Christmas Day 2016
Howdy peeps and Happy Holidays to you!!! Whatever you celebrate this season I hope it finds you happy and healthy! For me, lots of changes coming up in the new year as I continue doing what I do… playing, creating and enjoying music I love. I have a new project but it’s “under wraps” so I’ll just tell you it’s very cool, way more progressive then most things I do and that makes it very challenging to me as a player. The really good news is that it’s a BAND. Everybody has a voice and everybody shares equally in the successes and failures. It will no longer be “All for one and one for one…”. This has been another year of doing 120+ shows and I’m so grateful for each and every one of them. We will see what the future will bring…
On another note, I’m learning and advancing on the guitar and there will no more “no, not that chord, play the other chord” when I’m trying to get my thoughts across… YaY!!! It’s actually also really fun to play an instrument where I can music in my room by myself. I just find songs I love and learn to play ’em… Fantastic!!!
On the personal side of things, mom is now 92 and obviously every Christmas is precious and even though 92 year olds are … ummm… “challenging” 🙂 I’m trying to stay focused on there is simply limited time left. It’s the simple truth so although I’m far from perfect at it, I do try to take a deep breath.
Last but certainly not least, One of my Shitz-Zhus, Livvy was diagnosed with cancer 4 1/2 years ago.. Because the tumor was on her face (in her mouth), they could not get the margins as clean as they wanted, so we all did the best we could and basically the doc said she probably had a limited number of days left… I started to pray for “just one more Christmas…”. Today I pray for one MORE Christmas because Livvy is right here with me!!!
YaaaaaY!!!! (and my other pup, Hana is doing great as well)
Thank you Lord!!!
Alright… it’s a good day… Celebrate it!!!
Peace to all..
Livvy says hi 🙂

September 2016
Howdy there… Long time, no post… my bad… I do hope that all of you are cruising along and that this posting finds you happy and healthy. Me? I’m doing my thing. So far this summer I have played in front of thousands of people, traveled damn near as many miles and been able to teach and watch my students become better and better. That’s a very cool thing. Something else that was cool was playing at the Reno Blues Festival and being able to meet @JesseValenzuela of the Gin Blossoms. They sounded great and I was such a big fan of that first CD that it was cool to hang for a few moments. Another really cool thing is the fact that I am working on the music for a children’s book… I sure didn’t see that coming but the songs are cool, the arrangements are hip and we are trying to add a musical back-drop so kids can sing along with the book. We want the music to be hip enough so mom does not want to stick a fork in her eye because little offspring wants to play the CD again. The book is about the different personalities of a group of dogs but each dog will also teach children a lesson about selfishness, loneliness, anger etc.. Cool right??? I’m still looking for a touring act but all I can do is play as well as I can and be ready if the opportunity should come my way… SuperSuckers and Quireboys… and though I hadn’t thought of them before, Gin Blossoms… are you listening??? 🙂
Blessings peeps…

January 2016
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!! I am on my 2 month winter break from Shane Dwight Band activities so I’m dropping y’all a line. (See how I snuck a “y”all” in on Y’all??? oooops, it happened again!) Life is good here and there is a new band in my life (no it’s not the Quireboys or The Supersuckers…  awww shucks! ) but it is a really good and very very cool project. The band is called SNEW and they are based down south in L.A.. I just finished the first single, “The Juice for Power” off their new record and you can find it now on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify etc etc etc… (you can also find it on the video/music page of this website!!!). It debuted at #5 on iTunes…  so far, so good, does not suck…  🙂  🙂
On the Shane Dwight front, all is good and the band is tighter than a 100 year old rusted on nut. This band can turn on a dime and leave 11 cents change. One of the best trios I’ve ever been in and although I love the 2 guitar attack formation, this trio thing is a blast.
The future looks interesting..
I like that
Blessings,
Jax

September 2015
WOW!!! WHAT A SUMMER!!!! I have been all over the damn map and having a blast doing it. We did a bunch of festivals (large and small) and the peeps were out in force! YOU GUYS (And gals) RULE!!! It isn’t over yet (take a look at my “shows” page) and I’m hoping to see all of you out there somewhere soon. I will give all of you a complete rundown as soon as we finish Festival season and I have a load of video and pictures to share with you as well… Meanwhile, hit it like you mean it.. I always do.
Peace
Jax

 

June 2015
My summer festival schedule is up on the SHOWS page here on my website so take a peek and I hope to see you somewhere out there soon!!!
Blessings to you always
Jackie

 

April 2015

Hello, hello, hello… from another hotel room in another city here in the fine state of California. Gonna catch you up real quick on what’s happening here in Jackie-land. All the Shane Dwight gigs went well and the summer festival season is upon us. I’m meeting with Shane at the end of this month to finalize the date/concert schedule. My contract is up so we will see what we will see. The band is real good but business quite often gets in the way of good music. I hope we have an exception this time…
My Irish punk/pop peeps “The Guv’rment” are still working on tunes and we start recording just as soon as I get home. Some very cool songs and when I say “punk” it’s more like “if David Gimour had joined the Clash”… NOT the same old thing, not the same ol’ crap… Really looking forward to seeing if we can “get what the band is truly about” but in a studio setting. This band is ferocious in live performances but I always felt that they didn’t allow or capture all the elements of the band in the studio. And yes, I always told them that… My job? Well, I’m going to try to fix that!!
As far as everything else, mom is good, my dogs are good (some scary times there recently) and I’ve kicked caffiene and have a great physical therapist / nutritionalist that is going get my body balanced and healthy. She has done wonders with my back and these 4 hour shows I do regularly (with NO BREAKS peeps) are a walk in the park. (A very loud rockin’ walk in the park but still…)
The future? Well we have The Guv’rment, Shane Dwight and perhaps Rhino Bucket’s next CD and then there is always The Quireboys in my heart… One never knows…
You and I have both learned that by now, haven’t we???

