I had the pleasure of chatting with Joram Nathan from Jimmy Bazil Project (JBP). Jimmy Bazil Project is local in New South Wales, Australia, and I traveled overseas on my wide world of web to get a little insight on JBPs progressive blues style and soulful sound. Joram Nathan was kind enough endure my intense questioning about the beginnings of Jimmy Bazil Project and the formation of this dynamic trio.
Q: I was really drawn to your group when I first heard it because your alternative interpretation of blues music, and given that I live in the Ozarks of Missouri it struck a chord. Naturally, the lyrics kept me tuned in. There’s a soulful longing expressed through your music and that could create a vast expanse of listeners who can either relate or empathize. The song “Ultimatums” is one of my favorites.
What inspired Jimmy Bazil Project to hone in on progressive blues?
JN: I found the blues through Stevie Ray Vaughn. Specifically it was his version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” It was after that that I started experimenting with the sounds I wanted. I didn’t want to play straight 12 bar blues all the time so I made the unconscious decision to use more augmented sounding progressions. It was more about writing for myself than anyone else. A form of therapy, I guess. I entertained the idea of getting together a power trio in the vein of Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and SRV & Double Trouble. Nothing really came of that idea till later.
The whole progressive blues style developed on its own. We have an eclectic range as far as our song writing is concerned. Ken, Dom and I all had different backgrounds in music. All drawing from what we already knew, while at the same time, learning a different style from the ground up. It was in no means a bad thing. Without stone set rules and structures to bind you in a particular way, you have free range over what you can do artistically. Now that Dom has left us and Feheely (Our current Bassist Chris Feheely) has joined, he is bringing a new range stylistically to the music.
The thing is, while what we do is rooted in the blues, the songs would not all fall into that genre. We felt that Progressive Blues was the best way to cover everything we do. The songs have always started as a basic guitar progression or riff, then lyrics that I’ve been playing around with. The boys have responded to these structural skeletons and we’ve built from there. That being said we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. We go away and listen to everything. I have a playlist that is about six hours of Buddy Guy, BB King, Albert King, Stevie Ray. Clapton (With and Without Cream), Robert Johnson, Albert Collins, the majority of the blues greats.
We do however, have other artists from outside the blues circle that influence us heavily. For instance one of my all time favourite records is “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. We all love Dave Matthews Band, there is so much out there. Why not draw from everything?
Q: I am also curious as to what really brought the group together. What keeps the group so in sync? What gives you energy to play on??
JN: As far as what keeps us together goes. Sheer force of will? Just kidding. It’s without a doubt the love of music. If you love doing something in particular, why do anything else? Nothing will satisfy you the way working at your passion will. What helps is the fact that I am fortunate enough to work with two of my best friends. Common ground seems to be the glue which holds us together. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and we take on the load that appropriately suits us. It makes it really easy to work together and continue to get onstage and do our thing.
Q: Lastly, if I could get a little insight on your song “Ultimatums” that would be fabulous. What were the events that sparked this song?
JN: We find what we like musically and bend it to our needs. I have tried to keep lyrical content as honest as possible; everything was from a very blunt perspective. Most of the songs are small embellishments of true stories and experiences.
“Ultimatums” is no different. A relationship turned sour and I wasn’t happy. She put it to me that if I wasn’t going bow to her will, then we would be over. I’d been given an ultimatum like that in a prior relationship, it lead to a long year of perpetual torment for me. Since then I had stood firmly on how I feel about that kind of manipulation. It wasn’t for a while until I wrote that song, I had a real SRV boogie thing going on and it seemed to need some lyrics that weren’t at all subtle. I used the argument as a basis, and my distaste for the whole situation as fuel. It was a good vent and it’s super fun to play.
Thank you Joram and Jimmy Bazil Project.
“It’s the music that brings us together!”
Carly Jo Jackson is a typical nineteen-year-old who is taking college classes to achieve a degree. What makes her anything but typical is her music career. While some classify her as a college student, others classify her as a singer, song writer, and guitar player of multiple music genres such as Pop, Pop Rock, Indie Pop/ Acoustic Pop. I had a chance to ask Carly Jo about her music style along with many other questions. Here is what she had to say:
Q: Carly Jo, there are so many different genres that I see associate with your music. What genre would you say you best fit into?
Carly Jo: That’s really hard to say because as an artist, you never want to single yourself into one genre you want to reach as many listeners as you can. Pop doesn’t mean “Brittney Spears,” or “Hannah Montana,” it means “popular.” It crosses genres to meet all audiences. I am also planning to work on some hip hop and rockin’ roll in the near future.
Q: Let’s talk more specifically about your music. You write your own stuff?
Carly Jo: Yes.
Q: Wildflower is a beautiful song with lyrics such as “Wash away the pain and give me strength.” What is this song about?
Carly Jo: People tend to have a hard time coming to grips with other people and understanding them. I got this from my mom but I always try to “put myself in other people’s shoes” and I think everyone should do this. Wildflower is about accepting everyone for who they are, reaching out to them and giving them a chance to say they are a wildflower too. They don’t have to be scared and conform. We need to get used to differences.
Q: Reverb Nation says you “were coming to grips with your uniqueness and individuality. Talk more about that. How are you unique and how do you strive to be an individual?
Carly Jo: I’m a klutz, I’m loud, I’m goofy, and always joking, but I do have a serious side.
