what band has not undergone a member change or two), during the last year. James Wolf, a local music teacher, multi instrumentalist, plays peddal Steel in The Vineyard. Amber admits, "James is the perfect addition to our band's style. We have always wanted a steel player for our music." Amber describes, "our style is a very pure form of country, authentic country usually involves peddal steel."

The newest member, Joe Jackson, joined The Vineyard a few months ago. "We have been friends for a few years and we had been wanting Joe to drum with us for awhile, but things only recently worked out for everyone," Amber says. Joe shared of his drumming experience,"started playing/beating on pans and stuff very young, around three or four - playing actual drums since about twelve. I saw Buddy Rich (big band/jazz drummer) on the Johnny Carson show and then saw Kiss' Peter Criss and I was hooked!" Joe adds "Influences...everything I've heard!"

Most recent change for The Vineyard was determining to add to the name as they have added members to the band, therefore they are now The Vineyard Band! What is behind the name one may ask? Amber answers "we are making music in a genre that is thirsty for real, down to earth, authentic music. We like to think that our music quenches that thirst, much like a vineyard provides fruit for wine." The Vineyard Band is self described as, "a young band with an old soul, bringing back sounds of traditional country and folk music with a new and unique spin. Features twangy steel peddle guitar, vocals that wail, heartfelt songwriting, lots of harmonies, and that funky bass."

The Vineyard Band is recording at Love SIC Recordings in downtown Macon, owned and engineered by Sean Cargile. The album to be titled after The Vineyard Band's song, "Cheap Motel Rooms," will hopefully release early this coming summer!

With so much excitement and enthusiasm, what is next for The Vineyard Band? Amber says, "We are hoping for a fiddle player next."

For booking information please email Brandy@theVineyardBand.com.
Also check out these links for more about The Vineyard band:
facebook.com/TheVineyardBand
youtube.com/TheVineyardBand
twitter.com/TheVineyardBand
reverbnation.com/TheVineyardBand
last.fm/music/The+Vineyard
myspace.com/theVineyard3
ezfolk.com/The_Vineyard/
*The Vineyard can also be found on Uvumi.com & thesixtyone.com*





Saturday

All In The Name Of Music

I had another spectacular Friday night in down town Macon!

I attended Louise Warren's solo performance at The Opening Act. Louise opened her set with "Charmed," to a small crowd, including musician friend, Amber Marie Pierce of The Vineyard Band. On this night, Louise is particularly pulling at my emotions. She continues to do so with "Colder By The Minute," "Walls," "In My Dreams," and "Lavender Sound." Louise lightens the mood for me with her camp story in regards to sharing "Get To Know You." Louise sang "Oh, So Simple," for the second time in my presence, again tugging at my heart strings. Louise shared her conundrum as to whether a song is better written in light of oneself or if it is better written as a metaphor as pieces of the writer, then she sang, "Every Soldier." Louise closed the set with her witty song, "You're a Dork."

After Louise's set closed, I chatted with another musician who had taken a seat next to me, Bobby Ferguson of Interlude. I will collaborate with Bobby more in the future, as we spoke about his upcoming Cherry Blossom gig, and his plan to release a record in June.

After briefly expressing to Louise Warren her effect on me this evening, I exited The Opening Act talking with Bobby Ferguson, and became distracted by a harmonious sound from Fowl Play! I had to hear more, be closer! That energetic vibe was coming from Farewell Disaster and the music, including "My Little Vulture," (which I quickly became) appears to be original alternative/rock material! You must check these guys out!

I hung around Fowl Play to hear Great White Lion Snake, the 80's/90's cover rock/metal band as they opened with "Round and Round," originally performed by Ratt. The vocalist got off to a shakey start as he was difficult to hear over the instruments for throughout the first song, except for the chorus. It was unclear if there was a mic problem, as I asked the restaurant manager and he stated the bands have their own sound techs. The second song came out clearer as the issue seemed to have resolved, as the band covered "Raise your Hands," a Bon Jovi original. Great White Lion Snake continued with Poison's "Look What The Cat Dragged In," and Skid Row's "18 & Life." I can say Great White Lion Snake kept a happy crowd (and restaurant manager) as I called it a night due to exhaustion and a (pollen induced)headache.