Blessings to you,
Jax

 

November 2014

Howdy everyone…  you know how I believe in the “concept” of “believing”. Well, about 3 YEARS ago I actually called a guys DAD and said, “I wanna play with your son”. Nothing happened. Zero, zilch, nada…  Zero..

Guess who I am now playing with???  Can I get a “Hell yea”?!?!

His name is Shane Dwight and he’s bad-boy guitar player/singer/songwriter now living in Nashville. As I mentioned in my Dec 2013 update, he was a local guy who decided he wanted to move to Music City and write songs and move forward with his career. I did New Years eve with him and now I’m doing all his west region shows  and the band simply rocks!. We play venues from literally 100 people to upwards of 10,000 and next summers festival season should be magical.

I’m a happy peep!

In other news, my 90 year old mom is going strong (look for her down front at the Shane Dwight Shows!) and I’m doing what I can to keep her later years active. It’s a roler coaster but I only have one mom so I’m doing the best I can. I’m also recording/playing shows with 2 other cool bands, THE BILLYS and THE GUVERNMENT. More about them as it happens…

For now, I will leave you with this..  The world is not “static”… it’s constantly moving, evolving.. sometimes things are happening outside your life sphere but it is going to soon appear in your world…  you gotta be ready… don’t blow it…  don’t be bogged down or trapped…   Focus…

Sometimes it can take 3 years…   Honest

Blessings,

Jackie

ps: How about those SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS!!!!!!! Woooooo Hoooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

 

October 2014

We have October Baseball…
Simple…

GO GIANTS!!!
Dodgers SUCK!!!

ok, that about covers it…

cheers to you peeps!!!

 

December 2013

Hey hey hey…  Just dropped in quickly to say

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all of you!

It’s been real busy around these here parts lately so I’ll keep this brief and just sort of give you the “down and dirty” highlights of what’s going on… The Pandora’s Hammer Project is moving right along, the CD release is scheduled for Feb. of 2014 and the 1st live set we did was very well received.  The country singer I am working with and producing,  Shaun Anton, is 80% done with his debut CD and we just have a little sweetening and mixing to do and we can put that project to bed. A new project that has come along since my last update is a cool band out of the north bay called “The Billy’s“.  4 piece band  (guitar, keyboards, bass and me) and the guys all sing like birds! We actually play stuff that CSN&Y did on 4 Way Street and these guys just nail it… I just laugh and smile…  It’s unreal how good these harmonies are…  and they play their butts off as well. Very cool gig!!

I think 2014 will be busier (if that’s possible) than 2013 was and speaking of 2014,  New Years Eve you can find me  in Carson City, Nevada with a talented cat out of Nashville, Shane Dwight.  He was originally a bay area singer/songwriter guy but decided to pack up the Chevy and move to Music City.  I’ve known about him for a while, always liked his stuff and actually tried to get an audition when I heard he was looking for players.  As timing would have it, for one reason or another it didn’t happen but suddenly,  Bish Bam Boom and it’s a New Years Eve show rocking the Silver State.  If you happen to be  in the area, the venue is The High Sierra Brewing Company..  It may or may not lead to more gigs with Shane but the plan is as it always is…  kick ass and let the chips fall where they may…  (a simple but effective plan, no?)  🙂   (Did I mention he plays a Les Paul… Hell yea!!!!)

One other very cool thing you should know about is Shane and his dad are all into custom cars and hot rods so you know that right away my petrol- head DNA spidey-sense went all whack-0 about that!!

Check Shane out at www.ShaneDwight.com

Alrighty, nothing but blessings flying all over the place here and I hope with all of you as well..    Have a very happy, healthy and joyful Holiday Season…

Peace on Earth, peeps!!

 

September 2013

Hi peeps… I know, it’s been a long time. Let’s get going, shall we? First off, there was nothing really new to report during the summer months so things are now starting to pick back up. I did a load of gigs and some recording but for the most part, it was a bit of idling in place. So what’s up now? So glad you asked…

My new project is a very cool 3 piece hard rock outfit called “Pandora’s Hammer”. The front person is a non-sighted (ie; blind) woman named Fran Franks who is simply awesome. She plays guitar and sings and along with bassist Neil Cooper, the unit rocks pretty damn hard if I do say so myself. The new CD is being mastered as we speak and I will get some samples up ASAP. I will tell you it’s a bit of Gov’t Mule meets Vanilla Fudge and the trax sound fabulous. We have a blast being together and the band sounds like a true band. Lots of tight arrangements and dynamics. Yes peeps, there are bands that still care about that stuff…    More cool news, Fran’s seeing-eye-dog, “Hugh” has completely become one with my drum set. Once Fran is taken care of, Hugh lays down right by my hi-hat and as we thunder along he’s as happy as can be. I love him and it’s just another cool thing about the whole trip. Who knew? I got a new metal-head friend with 4 legs! Pandora’s Hammer… very cool.

