Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons

Jerry Joseph has worn a lot of hats over more than three decades in the music trenches – righteous rocker, hyper-observant cultural observer, spiritual & political firebrand, force of nature live performer – but the bedrock of what he does has always been songwriting of the highest caliber. Joseph is a kindred tunesmith to sharp, craftsmanship minded pros like Elvis Costello, Warren Zevon and Nick Lowe, where the resoundingly sturdy bones inside their compositions shape things no matter what’s draped over them. It’s a dedication to fundamentals and classic singer-songwriter standards that’s increasingly rare and welcome in a music environment that emphasizes texture and mood over substance. While Joseph has made acoustic albums in the past his new self-titled record (available 10/31/13 on Cosmo Sex School) is his most exposed studio effort to date, the man, his guitar and songs standing in the spotlight with an open invitation for listeners to sit at his heel as he explores some of the strongest, finest reaches of his rich catalog.

“It was hard to do,” says Joseph. “It’s like that dream where you’re naked at school except I’m naked in a circle with my favorite songwriters. Nick Cave, Aimee Mann and Robert Wyatt are there and say, ‘You play one, Jerry.’ What the fuck do I play? Well, I play ‘War at the End of the World,’ ‘Cochise’ or ‘Spy’ and hope they don’t laugh me off the stage. In the end, the point of this album is to get in that circle and show what I’ve got.”

With clear, pleasantly immediate production from longtime collaborator Gregg Williams (Blitzen Trapper, Dandy Warhols), Jerry Joseph draws out hidden gems from his writing for Stockholm Syndrome, The Denmark Veseys and earlier overlooked solo releases to explore the soul floating inside his work. It’s an intimate, passionately delivered, patiently rendered portrait of a serious songsmith laid bare akin to Chris Whitley’s Weeds, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Michael Hedges’ Watching My Life Go By, Tim Bluhm’s California Way, and Patty Griffin’s Living With Ghosts. It’s an album that sighs and laughs in real time, the emotional core lifted to the surface, the truths inside the songs as shiningly visible as their creator in this special setting.

“We recorded about 30 songs chosen carefully from the whole catalogue though consciously less from more recent records,” says Joseph. “What ended up on this album represent, to me, pretty good songwriting presented in a super intimate, completely unaffected way. We tried for perfect takes early on and figured out quickly that we just needed to let the tape roll and let each performance be as honest as possible.”

“They’re not my children, but I feel like I owe it to the songs to explore possibilities and reflect on them in a different light,” says Joseph. “With this record we wanted to leave every verse in, let the songs breathe a bit like early Dylan albums – clean, recorded with really good mics, versions that mean something.”

Joseph first came to prominence in the mid-1980s with still-beloved cult band Little Women, a reggae-rock proto-jam band that dominated the Rocky Mountain club scene for nearly a decade, and notably helped break jam giants Widespread Panic, who looked up to Joseph and opened for his band before rising to prominence. To this day, many of Panic’s favorite concert staples were written by Jerry Joseph, including such blazing epics as “North,” “Chainsaw City” and “Climb to Safety.” Today, Joseph neatly describes Little Women as “a mash-up of Burning Spear and the Grateful Dead dressed up like the New York Dolls.”

Jeff Crosby & the Refugees

Idaho-born, LA-based singer-songwriter Jeff Crosby's Silent Conversations ep will be released on Cosmo Sex School on March 5. This will be Cosmo Sex School's first release that is not a Jerry Joseph project.

Silent Conversations deals with the bittersweet emotions of leaving home and family for the first time and finding new appreciation for what you left behind. Partly written as Jeff moved from small town Idaho to L.A. with the rest composed during a month-long trip to Columbia, the five songs reflect the change he was making in his life at the time and the clarity that comes from distance. The title track, "Silent Conversations," was written while standing in the doorway of a catholic church in Colombia during a torrential downpour. "This Old Town" is a reaction to coming home after moving to LA, how different everything looks and how the place shaped him. "Family, How Ya Been" is taken from letters Jeff was attempting to write home while staying in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Jeff says, "I'm not very good at keeping in touch or writing home so naturally the letters turned into a song. I found the poem while moving my stuff to LA and started performing the tune at pubs and bars. People really reacted to it so I decided to record it for the EP."

Jerry Joseph's first encounter with Jeff Crosby also elicited a strong reaction to his live performance. While opening for Jerry in the Rockies, Jerry was immediately struck by Jeff. Jerry raves, "Jeff is the whole package. His guitar playing is frankly ripping, he's got a big thoughtful voice and a great hungry band. He's ******* gorgeous and manages to not let that override his presence (give him time). And then there's the songs. I keep going back to Stephen Stills ala Manassas, in vocal timbre, guitar stylings and song writing. I would venture to guess as Jeff was forming his `thing', he had no idea who Stephen Still is. There's a lot of the Laurel Canyon vibe in his writing but at the end of the day, he's from Idaho."

The two played some more shows together and Jerry offered to put out the ep on his label, Cosmo Sex School. "I think Jeff is a rock star. I still like and look for rock stars in music, that's what I grew up with. They had presence and confidence and they looked cool and I could sing along and most importantly, they were not me. I didn't want to pay to see me, I wanted to go somewhere else, with cool locations and interesting friends and the camaraderie of a band and good drugs and pretty girls and I wanted to shake my ass while I was at it. I listen to Jeff and, at least for a moment, I go there. You might want to go there too..."

Crosby will be touring in support of the new album throughout the spring and summer with his band The Refugees which features Will Prescott (drums), Daniel "The Hawk" Blumenfeld (keys) and new addition, Jeff's brother, Andrew Crosby (Bass Guitar).

$15 Day Of Show

Tickets Available at the Door

add to your calendar

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
Cervantes' Other Side

Ticketfly

Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons w/ Jeff Crosby & the Refugees

Wednesday, June 19 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Cervantes' Other Side

Tickets Available at the Door