A fantastic night of various genres and a bit of helpful info for my musician friends: if you want to book Fowl Play, contact Brian as he handles bookings and Fowl Play tends to book all genres, including a current crowd favorite Dueling Pianos!

http://www.louisewarrenmusic.com
http://www.reverbnation.com/bobbyfergusonandinterlude
www.m.facebook.com/thevineyardband
www.reverbnation.com/TheVineyardBand
www.m.facebook.com/GreatWhiteLionSnake


Tuesday

A Note-Worthy Night at Joshua Cup with Louise Warren

Saturday, March 10, I arrived at Joshua Cup at 7:24 PM. I walked up to the counter for assistance in choosing a cup of "Wake Me Up". Will, a friendly Joshua Cup employee, narrowed my choices down to three and then recommended his favorite,the White Bo. As my latte was being prepared, I noticed the Georgia Coffee cake and had to have that as well! I was ready to take on what the evening had to offer as I enjoyed my delectables.

Louise Warren arrived at Joshua Cup and began to prepare for her set as I diminished my sweet tooth. Louise warmed up and greeted everyone as I noticed she had yet to obtain her water. I also needed a water to chase the sugar, so I went back to the counter and ordered two waters. I casually dropped Louise's water to her stage (yes, on this night this was her stage), and Louise graciously accepted my gesture of kindness.

Louise Warren officially took the stage at 8 PM, opening her first set of the evening with, "Charmed." Among the fifteen Louise Warren original songs, she included her self proclaimed jazz song "Hunt Me Down" and new songs, "Forgiven," and "Smile." Louise played "Wake Me Up, paying a special homage to Joshua Cup in changing lyrics from, "Wake me up with your coffee, " to "Wake me up with your J-Cup," through some help of the Joshua Cup employees. The lyric change up produced a few laughs, Louise's humor continued through the evening, as she also shared stories with her audience.

During the brief intermission, I shared with Louise's mom that in every show and in speaking with Louise, I see her as a role model, not just for girls, but for me as well. Louise has me wanting to improve myself in many ways.

Following intermission, Louise Warren's second set opened with her sassy original, "Tom Cat." Humor and excitement exuded as Louise shared a story about singing "Tom Cat" during a song-writer's performance at The Opening Act called "In The Round," where she recieved her best reaction to the song to date. Louise's songs, jokes, and stories continued to flow. Will helped Louise out with a couple beats from behind the counter as he prepared coffee for patrons. Louise foretold that "Every Soldier," is actually her most heart-felt written song to date, the most personally expressed thru a metaphor. Louise strummed her red guitar and sang, "You're A Dork," with fun and humor to lighten the mood again. The final song of the night was "Stay", (raising the song count for the night to somewhere around thirty). Fans did stay to chat with Louise before exiting the previously harmonious and aromatic coffee house. I also spoke with the young, delightful talent, Louise affirmed, "playing here (Joshua Cup) feels like home". Louise also added that she is greatful to all the venues that have given her opportunity, there are many that have been good to her.

Joshua Cup has more than coffee to offer Macon, the pastries are delicious, the pleasant employees are willing to help in any way they can, and live music to top it all off! You never know who you may catch there next, although Will admits he can be found musically entertaining at "J-Cup" often. I can honestly say I was in attendance of a (music) note-worthy, fun performance by Louise Warren!

http://www.louisewarrenmusic.com

Saturday

Dance and Songbird Fever on First Friday

I discovered another side of downtown Macon on Friday, March 2!

On the first Friday of each month, throughout most of the year, dance lessons are offered at The Sports Hall of Fame at 7:30PM. My night began, despite my two left feet, as I was given a beginner's lesson in Rumba, The Electric Slide, and a Salsa variation, the name for which I do not recall!

The lessons are offered to all for a nominal fee of $5 per person, whether beginner, intermediate, or expert. This is a bargain and I am so appreciative to Mr. Dolan Maples for inviting me, as I plan to continue lessons!

I chose to walk to my next destination on this beautiful, unseasonally warm night. As I walked the 400 block of Cherry Street, an amazing talent caught my ear from Bearfoot Tavern. I stopped to savor my first moment of listening to Josh Carson! He is definately on my must catch list!

My night continued just down the sidewalk at The Hummingbird Stage & Taproom where I chatted with friends and witnessed another great performance by none other than Louise Warren! Louise opened her set with one of my favorites, "Tom Cat," (but then again, which Louise Warren song isn't my favorite?).

 Louise brilliantly interacted with the audience with her authentic, clever song "Stephen" and gained many new fans! Louise continued her fan-fare as she closed with her self described country song, "Little Bit", because she is a little bit yours!