The Shaun Anton country project is moving along and we will be going back in the studio in the middle of September to cut 4 more songs. I hired a great band for him and it should give him enough material to start shopping himself around. I’ll get some of that up on the Video/Studio page ASAP as well. Meanwhile you can check Shaun out at : WWW.ShaunAnton.com

My cover band is still very busy, I have my private students and I’m now also teaching part time at “School of Rock” in Palo Alto and those kids are passionate and cool to be around. They put on these big rock shows and the kids get to be rock stars (or close to it) and a good time is had by all.

Ok, peeps, things are obviously heating up and this was just a quick drop in to say STAY IN TOUCH!!!
I’m tweeting almost daily now so if you aren’t following me on Twitter, hook us up!

One last thing, I should start working with Rhino Bucket on their new recording and CD sometime very soon. They have some U.S. and European Tour dates so catch them if they are coming near you and I’ll give you updates from the studio as we blast away on some new Bucket..
Let the Rock be with you… and me
🙂

Blessings,
Jackie

 

March 2013

Good morning…    Happy spring time everyone…   As usual, it’s been a while but I have found I’m a little bit “anti- social networking”. In other words, I just don’t understand talking about things I believe to be trivial.  “I’m going to the store” or “I’m having breakfast” that seems to be topics of discussion all over Twitter and facebook along with a million other things equally as silly have made me a little more picky about updating my own sight. I do however have some cool new stuff that I would like to share….

First off, musically things are cruising right along… Playing regularly with Marshall Law (and enjoying it), doing some side gigs with JC Smith (fabulous!) and a few other very cool band leaders but the new news is I am writing for and working with a brand new artist who I have high hopes for.  His name is Shaun Anton and you can see his first single “See you again” here :  www.shaunanton.com/

Shaun is a cool guy, young and hungry and he allowed me to hand pick a band for him. It’s starting to take shape and the baby steps are slowly but surely getting to be a little longer and a little quicker. I’m glad to have great players and a cool mixture of my L.A. friends and Nor-Cal friends involved from the the get-go.  Rehearsals are continuing and we have the studio all lined up. A full album should be in the can by Christmas time…  Stay tuned!

On a sad note, I lost a friend this week. We were not very close but he was a friend and it’s a loss. John Lawton was only 47 years old. A guitar player and songwriter. Never drank, no drugs, worked out and out of no where he suffered a major stroke and was gone. What it did for me was remind me that every day is precious. We truly never know when the last breath you breath out will not be replaced with one you breath in. There was absolute no reason to think John would be taken from us. Lesson: Any one of us at any time…  John Lawton, R.I.P.

Let’s get happy again shall we?  I have a bass player friend who believes that humans have an inherent need to “tinker”.  It can be with your hair,  your car, your smart phone, your guitar or drum set… damn near anything…  We , as a species, are just “tinker-folk”. Well peeps, I have a new thing to tinker with;  KART RACING!!!  Wooooo-Hooooo!!!! A friend and I have started a little Kart team with and we just picked up a Invader Pro-Mirage Roller (a “roller” is a Kart without a motor) and the search for the proper motor is underway. An Invader is an American made Kart (one of the last) and we hope to have a lot of fun while maybe actually getting good at this.  The plan is to take a year to learn our craft and then next year we will actually start racing. (We may tinker with that plan!)  🙂  I spend lots and lots of hours at Infineon Raceway on test days just just hanging out and soon we will be racing up there with them.  Ahhhhh!  YaY!!!

Other things in my orbit: Rhino Bucket should be soon working on their new CD,  there’s a good chance I’ll be working with Kelly and Joe from Warrior on their new project and I found a new chiro/physical therapy office in SF that is doing serious work on my neck and shoulders. Have I mentioned the SuperSuckers RULE!!!!

Alright peeps, lots going on… I’m actually looking forward to my next update to see how all of this has progressed…

Have faith and then BELIEVE…  all things are possible

Rock on

J

 

Dec 2012

Hi everyone and Merry CHRISTMAS!!!

I may have felt like I missed it last year but I am NOT going to let this one get away.

I am ALL OVER IT!!!