Q: There seems to be a theme running through many of your songs in the same way Adele has a theme of “break up” songs. Can you talk about Heartless, Just Another Game, and This is Good-Bye?”
Carly Jo: There was a pattern in that all songs are written as the result of something I was going through when I was fifteen and sixteen-years-old. I was in a relationship similar to ones my older sisters were going through; it was very mature for my age. I remember feeling this emotional height and sitting down to write. Writing is like squeezing toothpaste out of a bottle with the cap on, then the cap goes flying off and the toothpaste goes everywhere. There was this huge release. I just poured myself into the lyrics. I was able to realize, even at a young age, some issues in the relationship and what to look for in the future.
Q: You mention your sisters. Tell me about your family.
Carly Jo: I have two older sisters, I’m the youngest. There’s Tessa, who is the oldest and a “mom” figure. She just graduated college with a perfect GPA. Lexis was always sort of a rebel but now she’s finished college. I had ADHD and have always been the goof of the family.
Q: I notice college seems to be very important to your family and you are currently attending college as well. How are you balancing college and your music career?
Carly Jo: Well, let me tell you, that has been a challenge. I have disappointed my mom before by skipping a class or two to go to a gig. I recently pulled out of Florida Atlantic University and am attending a state college closer to home and am doing online classes. My mom wasn’t too happy. Education, in my family, is very important and solid. For me, it’s Plan B where music is Plan A. I want music to surround my education. I’m not going to lie, it has been in the back of my mind to quit college and go career.
Q: How supportive of your music is your family?
Carly Jo: Very! In fact, we have been called the “lovey, dovey family.” We are always hugging and showing support. My mom is my “mom-ager.” If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am with my guitar and website… My family has never doubted me. It has become very emotional. They actually cry after my shows.
Q: You mention your guitar, which you got at sixteen-years-old and you are currently taking lessons. How have you progressed?
Carly Jo:It’s a process and a challenge but I have grown to be a supported musician. Guitar can be intimidating. Lessons are helping me become stronger. When I was first playing, I was just plain strumming and I’ve grown to picking styles. It’s hard to get a rhythm of singing and playing. But once you get the guitar, it’s easier to get other instruments. I also play the Eukalali.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge to overcome?
Carly Jo: Telling my family that I wanted to sing. When I was younger, they thought my singing was cute but to make it a reality was tough. They said, “Carly Jo, do you even know how to sing?” To sing in front of them was terrifying but my family was supportive. I even tried out for a vocal audition the next day and got it. I had lost the original song I was supposed to sing so I just sang something from my heart.
Q: What advice would you give upcoming artists trying to break in to the biz?
Carly Jo: Just try. If you love singing, get vocal lessons. Never think you’re “done” or you have “arrived.” Keep trying. Set goals and be better.
I had so much fun talking to you, Carly Jo. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to talk in a candid way about your music. You truly showed us how “It’s the music that brings us together.”
My first assignment as the Lead Correspondent for MaxMoon Entertainment was to interview Country Western singer and star, Payton Taylor. This was a particular honor for me as I am a fan of Payton’s music. Each song is an original variation from the last. My personal favorite If I Can’t Have Tomorrow with its catchy lyrics and cool beat, is a great fit for Payton’s incredible voice. This can be contrasted with her song Can’t Trust the Weatherman where a fiddle brings in the intro of the song and plays throughout the chorus. I got the opportunity to ask Payton which song is her favorite.
I was thrilled to hear it was Love, Don’t Give Up because she wrote the song. I also learned that this was an accomplishment that Payton plans to pursue as a future goal. In an effort to become a better songwriter, Payton plans to write her next entire soundtrack in conjunction with co-writers. Judging from Love, Don’t Give Up, I’d say Payton is well on her way to accomplishing this goal. Payton is also working to master the guitar in order to become a well-rounded musician.
Payton was discovered when she was eleven-years-old by her manager, Joe Caliva, who was working sound for a local show. Payton was singing What I Did for Love, a Broadway show tune, with as much passion and emotion as an adult. Joe was awestruck. “She had a stage presence,” said Joe. But it wasn’t until a trip to Nashville, TN in 2009 that Payton fell in love with the culture and history of Country music. When she sang her first Country song on stage via karaoke, she found a perfect fit.
At fifteen-years-old, Payton Taylor has had to overcome some obstacles to her career, mainly her age. In a market where Justin Bieber, Miley Cirus, and a handful of Disney stars are wildly popular, Payton worries about becoming “gimmicky.” She is serious about her career and does not plan to be short term. Another obstacle that works against her is time. It’s not easy to balance family, school, and her career. In fact, Payton and I discussed her decision to finish her education by homeschooling. She does not consider school in itself a struggle because she loves learning and this new track will enable her to take college classes now, rather than having to wait. Her family has always been a strong support network for her, not only in her career, but in anything that Payton has ever decided to pursue. Payton went as far as to use the word “backbone.” When I asked Payton for advice for future musicians looking to break into the business, she brought up this “backbone” once again. Her advice is this: “Don’t give up. Be prepared to work hard. Make sure you have strong support.”
You can find Payton’s music at www.reverbnation.com/paytontaylor.
Thank you to Payton and her manager, Joe, for taking the time to talk to me, Angela Heather Hammond, Lead Correspondent for MaxMoon Entertainment Encore where “It’s the music that brings us together.”