The other day I got that feeling again―that feeling I get when I hear a song that features killer horns. I can’t describe it and won’t waste time trying, but this time it happened when Spotify served up one of my all-time favorite horn songs, “Draggin’ the Line” (Tommy James), followed by another song with horns, “Time Won’t Let Me” (The Outsiders). So many feel-good songs use horns! Here are my top ten faves in alphabetical order:
“Bend Me Shape Me” (The American Breed)
“Don’t You Care” (The Buckinghams)
“Draggin’ the Line” (Tommy James)
“Good Morning Good Morning” (The Beatles)
“Got to Get You Into My Life” (The Beatles)
“Happy Together” (The Turtles)
“Make Me Smile” (Chicago)
“Susan” (The Buckinghams)
“Uptight” (Stevie Wonder)
Narrowing the list to ten was no small task, as there are so many good tunes to choose from, but there you have it. I’ve loved these songs for decades, yet they remain as fresh today as when I first heard them. Give them a listen, see what you think!
After a year that left little time for creative pursuits, The Jerrys have begun making new music and plan to release a new album of original songs. While it’s too early to set a release date, a single from the album will be released this summer. Until then, check out past releases, including The Jerrys at WZRD, last year’s full-length album featuring songs recorded live in the studio at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM.
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)
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.
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!
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
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
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
And everyone knows
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.
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.
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.
The Jerrys played on Thursday Night Live at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM on April 26, 2018. The 10-song set included new music from The Wind Cries Jerrys, covers of songs by Tommy James & the Shondells and The Kinks, and power pop songs pulled from the Jerrys’ catalog:
1. Be Yourself
2. Anna Marie
3. I Even Love You More Than Elizabeth Hurley
4. Ann Taylor Girl
5. New Wave
6. Hanky Panky
7. Space Cadet
8. Chicago USA
9. Every Girl
10. Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
Those familiar with the Chicago punk scene will recognize the drum head as the one used for Silver Abuse, as Robert Porche also plays with that band. Stay tuned for a new and improved drum head, as well as a possible live album later this year from The Jerrys.
The Jerrys will play live at WZRD Chicago on April 26
My band The Jerrys will play live in the studio at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM on April 26. I hope you’ll tune in at 10 PM Central as Robert Porche (drums, backing vocals), Jim Losby (bass guitar, backing vocals), and I play ten songs live, including songs from the newly released EP, The Wind Cries Jerrys.
You can listen to the show via radio (88.3 FM on your radio dial), via live stream, or via any radio app on your phone (TuneIn is available on Android and iTunes, and it’s free).