Matt Moncrief & Stoopgrass promptly took the stage upon Louise's fabulous introduction! Stoopgrass played a phenomenal set, including crowd favorites "Enough" and "Winter"! Fortunately, their performance was being recorded for a live CD. Believe me, you are going to want a copy of your very own!

With so much excitement, it was sad to see the evening come to a close, but there is always the next big gig! I cannot wait!

Friday

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

Monday

Free Lance Ruckus

Genre: Mixture of many.
Members: Richard Martin, Emmett Hardwick, Chris Covey, Dustin McCook
Hometown: Haddock, GA

Mostly influenced by popular rock-n-roll of the sixties and seventies. Modern influences include Sublime, Phish, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, 311, Rage against the machine, ...you get the idea.

 Richard Martin (Lead singer) is a great showman, his vocals are in key, on time, and powerful. He can convey the emotion and attitude that the song requires and he does with gusto. He weaves together a tapestry of music that stretches across decades and genres and makes it look easy.

Dustin McCook (Lead Guitar) is widely regarded as a child prodigy. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked if I have heard about that 'new kid'. Now that I have seen him play, I know what everyone is talking about. He has the SRV tone NAILED. He's got the licks, but seeing him play is an added treat. This kid is BAD. Every moment he has his guitar in his hand, is a photo opportunity. He is definitley someone to keep an eye on as he continues forward.

Chris Covey and Emmett Hardwick hold down the rhythm section like seasoned pros, while Richard and Dustin tear up the stage, give musicians inspiration, and the crowd perspiration. These guys are a REAL band. Without a doubt; one of the best-kept secrets in Middle Ga.

Bit Covey has gotten the best videos of Free Lance Ruckus around.
Start checking out the Bit Covey videos here, but don't stop! scroll through them all....and then go catch 'em live.

Booking Agent/Press Contact
Jeanne Hardwick (478) 414 - 8322
Or contact Richard Martin through 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.

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

SeVeR

A Heavy Rock trio with heavy breakdowns, powerful choruses and a great stage presence.

Nate Jackson - Guitar/Vox
Cail 'Boxxx' Huggins - Drums
Seth Fort - Bass

Check 'em out here!!

Wednesday

Endo

Endo (AKA Adam Thompson) exploded onto the Middle Ga. music scene with the very popular underground rap group Sinville. These days he is taking his message solo. Endo is the type of rapper you had better take seriously...All musicians have music in their heart, but Endo also has HEART in his MUSIC and MADNESS is his delivery system. Grab a telephone pole or something, cause this dude is going to BLOW YOU AWAY.

Check him out here-

Saturday

sunDollars

Sean Williams, Jacob Bruner, Steven Coley, and Patrick Mcafee.........

Young, but surprisingly experienced, group of gifted musicians. I expect Middle Ga. to be a speck in their rearview mirror very soon. Equal parts musicians and showmen, they win the hearts of the ladies and the respect of the most hardened critics. This is the type of band that Middle Ga. has been missing.

From the Beatles to Modest Mouse they'll blow you away with Alternative Music, Blues, Pop music, Rock and Roll, Southern Rock, original music. Great for Corporate Entertainment, or as a Wedding band!

'Like' them on facebook.

Check out some early video!

Thursday

Shawn Bradshaw

A Singer/songwriter with a pen dipped in whisky!!!
Shawn brings country boy grit to the artform. Great originals and catchy covers!
The ladies love Shawn, and he tries his best to love 'em back!
So, if you like Acoustic guitars, Coffee shop music, Country music, Original music, Songwriter, in and around Macon, Warner Robins, and Columbus- Shawn is your man!
Contact him on facebook here.

Jason Lowery

This guy is really putting his foot down as a musical giant in Middle Ga. If you haven't heard him yet, check him out!!!
His style is reminiscient of early Rehab. He has that professional work ethic so many up-and-comers miss, and he keeps his eye on the prize. Seriously. Give this dude a moment....he'll prove himself. He's gonna be famous. Count on it.

You'll find him listed in Acoustic guitars, Columbus, Hip Hop, Macon, original music, Pop music, Songwriter, Warner Robins
www.jlpopmusic.com/

Just Us

Seasoned pro's who regularly sit in with touring acts-

Scott Pallot
Rhonda Porter
Gary Porter
Ken Wynn
Johnny Fountain
and occasionally Cal Miller!

If you have seen any big name act in Macon recently, One or more of these band members was probably on that stage, too! THIS is what live music is supposed to sound like!

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...