Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons 10.11.13

The Fox Theater
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)

For years I had seen the name Jerry Joseph, but it wasn't until about a month ago that any of my friends really mentioned an interest. The one who did, Juan Julio, spoke very highly of him and judging by Juan's other musical interests, I trusted it was an artist I should check out.

Fast forward one month and Juan, who lives in the 505, was once again passing through Denver. On the day after he arrived, Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons happened to be performing at the Fox Theater. It was destined to happen. We found our way into Boulder around flood repair detours and grabbed a bite before heading in to catch the opening act, Jeff Crosby and the Refugees. Crosby's band reminded me of a mix of 70's rock and roll with a 90's alternative touch. I thought they shared a lot with the Black Crowes stylistically at times. Crosby had a rich and confident voice. His band played Americana influenced rock and roll, and did it well. At one point they played a song that was recently used on the tv show, "Sons of Anarchy." The song as well as most of their others were energetic, American Rock and Roll tunes... Good songs. I also liked their banter. While many bands stammer between songs, Jeff was funny, friendly, and had a great stage presence. His band kept me interested through the whole set.

When the time came to see Jerry Joseph, I had no idea what to expect. As the band took the stage, I was surprised to see that Jerry looked a bit like comedian Dave Attell. His rough edges hinted at years of road living, and his music was energetic, unapologetic poetry. The power trio, better known as Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons, played a unique blend of American Rock and Roll. One part Americana, two parts Rock and Roll, and a pinch of Punk made for a sound that was familiar and new all in the same moment. I could tell the lyrical aspect of the music was pivotal, but the sound was a bit too distorted to make out the words unless you already knew them. On the couple occasions where I could make out the words, I was impressed. My favorite song of the night was a tune called "Light is Like Water."

At various points of the night, I was reminded of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jimi Hendrix. As I looked at the faces of the crowd, I saw adoration, admiration, and true appreciation. They were the kind of looks that communicated a deep gratitude for the connection they had made with his music, the song that was playing, or the lyric they just heard for the first time. Jerry's guitar playing was very good, but what set him apart was his ability to speak to his listener's soul. I've always thought that was the point of music, to speak to your soul. My college music professor taught me that truth in music is what separates the temporary from the timeless. Jerry's music may be among the most honest, soul-baring work I've heard in years. As we left, Juan Julio was all smiles, and I couldn't wait to get home and listen to the new addition to the soundtrack of my life.

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