New Album: The Jerrys at WZRD

The Jerrys at WZRD album cover

New Album, The Jerrys at WZRD, Now Available

The Jerrys have released their first-ever live album, The Jerrys at WZRD, recorded live in the studio at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM. Ten songs that aired live on the station during four separate appearances from 2012-2018 comprise the track listing:

1. I Even Love You More Than Elizabeth Hurley (At WZRD Chicago)***
2. Ann Taylor Girl (At WZRD Chicago)****
3. New Wave (At WZRD Chicago)*
4. Space Cadet (At WZRD Chicago)****
5. Be Yourself (At WZRD Chicago)***
6. Let’s Groove (At WZRD Chicago)**
7. The King of I Don’t Care (At WZRD Chicago)*
8. Every Girl (At WZRD Chicago)**
9. Bigger Than Oprah (At WZRD Chicago)*
10. What the World Could Use a Lot More Of (At WZRD Chicago)**

*Original broadcast, 2012; Jerry Schwartz (guitar, lead vocal) and Robert Porche (drums, backing vocal)
**Original broadcast, 2014; Jerry Schwartz (live guitar and live vocals with public appearance mixes)
***Original broadcast, 2016; Jerry Schwartz (guitar, harmonica, lead vocal), Robert Porche (drums, backing vocal), and Jim Losby (bass guitar, backing vocal)
****Original broadcast, 2018; Jerry Schwartz (guitar, harmonica, lead vocal) , Robert Porche (drums, backing vocal), Jim Losby (bass guitar, backing vocal)

All words and music by Jerry Schwartz

The Jerrys at WZRD is available on the band’s website and at CD Baby. Check it out!

 

Upcoming Live Album, The Jerrys on Instagram, More

As summer nears, here’s a quick update on my band and the live album to be released in the coming weeks:

  • Production and postproduction work have been completed for a new live album. The Jerrys at WZRD will consist of ten songs recorded over four separate performances recorded live in the studio at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM. I’m currently working on the album art and will post the final track listing when that is available. The album will be released in early summer.
  • I began recording for a new single by The Jerrys. I like where it’s going, and I’m enjoying making it. There’s no release date at this time.
  • The Jerrys are now on Instagram, so be sure to check out The Jerrys on Instagram. You can also visit The Jerrys’ Facebook page or follow The Jerrys on Twitter.
  • On May 16, I performed a set with The Jerrys at Rabid Brewing in Homewood, Illinois. It was the first time we played out this year, as well as our first time at that venue (photo). Later that evening, I played solo with a borrowed guitar before being joined on stage by others, including Robert Porche.

For the record, since starting this post I wrote another tune and will begin recording that one soon. There’s always more music on the way!

New Single: Everything Goes

Everything Goes single cover

A new single by The Jerrys, “Everything Goes,” is now available as a free download. Give it a listen!

 

Everything Goes

Nothing ever the same
that’s how things go
You’re not even who you
were a picosecond ago
You can’t step in the same
river twice and all that
No past, no future,
now is where it’s at
Everything goes
Everything goes

In the blink of an eye
the morning is noon
One minute it’s March
and next thing
it’s already June
Time and tide wait for no man
and all that biz
No then, no later,
now is all there is and
Everything goes
Everything goes

At the end of the day
time doesn’t know
Who’s still hanging around:
it stays and the people go
Time flies and life’s too short
and all that stuff
Don’t waste your time cause
life is short enough
Everything goes
Everything goes
And everyone knows
Everything goes

Words and music ©2018 by Jerry Schwartz
All instruments and vocals by Jerry Schwartz

Books I Read in 2018

Beatles Gear Ultimate Edition

This past year, I spent more time studying and playing music than I did reading books from start to finish. That said, here’s the list of books I read or reread in 2018:

  • Bhavana Vandana (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)
  • White Gold Wielder (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • Life of a Lay Buddhist: Meditation=Awareness (Ven. Dr. M. Vajiragnana)
  • The Runes of the Earth (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments, from Stage to Studio – The Ultimate Edition (Andy Babiuk)

Here’s hoping for more reading time in 2019!

The Jerrys Debut New Live Show

My bandmates and I debuted our new live show on November 17 at Mama and Me Pizzeria in Homewood, Illinois. In all, we played 36 songs, including original music going back to Pop Go The Jerrys, as well as covers of songs by Chuck Berry, Herman’s Hermits, David Bowie, the Kinks, and others. In addition to playing a lot of songs live for the first time, we debuted our new drum head.