Ok. so I guess you now know I’m excited, right?   You are soooo right…

Christmas is a time of joy and forgiveness and family so what is not to like. So many things have happened since I last touched base. I left The Chris Cobb Band, re-connected with The Warrior and Rhino Bucket guys, also re-connected with many old friends who are now new again and had one of my best friends’ boyfriend get electrocuted and “medically die” only to recover and be alive and well. (How’s that for an amazing Thanksgiving Day!!!)
I also went through a pretty serious heartbreak with someone I cared about deeply but instead of dwelling on the pain (easy!), I’m concentrating on the blessings (Harder but much much better!) I’m sorry it ended but I’m glad for the moments we shared. I’m sorry he broke my heart but I’m glad my heart is soft enough that it can be broken. I’m sorry he was not who he portrayed himself to be but I am glad I am trusting and willing to believe in people. I am also glad that when things started to “feel wrong” ,  I was strong enough to say “wait a minute.. something feels wrong here”.   Dwell on the blessings…

Musically, lots going on… Hope to work with the Warrior peeps again soon with an amazing female vocalist from Korea, would like to work with Rhino Bucket in a writing, arranging or playing capacity for the next record,  I played in Iowa with “Cheap Chick” (all-girl Tribute to Cheap Trick), auditioned for  “Lynette Skynyrd” (an all-girl Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band) who is planning to go to Japan in March, and while I am at it, I am still doing my “Marshall Law” cover band gigs..  and of course I’m still teaching (which I love) so all is good and busy busy busy!!!

Oh, and it looks like I may be playing with The Guverment (a cool indie band), The Deadlies (a cool surf/pop/punk/rock band) and Billy Rowe of JetBoy in the near future…

Last but in NO WAY least: The SuperSuckers are coming to the the Bay area this month!!!!!!  WOOO HOOO!!!

I always thought sleep was so over-rated…

Let’s ROCK!!!

 

Sept 2012

Just got home and re-settled from my trip to Wales with The Chris Cobb Band. Wales was beautiful and the promoter Trevor, his son Josh and wife Mags are the best people ever. They worked their butts off to take care of us and I am thankful. One of the main parts of the trip was not musical.  I was given a chance to go see my step-father, Don,  who lives outside of London. I was old enough to be out on my own when he and my mom married so I didn’t know too much about him and we weren’t very close. It turns out I have learned much about him since and he was a caring and stabilizing influence for my mom and younger siblings. I really wanted to  say thanks all these years later.Turned out to be really cool hanging out with him and even though my real dad is my dad, I’m glad I finally got to spend some time with Don.

And he was the perfect host!!!

I’m a HUGE Top Gear fan and we decided to find the race track they film the show at.  It took us getting directions from 5 different people including a gypsy child (yes, there are real gypsies) but we finally found it.   We crashed the outside checkpoint (well, we fibbed a little to get through) and lo and behold, there we were on the grounds of Top Gear!!!  I’m not sure the security appreciated us “driving around looking for a place to turn around” but Don was a true pirate at the wheel. Next, it was off to the The National Motor Museum in the village of Beaulieu, set in the heart of the New Forest, in the English county of Hampshire. The entire James Bond car collection and more Top Gear artifacts. (I’m such a gear head…yow!!!)  I also got a chance to hang with John at The Mole Valley Garage which is the coolest garage featuring Noble/TVR/Morgan cars in the UK. I sat in my dream Noble and John was the nicest guy. I think he understood how much I love motoring and he let me run amok. So for three days, we cruised all over the countryside, stopped in a few pubs and I actually got to cheer with the locals when the England soccer team scored a tying goal while having a pint.

Most importantly I got to say “thanks” to a guy I hardly knew for being good to my mom (mum) and the family.

T’was a good week…

Rock it

 

August 2012

Sometimes things just don’t go the way you want… One of my favorite bands of all time, “The Supersuckers” recently had their drummer suddenly quit the band…   They got a guy to fill in and from what I understood they planned to have auditions when the first leg of the tour was over. The bad news is, they changed their plan and now the fill in guy is their new permanent guy…

Wrong?  No

Make sense?   Sure

Heartbreaking for me?   Fully

I adore the Supersuckers. I love the guys, I love the music and I love what they are about… Rhino Bucket toured with them in 2006 and I played 2 or 3 songs with them almost every night. We had a blast and I was hoping to once again do original music in a creative high energy touring environment…

I didn’t even get a chance….

Ya can’t win an audition that doesn’t happen…

I do have this belief that when something doesn’t go your way, it’s because something even better is coming so I will recover and I will go on.   I’m a very fortunate and blessed person…  I know that…

Right now I just feel a little less so…

Sad day…

(Gee, maybe The Quireboys are about to call…) 🙂 Happy again!!!!

 

July 2012

It’s been way too long I know…

Anyway, right now, it’s obvious summer time so I’m doing lots of gigs, teaching as much as I can and trying to get enough sleep…  I had some bad news with one of my dogs who was found with a stage 2 Tumor.  Livvy  had the tumor removed and we are hoping to a long happy rest of her life…  I love my dogs and the thought of losing one of them was very hard to deal with. I pray and I hope God sees it in his plan to allow her more time with me.

On happier news, My Giants are in first place and although I don’t get to go as often as I used to,  I’m still all over it.  (I’m actually watching the replay of tonight’s game as I type this… it’s 3 am!). More happy news, even though I am not much of a tribute band fan, “Cheap Chick” is a great tribute band and we haven’t played together since 2006. I’ve missed playing and hanging with the girls and lo and behold, there is a re-union show next week in L.A.!!! Our last gig was at a private corporate event held at the Cow Palace up here in S.F. and we shared the stage with people like Elton John, Joan Jett and Devo.  I think next week will be a blast as well…

While I’m at it,  guess I should tell you I’m gonna play at The San Jose jazz Festival next month and then it’s England in September…  that does not suck!

