Update on The Jerrys’ New Album

A few weeks into spring, The Jerrys‘ new album is coming along nicely. Writing, playing, and producing a full-length album takes hundreds of hours, but I enjoy the work and the challenges that confront me along the way. I ditched my career to do what I love, and I’m doing what I love more than ever. If one were to say I’m living the dream, I couldn’t disagree.

At least a few tracks have been recorded for each of seven new songs (14 total are planned), and I’ve written titles and lyrics for six of those. Among the new tunes are a James Bond theme song (“Love Me Now and Leave Me Never”), a song about my better half (“Alicia”), and a song about a guy, his girl, and his guitar (“Just Us Three”). The first two are rockers (as is “Lean on Me,” another new track), while the latter recalls the style of The Everly Brothers.

I’ll provide another update on the (as-yet-untitled) Jerrys album in the summer, as well as news on the single that will be released in advance of the album. Until then, there’s a lot more studio work to do. One thing is certain: If anyone has half as much fun listening to the finished album as I’m having making it, it will be The Jerrys’ best effort yet.

New Lyric Video: Anna Marie

Here’s the new lyric video for “Anna Marie” by The Jerrys. The song is from the EP, The Wind Cries Jerrys.

Anna Marie

You turn round and tell me you love me
After all that we’ve been through.
You run round like you’re miles above me
Make a scene like you always do.

Why you do it to me, Anna Marie?
What’s the use in trying?
Why you do it to me, Anna Marie?

You get wound when I say do you love me.
I get sick when I hear you say
You’re not lying when you’re lying about me.
You look best when walking away.

Why you do it to me, Anna Marie?
What’s the use in crying?
Why you do it to me, Anna Marie?

You shut down when you’re tired of me.
You say stop when I say hello.
First you say no, then you say no.
Then you say no and then I go oh no.

Why you do it to me, Anna Marie?
What’s the use in trying?
Why you do it to me, Anna Marie?
What’s the use in crying?
Why you do it to me, Anna Marie?
What’s the use in trying?

Words and music ©2017 by Jerry Schwartz

Books I Read in 2020

When I say I read a handful of books in 2020, I mean it. I only read five books in 2020! Here’s the list of books I read or reread during a very busy year:

  • Buddhist Suttas for Recitation: A Companion for Walking the Buddha’s Path (Bhante Gunaratana)
  • Post Office (Charles Bukowski)
  • Revolution in the Head (Ian McDonald)
  • What Why How: Answers to Your Questions About Buddhism, Meditation, and Living Mindfully (Bhante G)
  • Hawk: I Did It My Way (Ken Harrelson)

Despite the small list, I love to read (I even wrote a song about it), and I plan to read more books in 2021.

My Top 10 Favorite Songs With Horns

Horn

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:

  • “98.6” (Keith)
  • “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!

The Jerrys Set to Make New Music


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 will be released from the album in early 2021. 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.

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

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.