It was not our first time playing at the venue. On September 28, we played just over an hour after a rousing set by The Big Boppers. That evening, we played mostly original songs, but did include a few covers, including Tommy James and the Shondells’ 1966 hit, “Hanky Panky.” Originals included three songs from The Jerrys’ new six-song EP, The Wind Cries Jerrys: “Chicago USA,” “Ms Wonderful,” and “Anna Marie.” Watch “Ms Wonderful” live at Mama and Me Pizzeria below.

For the record, field-testing of my new Fender American Elite Telecaster guitar is now complete. Not once during the entire show did any string slip out of the nut. My repositioning the string guide to the “1960s Telecaster” position was the simple solution to a big problem. After a proper setup, the guitar should be ready to play for a long time.

Field-Testing the Fender American Elite Telecaster Guitar

The Jerrys at Mama and Me Pizzeria 9/28/18

Last month I had the opportunity to field-test my new guitar, a black Fender American Elite Telecaster. The Elite is the best guitar I’ve ever owned. The first time I picked it up, I felt as though Fender had made the guitar just for me, perfect in every way. I couldn’t wait to use it at an upcoming show at Mama and Me Pizzeria.

Several songs into our set, however, I noticed that the first string had slipped out of both the nut and the string guide. As my style more closely resembles Pete Townsend’s than Segovia’s, I assumed the fault was mine and placed the string back where it belonged. No biggie—until it happened again. And again. In all, I must have repositioned the string a dozen times that night (it was the only guitar I’d brought). My “perfect” guitar had failed the test.

String Guide Placement

After more research than I care to admit, I concluded that Fender’s factory placement of the string guide did not provide adequate pressure on the string to keep it in the nut, at least for my playing style. In Fenderspeak, the guide had been placed in the “’50s Telecaster” position on the Elite instead of the “’60s Telecaster” position level with the A string tuner. Additionally, the fix seemed like something that even I could do, so I did it.

Fender American Elite Telecaster headstock with repositioned string guide

Since moving the string guide to the ’60s Telecaster position, I’ve played at full throttle, almost daring the string to come out of place. So far, the issue appears to be resolved, and the modification left only a small hole in the headstock where the guide had been originally. Field-testing of the American Elite Telecaster resumes at our next show.

The Jerrys at Mama and Me Pizzeria and More

The Jerrys drums logo by ScottyRocks

It’s been a busy summer! As we welcome this first day of fall, here’s the latest news regarding The Jerrys:

  • On September 28 at 8:30 pm, The Jerrys will play at Mama and Me Pizzeria in Homewood, Illinois. Join us Friday night for music and fun!
  • Following the release of The Wind Cries Jerrys (6-song EP) earlier this year, The Jerrys will release a new single in the next several months. Details to come.
  • It’s official: The Jerrys will release a live album sometime in 2019. Preliminary work has already been done for this new release, recorded live during multiple appearances at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM.

I look forward to sharing more music from The Jerrys soon. Until then, happy fall!

Insight Timer Meditation App

Insight Timer logo

The Insight Timer meditation app gets my recommendation as the go-to meditation app. While I don’t use most of the app’s many features, the timer and its settings alone make the app worth using. I also enjoy receiving the early-morning reminders I set up to receive each day. If you meditate for any reason, you’ll find this app handy. Check out Insight Timer’s website for more information.

My Dad and His Love of Music

My dad

My dad passed away last month, and rather than list facts here—that he was born in Kentucky to a German sharecropper and his wife, that he grew to be a successful man with a wife and six children, etc—I mention his love of music. I am grateful to my dad for many things, but I am most grateful for the love of music that he passed along to me.

In the earliest days of our family, Dad had an electric guitar and amplifier, and he enjoyed playing for fun. We watched Johnny Rivers on television and listened to Duane Eddy records on the stereo, and Dad thought Chuck Berry was the greatest. When I was six, he taught me to play “Secret Agent Man,” “What I Say,” and the Bonanza theme song on guitar, and I played those songs over and over. He sold that guitar one day and never played again, but he bought one for me soon after, and I’ve been playing ever since.

I recall the times Dad drove me and my musical equipment around to practices. I remember him taking a vacation day to watch my band play in a school talent show. I hear him singing as he walked through the house, and when I’m enjoying a tune, I tap my foot like he always did. I think of my dad every day, especially when I play guitar. Life’s better with music. Dad taught me that.