So, in a nutshell, life is just sorta moseying along and I am thankful on so many levels…  still looking for a touring band, still staying ready…  and I still find great joy in all my students who remind me just how cool it is to play the drums…

Oh, I almost forgot…  I have new nickname…  ready?    Jackie “Octane” Enx..   no, I didn’t give it to myself…  a bass player friend of mine gave it to me but I kinda sheepishly admit I like it…  She will turn to me and say “Octane Blam!” and just start smiling…

Smiles are good…

“Octane”…  yep works for me

Peace, peeps

 

March 2012

Time is damn flying by!!!  It’s been a couple of months since I last touched base and a couple of very cool things have happened. First off, CONGRATULATIONS to Wayne Jackson and The Memphis Horns (see my November Blog entry) for finally getting a long overdue lifetime achievement GRAMMY award.  It is a beautiful thing!!!  Wayne is just the greatest and made so much great music and to be honest, is still doing so! A big “YAY” from me…   going to have to get us some Bar-b-que and fried pickles next time I get back to Memphis!!!!!

Another amazing thing was something fully unexpected…  The Chris Cobb Band shared a stage with Steve Morse last month and there was a young man in very high-tech wheel chair that was at the show…  His name was Jason Becker.  Jason Becker was an amazing guitar player. He was the guy that people like Stevie Vai and Yngvie Malmsteen were compared to…

At the tender age of 20 he joined David Lee Roth’s band and in 1990, he won a readers’ poll for best new guitarist in “Guitar Magazine”.  Less than a year later,  he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig Disease and given only five years to live. Now, fully robbed of his speech, motionless in body and breathing via a machine, Jason still owns  his love of music. He communicates via eye movements on a machine his father invented and continues to compose music with his computer. His medical condition has remained stable since 1997. …

I am humbled.

God,  please bless Jason Becker…

and bless us too…

 

January 2012

Well hello again…  it’s been awhile but the Holidays just sorta blurred by and for the first time since I can remember, it seems I just sort of  “missed Christmas”.  I went to Mass with my mom, visited with the rest of my family and played lots of gigs but somehow never quite found the Christmas spirit.  Hmmm…  What’s up with that?  I’ll have to make sure not to let that happen this year.

In brighter news, I got another drum set.  It’s Wahlberg and Auge which is a company that is no longer around. They actually were not a drum company but a foundry that made the metal lugs, fittings and whatever else they were asked to make for almost every American drum company on the planet up until 1969.  (Barney Wahlberg is also attributed as the inventor of the modern high hat and although Slingerland designed it, Barney built the first contraption to mount a tom-tom on a bass drum, just like we have today). I now have one of those original contraptions myself.  We think it’s an early 50’s but these drums are hard to date because the major drum companies would trade their shells for the fittings Wahlbeg and Auge would make and then W&A would build drums out of whatever was  sitting in  their stock. Every drum kit is different.  Mine has Gretsch shells and lugs and Ludwig bass drum claws.  How cool is that?  The drums are known as “Perfection” and I’m going to use them for recording and smaller club gigs. They are white marine pearl and they have yellowed nicely with age. I love them.

In other news, my band (The Chris Cobb Band) is opening for Steve Morse next week and I’m staying busy and happy…   Hope you are too!!!!

Blessings to you

 

November 2011

Hi everyone and Happy Holidays!!! I finally got a chance to go back and visit Memphis for the first time in 20 years and it was an absolute  blast!  My sis and her whole family came along and since my nephew is the biggest Elvis fan ever, we stayed across from Graceland at the Heartbreak Hotel.  (“yes, let’s see, I’d like to start with some Elvis, followed by a little more Elvis and when that’s done, I’d like to get me a big plate of some Elvis… “)  Anyway, while my nephew basked in Elvis overload,  we trekked over to Sun Studios, had ribs at The Rendezvous, said “hi” to the ducks at The Peabody and I snuck away to get a quick “sit in set”  (Nor Cal in the house peeps!!!!) with the Flic Flac Band at BB Kings on Beale Street.  I also went on a search for Studio 6 which is where Rhino Bucket recorded album # 2 with producer Terry Manning back in the early 90’s.  (The bldg still stands but Studio 6  is now a performing arts theater. Terry now owns and runs the legendary Compass Point Studio in the Bahamas!)

With all due respect to Elvis and all, the highlight of the trip for me was getting to reunite with Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns and his fabulous wife Amy.  I met Wayne back in 1992 and it had been waaaaay too long since the last time I saw him.

