Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons Lock In 2019 at Portland’s Mississippi Studios (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

“This is the place, where everybody finds out, who they are.

This is the year, where everybody finds out, who they are.”

The words cut deeply into the first few hours of 2019. Singer/songwriter Jerry Joseph led the tune backed by an accentuated version of his group the Jackmormons to cap an energetic three-night run at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon. Joining Jerry on this final night of 2018 was his longtime musical partners Stevie James Wright on bass and Steven Drizos on drums, along with Eric Martinez on guitar and Jenny Conlee-Drizos on the keys.

After a barn-burner show the night before, the band gathered for a loose soundcheck around 5:30 clearly still buzzing. The music was crisp, dark, and heavy. Not much preparation seemed to be needed as 10 minutes into soundcheck it already sounded like the band could easily settle into a multi-hour groove.

By showtime, familiar faces filled the venue. Fans of Jerry and his many musical endeavors have long known they are the fortunate ones. Together they form a strong community, and when Jerry takes the stage everyone takes their cue. Conversations end. Phones get put away. It’s a social experience for sure, but unlike many other shows where drinks and stories flow throughout the night regardless of what is being played on stage, Jerry shows tend to have people that are 100% there for the music.

The evening brought the heavy riffs Jerry and the Jackmormons are known for, but with the darkness, there is a vibrant love-light that shines. The band did, in fact, slip right back into their place from soundcheck and offered a locked in feel from start to finish on New Year’s Eve. Classic selections from the catalog such as “Road to Damascus” were offered alongside interesting covers of Bob Dylan, Hiss Golden Messenger, and even Taylor Swift. The newly penned “Searchlight”, written while Jerry and his son Judah were in the Brazilian Amazon this past fall, continued to see live action as well while an insane blowout version of “North” literally shook the venue into the first hours of 2019.

Like many exceptional live musical experiences, in the end, it should not really matter what song is being played on stage. How it is played, and how a band’s music interacts with a crowd is more paramount. Jerry Joesph has played many memorable shows over the years. With an intense platform of dark and light energies somehow magically coexisting, as much as the heavy is ever present, the love vibes reign supreme when all is said and done. Jerry is an artist sharing an audible rollercoaster of poetic prose married to an introspective connection. New fans are made with each performance, but space remains intimate, largely grounded by those who have been on the program for years.

Jerry and the Jackmormons have only three shows scheduled for 2019, and all of them which are set to take place in Tulum, Mexico this April are sold out. But Jerry is nowhere near taking a break. Beyond a performance at the Songwriter’s Festival in South Walton, Florida later this month, he will be playing several solo/acoustic shows to end January while kicking off February with a six-show run at the Laurel Thirst Public House in Portland, Oregon. He is also headed to Alaska in late February to front a supergroup quartet including the acclaimed father-son pairing of Steve and John Kimock, along with the brilliant bassist David Schools. Jerry also plans to continue his non-profit international guitar sharing program in Iraq this year and is constantly thinking about where to play next.  The New Year looks to hold much creatively and consciously for Jerry, stay tuned as you never know where he might pop up next, and you’ll be doing yourself a favor to tap into his world.

In most recent news, Jerry Joseph has just announced a new band titled Maximum Love Vibes featuring guitarist Steve Kimock, Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools along with Mike Gordon band drummer John Kimock, The four-piece will make their live debut in Alaska when they will play three shows in February at The Sitzmark at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.

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