Live interview Episode #411: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW ACID & PEARLS
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Jeau James (Guitarist, Singer, Song-Writer) of Acid&Pearls


Las Vegas…
is an entertainment town, that entertainment as you may well know is Casinos, Gambling, Night-Life, etc. The best way to make people drink is to keep them thirsty. When it comes to lounges this means either music the general public has already shown a taste for (think GnR, Journey, etc.). Of course clubs hire and pay crazy money to DJs to pump non-stop boomp-tish/boomp-tish/boomp-tish. So, the big destinations don’t really consider original music (think Acid&Pearls, et. Al.) for booking. There are Casinos catering to locals that once in a while book a local band to open up for a national act. Matter of fact, A&P opened up for a UK-based blues band in the middle of 2016. I had just come off a medical hiatus – unusual for me; still, although sidelined from running myself down, I refused to cancel our performance. It certainly was nowhere near my usual performance level (Kevyn and Scotty killed it) but gigs like that don’t come ‘round often so I kept the engagement. So I expect most of our support for this EP will come from touring and performing outside the Las Vegas market. We’re road-dogs, looking forward to getting tours set when the time is right. As far as local Las Vegas venues places like Vamp’d, Backstage, Dive Bar, Sand Dollar, Double Down are some of the joints local bands play.

The Story behind “You Need To Be With Me”
Having lived in Las Vegas, all lights and glitter, and having played in cover bands earning a living in some of the upper-echelon Casinos it was inevitable to have some of the aspects. Of the “high-life” rub off on me. I thought of how I see myself as active participant and “You Need To Be With Me” was born. The power of our band Acid&Pearls helped me bring the excitement to reality.

You Need To Be With Me:
This is a real rock band, and we brought the performances out of “the box” in the digital recording domain when we could. There are obvious advantages to rolling it all up in the box, particularly having access to a studio like FunkLab2 (owned by A&P drummer, Kevyn Kelley). He has packed some very powerful tools into a relatively small space; we were cautiously geeked-up about getting down with what he has going on, there.

However, for this jam we did utilize JetSet Studio, operated by our pal Victor James, to document the power of my guitar coming through two Marshall full-stacks. Once I got what I wanted there, we retreated to Funklab2 to complete all instrument and vocal performances and sweetening for “You Need to be With Me”.

The impact of rock music has been somewhat eroded (not going negative, just saying) by homogeneity of presentation, sounds, approach. The first thing you may notice about A&P is the fact we’re an ethnically mixed outfit. A lot of people have forgotten or continue to choose to attempt ignorance of the true, factual history of Rock. Rhythm&Blues – and particularly, what is known as the “1/4/5” Blues has served as the backbone and foundation of the success of some of the greatest rock bands in history.

This foundation was conceived and birthed here, in the USA. It continues to feed certain music endeavors, including Acid&Pearls; this heritage is something we’re proud of and hope to celebrate openly, sometimes loudly. We are moving forward with minimal filtration of what makes me what and who I am on Guitar, Vocals, Songwriting. This honesty is where each one of us is coming from; our disparate origins is the amalgam in the performances in these recordings.

I rely on the listener to recognize what the jams clearly say in this EP release more than talking it up. By sharing Acid&Pearls’ music it is my hope that people will recognize we will always be confronted with changes to our world, but we’re all still people with toes that want to tap, backsides that want to shake, and therez nothing better to serve these needs than a good double-cheeseburger groove. I say play Acid&Pearls grooves loud and as often as you can. Music and Jam is all about people.

I wrote “Rotunda” as …
an ode to the old sayings “what comes around, goes around’ and ‘what goes up, must come down”; as with all things there’s a cyclical nature to the music business. The added element is the oncoming of technology which has allowed the end user to present him- or herself as a music “star”. And that’s ok, because perhaps one is a star. I read one of your American Pride Magazine interviewee’s comments which I fully agree with and have said all along: the problem is with all the online info people are caught up in traffic jams which obfuscate real talent. So much info has to be sifted through to get to the prize. I can’t imagine what screeners of festivals, etc. must go through. Which confirms my suspicions that any jam that’s your go-to “hit” should come out banging; otherwise, you’re going to get kicked to the curb or at best to the back of the bus. You got to hit hard from the gate. Sorry, truth..

I would’ve dug meeting Mr. Berry Gordy…
He represents a number of personality traits I do not have. Mainly, patience. I read somewhere he, in the beginning, held listening meets with work-a-day folks wherein they’d be asked to peep singles. At the end of the song he would ask, “would you kick your lunch to the curb to buy this song?” Seems it was like “dancing in the streets” or something like that that got the first over-arching “song wins over lunch” response. Before that, he had a lot of ‘nahs”. That sort of thing takes patience. We all know successes at Motown Records. I don’t know, seems all the other virtues of being a well-run label follow close behind that one king thing – Patience. So, I’m trying to incorporate patience in my roll so my impatience doesn’t get the best of me.

Also, I met legendary Jazz Funk Rock bassist Stanley Clarke after sitting in with the man and George Duke when I first started playing (I started on Bass then went to Guitar – which was my first love. Different story for a different time..). Man, that was crazy awesome. He invited me to hang out with them after the gig. He said to me “Man, you got everything”. I said nah, I’m just messing around. At this point he turned to George and said “see, I can’t tell him anything.” I was like, Ok-ok go ahead, hip me. So, he says “Except, you got to play to the audience. Vibe with them..”. For me, that was enough. I had heard from the man. I knew I had a little lightning which I could strike with and hopefully stay lit. As far as songwriters I’ve really dug Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, John Legend, and Donald Fagen. Each one of these people (and so many more) have crafted awesome lyrics from life experiences and what they’ve seen in their world couched them in sometimes gut wrenching Melodies, Chord structure and changes into truly masterpiece songs. Each one did it from their life and experiences so I dig where they’re coming from. And that, for me, is enough.

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