Jackie note: If you don’t know Wayne or The Memphis Horns, do yourself a favor and Google and check them out. The word “legend” is thrown around rather loosely these days but Wayne and the Horns truly deserve the title. In the last 5 decades, he’s played with the likes of  Otis Redding, U2,  Neil Young, Neil Diamond and, oh yea, this guy named Elvis   (My nephew was more than a little happy about that)     🙂

One of the coolest part of the whole reunion was actually walking through The STAX Museum with the man who helped make STAX famous in the first place, Wayne himself!  The Memphis Horns were the horn section on all the recordings on the STAX label and there we were, 50 years later, my sister, her hubby, my nephew and moi’,  looking at a plexiglass display case holding the trumpet that Wayne Jackson had played while recording  songs like “Dock of the Bay” with Otis Redding and Sam and Dave’s smash hit  “Hold on, I’m comin'” and standing right next to me is…. WAYNE JACKSON!!!!    Thank you Lord for my blessed life…

We spent a couple of days just reminiscing and hanging out and then it was time for me to zoom on home.  I love Memphis, I still think STAX is the coolest music ever and I feel so very grateful to know and be able to call Wayne and Amy Jackson friends.   I gotta get back there sooooon…

Peace and blessings,

 

October 12-14, 2011

Had a chance to go down to Southern Calif. to see my mom, get my taxes done and visit as many friends as I could. While I was there I received some pretty cool news. You will soon be able to get my “Jackie Enx p-p-d” logo on any Soultone cymbal you order!!!   I can also help you get a better price and arrange it so you can go and hand-pick your cymbal just like I do at the Soultone offices. Just  contact me a couple of weeks in advance and I will hook you up!    🙂

I also had a chance to watch the John Stanley King Band (a band I was in when I lived there) and once again enjoyed JSK’s approach to his music. Also got to meet the new bass player, James East (that would be Nathan East’s older brother… woo-hoo!!!).   The whole thing was a total treat. I can only hope that there will be more music to be made together. I loved my time in that band!!!

And saving the best perhaps for last….    I knew my friend/accountant Gina had married a famous drummer but for one reason or another I had  never actually met him. This time, as I walked thru their home to get to her office,  I saw a white marine pearl finish drum set that looked like a replica of what Buddy Rich might have played.  The cymbal stands, the drum finish, and of course the Zildjian cymbals were all spot on. I happened to say out loud, “wow Gina, I guess your husband is a Buddy Rich Guy.. that’s a pretty damn accurate replica kit”….   Well about 2 seconds later, out of a back bedroom somewhere comes this male voice, “what do you mean replica?”…   I think my heart stopped for a second and I think I said, “no way”…   well actually peeps, “way” it is…   Gina’s husband is none other than Randy Caputo  (Google him peeps!) who has played with everybody from Pearl Bailey to Oscar Peterson to Ella Fitzgerald to Lawrence Welk.  He’s also a member of the Jazz Legends Hall of Fame Society and yes peeps, I was wrong…   The kit in front of the fireplace  was one of three Slingerland kits that Buddy actually used and he passed it along to Randy.  HOW  COOL IS THAT!?!?!   I didn’t play ’em, (I didn’t dare ask… ) but Randy played them and they sounded beautiful!

Hold on, it gets even better…

I noticed that the second floor tom was not the original size (Buddy used 2 identical 16×16 ‘s ) and when I asked about it Randy said he was more of a Gene Krupa guy and so he wanted the larger floor tom to get more of the Krupa thing.

Jackie note: I sorta think most drummers are broken into one of two old school camps… Krupa or Rich.  I’ve always been a Krupa person and even though this was Buddy’s actual kit, Randy had swapped out the dual 16’s for a 16 and a 20 floor tom set up so he could get the Krupa tom tom sound…  Once a Krupa guy, always a Krupa guy.

(Google: Gene Krupa, “Sing Sing Sing” and find out why …  NOBODY swings like Krupa!)

I spent about an hour with Randy and I was mad at myself for always being in such a hurry when I go see Gina that I had never made it a point to meet Randy before now.  He is just a great guy and you can tell he loves the drums.  I’m hoping I get to spend more time with him…  BTW; Gina is no musical slouch herself… She’s a vocalist and performs with Randy all the time. I’m going to have to get me a ticket to that show soon!!!!

Okay peeps, it was a ridiculously busy trip and I didn’t get everything done but it was  a wonderful 3 days…  In the presence of Randy Caputo and the drums Mr. Rich would solo on nightly …   ohhhhhh yea..

Make it swing peeps!

 

September 18, 2011

It’s been a while… my bad.  Just happily busy and doing my thing. My students are all back from vacation and my gigs are diverse and satisfying. We (The Chris Cobb Band) played The Delta Blues Festival yesterday and I think it’s safe to say we “brought the rock” to the blues. The band is now playing all original music (when appropriate) but I’m really hoping we start writing new material as a band. The material now is off Chris’ first two albums and a song or two of Jesse’s debut but Chris and Jesse are both totally cool with the band playing it as if the material was all our own. On other fronts, I’m healthy, gluten-free now for 6 months and my shoulder seems to be holding up.  Btw; the gluten-free thing is magic. I firmly believe it can cut down on a lot of what makes people hurt as they age…   If you have joint pain, inflammation or just feel stiff and “old”, try it…  I did and I’m feeling 25 again! Well maybe 26…

It’s time to rock…

August 1, 2011

Well I’m a little tired… I did 26 shows in July and it was a very creative, challenging and exhausting month.  I also finally finished my Harley Davidson rebuild project (a big THANKS to Kirk, Lisa and Mikee at Calif Design Studios) and I am looking forward to a nice relaxing ride down the coast (Pics after the ride, I promise).  Last but certainly not least,  I had a brief conversation with Georg Dolivo of Rhino Bucket. That hasn’t happened since 2006 and I’m hopeful that some type of creative relationship can start to happen.  The “Bucket” is in my DNA and although Georg and I may not be able to be “in a band” together, there were some pretty magical moments and it would be nice to have the ice that has formed thaw so we can see what we can still create. We shall see….    Time for a nap…

