Voice, Breath, Songs

EPISODE #38 Adventures of an Independent Musician

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Bio of the Artist

This guitar-centric rock band arose from many successive weeks of Friday night jams at the “Stone Manor”, former home of Susan and Tom Smith. It was suggested that the group could go out and blow minds as they were: a 3-piece band. Susan’s dependable rock-steady bass proved to be the ideal platform for Tom’s guitar style – described variously as “go-for-the-throat”, “incendiary” and, of course, “too loud”.

Susan and Terry are old-school East Tennesseans, (Terry has been a well-loved musician and composer of local renown for decades) while Tom arrived in Knoxville via Johnson City TN, via Asheville, NC; via Los Angeles, CA; via Cincinnati, OH; via Memphis, TN; via Las Vegas, NV; via Brooklyn, NY. He thus far has neutralized all relocation threats. The Merry Jaynz currently reside in Knoxville, Tennessee.

What does one hear when The Merry Jaynz is all up in it? A deep, pulsing bass line – as predictable as the tides – which earns and keeps its place in the pit of your stomach, setting up a hypnotic vibe with the drumbeat. Variation and organic song evolution are what keeps the energy at a remarkable high.

Rather than the soloist improvising during a solo on top of a tried-and-true arrangement, one can find the whole band improvising a way-out take on one of their original numbers or taking a cover tune to unexpected places it has never been. Tom uses what could be called a guitar vocabulary to hit a musical space that matches what is going on in the rhythm section. What sounds like a reggae drum beat over a bluegrass bass line might just elicit a surf punk guitar treatment…this time. Next time? Country licks or rock-a-billy bustle. The band plays to the space they are in.

The Merry Jaynz invented the musical genre “Underground Swamp Rock” and has two CD releases under their belt and a thriving online community supporting them. They are setting their sights on a larger sphere of influence, more media channels and more exposure to folks who like their rock Jammy, Organic, Face-Melty and Ever-Changing.

What He shares on this episode:

A great part of what people want to hear is something that engages them in a way that other music doesn’t. Audiences want artists to share part of themselves, something authentic rather than something put on. Favor must be earned and not curried.

On this episode Tom share how he believes in the healing properties of music and intend to stoke the inherent healing energies within all their listeners.

On this episode:

  • How he started his career as a touring musician
  • How he tripled his revenue
  • A story about an unexpected request from the audience
  • An awkward moment on tour
  • Most valuable lessons he gathered as a musician
  • How he made his project and his crwodfunding campaign

Key takeaways:

  • Respect the audience; they are a big part of the show
  • Do whatever you can even if you don’t know the song the audience requests
  • How to improvise and interact with the audience
  • Be prepared
  • Study the songs, memorize the chords and the lyrics

Connect with the guest: