Artist of the Month: Jacob Jeffries Band

South Florida trio, Jacob Jeffries Band has been making waves across the states and is one group who should be part of your summer playlist. Formed in 2006, the band consists of Jacob Jeffries (vocals, piano), Jimmy Powers (electric guitar, backing vocals) and Eric Jackowitz (drums, backing vocals). Since that time, the band has been working hard self-promoting, writing, recording and touring the country. During these extensive tours the Jacob Jeffries Band has played alongside a range of established artists such as Dashboard Confessional, Tim Reynolds, Sugar Ray, the Gin Blossoms, The Click Five, Vertical Horizon, Benjy Davis Project,Trevor Hall,Sons of Bill,Priscilla Ahn, and Jennifer Knapp.

Life as an Extra, the first CD by Jacob Jeffries Band was released in the beginning of 2008. The second project, Wonderful, was released a year later. In September of 2009, the Jacob Jeffries Band was invited to the highly esteemed Full Sail University for an all expense paid recording of their first LIVE CD, Waiting for the Piano Movers.The talented group was named 2008’s “Best Live Band & Best New Release” by the Broward-Pam Beach and Miami New Times, and were selected to perform in, and won the Florida Grammy Showcase. Most recently, Jacob Jeffries won the coveted Nationals Singer Songwriter Shoot-Out at the renowned Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta. Previous winners of the competition include John Mayer and The Indigo Girls.

This past May the band release their fourth studio album, Tell Me Secrets. Tell Me Secrets is the band’s “introduction to the rest of the universe”, they say. After paying their dues as road warriors they are thrilled to trek it again and again in support of the new album. This studio release is certainly going to display the maturity and evolution one can only expect from a group of guys that have plighted cross-country a few times via a van and a trailer. Ecstatic about working with Grammy and Emmy award winning producers Sebastian Krys and Dan Warner, Jeffries says, “When I tell people that I play piano in a rock band they look at me like I’m nuts, but for the first time in my life, recording this album wasn’t just me and a piano and studio musicians playing parts. Tell Me Secrets is the product of collaborating with some super talented band members and Grammy winning producers.”

Jacob Jeffries is a musical gem. Tell Me Secrets is an easy listening record that flows seamlessly from one track to the next. This band has heart, rock, and soul. It has a jubilant fusion of piano melodies with energetic rock, and soul that is simply irresistible. The hook-filled tracks will make you want to listen to this over and over. Fans of artists like Ben Folds, Gavin DeGraw, Jason Mraz and Tom Petty are sure to love Jacob Jeffries Band.

Stand out tracks: “Crazy Under The Moon,” “I Don’t Know,” and “You’ve Got Some Nerve”

ESBMusic recently caught up with the band to talk about how they all came together, what fans can expect of their latest album and their plans for the summer.

ESBM: How did your band come together?

JJB: I met our guitar player Jimmy Powers in high school. He was the hot-shot Jackson wielding guitar hero Senior when I showed up as a Freshman. Fell in love with his playing and his band. Soon we merged my song ideas with his super skills and assimilated into a band with a few other friends from a neighboring high school…there have been soooooo many roster moves and line-up shifts since then, but Jimmy, Me and Eric (a drummer we met while teaching a summer camp) have kept the menage a trois in tact.

ESBM: Who are your influences?

JJB: The Beatles, Tom Petty, Wilco, Paul Simon, Rufus Wainwright, Sara Bareilles, James Taylor, ELO, and tons of musical theatre soundtracks. We love the video concept for “Crazy Under The Moon” how did you guys come up with it? This was dreamt up by our dear friend and talented director Johnny Moniz. He has been a pal for years and we’ve always trusted his film making capabilities, but we totally didn’t feel comfortable telling such a deep story over the course of a 4 minute song you know? It was a tough task, but like brilliant sculptor, Johnny created this beautiful piece out of the resources and budget we had. It worked and I am happy with it!

ESBM: What is the next single you are planning to release?

JJB: Well “Crazy Under The Moon” is the first single off the record. I am honestly so pumped and a tad bit overwhelmed with all the wonderful press we are receiving in anticipation of the Tell Me Secrets release. I can’t possibly think of what song we are releasing as the follow up single. We have ideas…. but for now we are pushing “CRAZY UNDER THE MOON” heavy.

ESBM: What can we expect of your fourth studio release, Tell Me Secrets?

JJB: This album hits hard for me. When you think piano player, singer/songwriter, you generally assume something lighter in the Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright category right? I love those artists, but this album adopted more of a rock quality as we were making it. We aimed to keep it simple, which the songs maintain on their own, with little overdubs and magic tricks you know? There is rarely a lull in this record and it really is my favorite batch of songs up to date – proud of these lyrics really.

ESBM: You are currently on tour, what is your favorite place to play?

JJB: I love NYC. Maybe it’s because all my family is from there and my roots kinda suck me in and make me feel comfortable there. I don’t know, I just love the idea that there is something for everyone there. At this time in my life, I am super happy playing in that city. I really also love playing the unexpectedly awesome shows at super small town college campuses. Example: Clemson, SC. You hit Clemson on a good night – that’s a hot party.

ESBM: What are your plans for the summer?

JJB: Every summer I work at an amazing non-profit organization called Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts. Along with a staff of about 10 young adults, I oversee a bunch of very creative teenagers in the concoction of a full length 2 Act musical from scratch. It seems like a daunting task, but with the right approach to the process and proper cooperation, the stuff always gets written and turns out great. I credit Lovewell for many of my strong friendships and life and many of my positive personality qualities I use in life.

ESBM: Any last words?

JJB: Last words huh? Sounds morbid, yet inevitable eh? OK, buy the album or download it (legally) … who am I kidding? Just get the songs on your iPod somehow. Don’t tell me how you did it. Just get the songs and share them with friends. @JacobJeffries #TellMeSecrets out now!!!!! wahoooooo!

For more information on Jacob Jeffries Band check out their official website, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

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