See ya in 3 days   🙂

 

July 12, 2011

Hi everyone. Just dropped in to let you know I had a blast being the “house drummer” at The fourth annual “Vets to Vets Blues Festival” in Half Moon Bay yesterday.  The house band was honored to back 3 wonderful musicians, guitarist Terry Hiatt,  saxophonist Nancy Wright and the highlight of the day was playing a set with blues legend, Ron Thompson. It was 3 completely different styles with 3 completely different challenges but I had a wonderful afternoon and we raised some money for some guys (and gals) that deserved it.  I’m hoping I get to participate again next year and while I’m sitting here hoping, I hope all of you are having a great summer and hopefully our paths will cross…  I guess hoping is something I believe in….

Rock on peeps!!!

June 14, 2011

Wow, time is flying but thankfully most of the blur is good.      I’ve been working hard on my band (The Chris Cobb Band) and between my side-man gigs and my teaching, I’m zooming around a million miles a minute!     More importantly to the big picture,  I am finally working really hard on rehabbing my shoulder. It’s been getting continually worse for 30 years (honest!) and it had slowly but surely been impacting how I play.      Luckily, it’s been a very slow process and I don’t think anyone noticed but there were some painful periods and it turns out the problem started when I was like, 12 years old.       I’m not going to bore you with all of that but lets just say the shoulder had become it’s own little eco-system set with many muscles not really doing what they should be doing.       One muscle would shut down so some other muscle then had to do the job for the mis-firing muscle, and then some other muscle had to cover for that muscle…. and so on.. and so on… that chain continued until I couldn’t lift my arm over my head.      Happily I now have more range of motion and strength in my shoulder than I can ever remember. Yay!!!
Okay, go look at my band’s website: wwwchriscobbband.com and I will see you soon!!!

Peace

 

April 13, 2011

I haven’t posted in a while but what the heck, here we go…. It’s my Birthday…it’s my Birthday!!!!

I’ve had a few so I’m keeping a low profile but it’s nice in a subtle way… Tomorrow I have a gig with The Chris Cobb Band and it’s been an emotional month but we are good and we are strong. The band is amazing and just getting started. Look out peeps, we are gonna do this! Stay tuned for online songs, pics and a new band website. SOON!!!!

March 19, 2011

A month ago we had to say good-bye to a musical brother, Johnny Nitro. This time it hit even closer to home. The 14 year old son of my band leader Chris Cobb died suddenly after developing complications from the flu. We as a band will never be the same…

Clay Cobb…just a sweet wonderful kid…

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February 22, 2011

Johnny Nitro 1951 – 2011

Rest in Peace my friend…

Johnny Nitro… Royalty in Bay Area Blues…

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January 31, 2011

First off, yes I got my champagne sparkle Gretsch kit   (see Jan 15 blog entry)   and yes, I do indeed feel 12 years old again. Damn I love these drums. They need a little work but I’m all over it and they should once again be making that “Great Gretsch Sound” by March of this year.   (Did I mention I loooooove these drums!?!?)

On another front, I had another amazing thing happen last week. I received a call from a bass player I worked with 23 years ago. (damn, that’s 161 in dog years!!!) And if the term “out of nowhere” ever has a picture attached, this would be the picture!

Back in the early 80’s, I was in a band that was a big deal in SoCal. We basically ruled the metal scene, got a huge record deal, had people sleeping on the sidewalk to get tickets to our shows and basically we were big rock stars in a medium-sized universe. The band was called “Warrior” and although the debut album which was called “Fighting for the Earth” didn’t do as well as was hoped commercially when released in 1984, it has subsequently become not only a metal cult classic but has been voted one of the top 10 metal albums of all time by many critics and other media-type folk….

Anyway, I was out of the band shortly after the recording was finished but about 4 years later I got a call from Warrior’s leader Joe Floyd and he wanted to put the band back together but with a few changes of personnel. The new band soon changed it’s name to “Cold Fire”, did about 15 well received shows but didn’t catch the ears of any record labels. Pretty soon, I was once again going this-a way while they were going that-a way….

I figured the Warrior/Cold Fire days of my life had come to a close.

And I was pretty much spot on…

but only for 23 years.

Kelly McGee was a long red haired bass player with the coolest hair and stage vibe in the world. He’s the guy that called me last week. I truly don’t remember what chain of events caused the band to break-up for the second time. Truth be told, I didn’t remember Kelly’s name when he called but I did remember the cat rockin’ like a mad man and that hair. We talked for a long time. He filled in a lot of blanks in my memory and it was so very very cool.

Jackie note: It would be ever so “Behind the Music” to tell you I didn’t remember Kelly and this era of the Warrior story because of all the drugs I was doing but that’s not me. I’m just not much of a druggie. I do think that I sorta live 5 minutes ahead of myself and some stuff, even some good stuff, can sorta blur on by.

Whatever may have happened back then, it was great to hear Kelly’s voice. One of the best parts was hearing how proud and positive he was of what we had done together musically. Although it has been 8,395 days (give or take a week) since we last said “Let’s go get ’em” to each other, it felt like we were talking about some gig we did last Wed.

