Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Band From Jacksonville Makes it Big

When you are a struggling musician, playing shows every night and eating spaghettiOs® out of a can every day, you start to wonder if there is any hope of ever being able to make a career out of a re-run. Well, if you live in Jacksonville, Fla., there might be some hope in your favor.

These days, you can name at least twenty famous bands who are from Los Angeles. For example, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Wikipedia.com, an online encyclopedia, says L.A. based The Red Hot Chili Peppers were signed only several months after forming. Audiences thought they were so good, they begged them to come back and play at local venues. But while you're counting L.A. based bands on your left hand, whip out your right hand so that you can start counting bands from Jacksonville, Fla. too.

Despite the obvious advantages bands in L.A. have over bands in distant cities like Jacksonville, the large city within Florida is producing quite a few talented bands that are reaching fame. Even though L.A. has a huge music scene with countless bands trying to be somebody, connections to the music industry, and record labels such as Avatar Records, found on musicmoz.org, an independent record label(even Starbucks is going to have their own record label in Los Angeles, World News announced it), Jacksonville bands are working hard to use their own resources to achieve recognition.

Jacksonville's local venues like Jack Rabbits and Freebird Cafe constantly house local band performances. Many local artists also go to shows that feature songwriters. Shows like Songwriters Night at the Beaches will let anyone perform. An article from Shorelines, part of the Florida Times-Union, written by Maggie Fitzroy, a staff writer, portrayed this event as a friendly, laid-back show with a wholesome atmostphere. So even though it seems that L.A. carries all of the weight of the music industry, Jacksonville has its own way of doing things. Groups such as Mofro, a blues based band from Jacksonville, help other local bands think there could be room for them in the music industry, even if they are over 2,000 miles away from Los Angeles.

Many local bands in Jacksonville such as Sophomore Attempt, which Music at Last.fm described as a rock group that consists of four guys, are gaining a local following, but aren't signed yet. Sophomore Attempt plays shows in Jacksonville frequently, and are slowly branching out. On the other hand, bands such as Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, a rock group from Jacksonville, are now basking in the glow of national fame.

Wikipedia says Red Jumpsuit Apparatus formed in 2003 and gained a significant following after a couple years of performing. By 2006, their first LP was certified gold. This recognition brought them a lot of attention. Their current single "Face Down," on their CD "Don't You Fake It," has given them the final push they needed to have national success. They are now scheduled for tours across America.

Many other bands that are nationally famous hail from Jacksonville. Pop rock band Yellowcard calls Jacksonville their hometown. Lynrd Skynrd, arguably the most famous southern rock band to grace the country is from Jacksonville. Bands from all over come to play at the Freebird Cafe, a staple in Jacksonville Beach, which gained its attention because of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Wikipedia says the band even attended Robert E. Lee High School. They named their band after their tempermental coach.

Shinedown, a rock band Wikipedia says formed in 2002, gained quick status and is from Jacksonville.

Nowadays, the bands people see performing on television and at live venues aren't just from the bustling streets of Los Angeles. Now they might be from "random" cities like Jacksonville. There is no doubt that bands from Jacksonville are finding ways to make it big. They might just have to be a little more creative than others. The growing music business has made it possible for bands everywhere to make money at what they love to do most. And bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, who came before this generation, helped pave the road to glory for today's budding musicians.

So whenever you feel like you'll never make it because California seems too far away, take a chance and remember all the Jacksonville bands that are successful. Hopefully that will put a kick in your step. These bands got a group together, performed at local venues, and got their name out there for all to see. They are giving us no-name musicans hope in achieving the "unachievable."

Bands like Shinedown and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus let the quieter artists know that if you play loud enough, you will be heard throughout all of America. (photo courtesy Yellowcard site)


renaljim said...
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renaljim said...

In 1975, Jacksonville produced yet another band that soared to the top, that had the Southern Rock genre of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the hard hitting punch of hard rock. With the powerful lead vocals of their front man, the late Danny Joe Brown, Jacksonville's own Molly Hatchet produced a string of successful hits into the late 1980's such as "Flirtin' With Disaster" and "Fall Of The Peacemakers" and even today remains a household name for the 40plus crowd. RIP Danny Joe Brown.