I’m very proud of Warrior. There was some hurtful times but there was some incredibly joyful times as well. I have given up trying to figure out why things go the way they do. I will probably never know why the band let me go after I played on the entire record. The record speaks for itself and the people that matter (or at least matter to me) know those drums are me. (Note: I’m not in the video and my picture isn’t on the album). There must have been something that made Joe feel like changes were necessary. We will never know what would have happened if we had simply stayed intact

Of course, if the original line-up had stayed together, then I would have never met and played with Kelly. And that means last Saturdays’ phone call would never have happened, and I am so very happy it did.. Funny how good things just seem to find their own way….

Kelly is still doing bits and pieces with Joe and the Warrior family so the next time I’m in L.A., if everyone is feeling it, we just might find ourselves banging out a tune or two….

“Hey Kelly, lets go get ’em….”

Blessings and peace,
Jackie

ps; if you want to check out my time with Warrior, go to youtube and type in “Warrior – Fighting for the Earth” …. the video has my friend Jimmy Volpe playing the drums but the drums you are hearing were played by me … and for you gear-heads, that album was done on the rosewood-finish Gretsch listed on the “gear” page of this website… Go bang your head!!!!
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January 15, 2011…

When I was around 12 years old, I saw a drum set with a sparkle finish that was kinda brown/pink/silvery in color and someone told me it was called “champagne sparkle”. I thought it was the coolest drum finish I had ever seen and later on when I went to see one of my favorite bands, Humble Pie and their drummer Jerry Shirley was bangin’ on a champagne sparkle…. Well that pretty much did it… I was going to get me one of those champagne sparkle kits.

(I’d love to tell you I marched right out and got a champagne sparkle kit but that would be waaaay to easy…. and so we continue)

My first “pro-level” kit was a big white Rogers kit. It was monstrous and loud and I took some red tape and put a single red stripe around the center of each drum and they looked pretty damn spectacular under stage lights if I do say so myself. I played the poop out of those drums but I was also realizing that this over sized cannon-like drum set had it’s limitations… Lousy in the studio, took up an awful lot of stage room, and if we couldn’t play at 400 db, the drums just didn’t work… so as much as I felt like a rock god when those drums were thundering, it was time to move on…

Meeting Jeff Porcaro (R.I.P.) and having him introduce me to Gretsch drums started a love affair that has never waned. I love the studio and having a chance to play Jeff’s drums and learn from his crew opened up a whole new world to me. I currently still have both kits that Jeff and his people helped me put together. The first one is a 1981 USA Gretsch kit finished in rosewood lacquer (my studio kit) and the other a 1990 USA Gretsch kit with a custom finish charcoal lacquer with bigger sizes for touring.

(Now I’m sure you are thinking, “wait a minute, I thought you were dreaming about a damn champagne sparkle kit”? Why didn’t you buy what you really wanted?)

Wellllllll, back then there was big debate about drums that were “wrapped” vs. drums that were “not wrapped”. Sparkles, pearls, onyx’s and every other finish that isn’t just the natural wood of the drum is a “wrap” that is glued or taped on the outside of the drum shell. The argument was that a “wrapped” shell couldn’t resonate like an unwrapped shell (kinda makes sense, right?) and as much as I wanted my champagne sparkle, even more important was getting the best drum sound possible.

Jackie note: By the way, I no longer believe this to be true. It is perhaps logical but since every drum sound is “colored” by the room, the microphones, the guy (or gal) behind the sound board and a million other factors, I now believe to worry about whether or not a drum is wrapped is just drummer paranoia. John Bonham had a green sparkle kit in the early days… then moved to Vistalite (acrylic) drums… Have you ever heard John Bonham sound bad? I rest my case…

Anywaaaaay, back then we argued endlessly about this stuff (many still do) but because of Jeff and his guys, by 1991 I had all the great sounding drums I would ever need   (keyword: “need” which is not to be confused with the far more popular word, “want”).  In 1992 I happened to walk into a drum store in Denver while on tour and right in front of me was a 1966 GOLD sparkle Ludwig kit that the guy had just gotten in trade the day before. Two hours of hand wringing and internal arguing with myself later, they were mine. I had given up my champagne sparkle dream for a gold sparkle reality.

You know, I still have those drums. They have been my steady club kit for the last 19 years and have done hundreds of shows with me. (You can see and hear them on the video page of this website) They have been my perfect wing-man. They still look great, sound great and have never let me down. They have made me proud since day one. The problem is, 19 years later my champagne sparkle dream is still in my head… and with all due respect to my Ludwig’s (and these drums have earned a lot), I’m still a Gretsch person through and through… It is simply who I am.

On Jan 23, 2011, I will finally have that childhood dream come true…

I found an old USA Gretsch kit that was originally sold in Alabama..

They were manufactured somewhere between 1958 and 1962 ….

The shells were made for Gretsch by the Jasper furniture factory so they have authentic Jasper shells.

They are the Gretsch “round badge” drum which is in my opinion the badge that signifies the finest sounding drums in the world.

and they are wrapped in this sorta brown/pink/ silvery color…

I am so in love…

God bless,
Jackie