THE LISTENING ROOM
Sponsored by East Wisconsin Savings Bank
A unique singer/songwriter from Appleton, Chris Jourdan picked up a guitar at age 18, fell in love and began to harness the power of music. Formerly the frontman for Wisconsin jam band The Wandering Foolz, as a solo artist, Chris puts on high-energy acoustic performances. Described by some as John Mayer meets Pearl Jam with incredibly busy but not invasive guitar playing.
Here’s Jourdan’s “Downtown (Scratch the Surface)” https://youtu.be/rIe-pCfLZYc
“I've always followed my ears whilst finding my way through this wonderful musical landscape that is before me. With a little help of my friends as well, I've found a vast variety of music sustains my interests. After all, I'm a mere human with a set of emotions...and the music I decide to put into my ears tends to follow. But, if I must whittle it down, here are my two favorite bands that you might not know about. I picked these bands due to my emotional attachment to them. In the darkest times in my life we've shared moments. Also in the funnest and brightest times too. Though we are not in the same room very often, their music has journeyed my soul and I am thankful.
“One of the bands I just cannot get enough of is an amazing rock band out of Japan. They go by the name One OK Rock. My close friend and drummer Alex first brought their music to me. I heard a couple songs and the it brought me back to my youth. It was loud in all the best ways. The chugging yet precise guitar riffs that were so incredibly catchy, they were almost lyrical. The One OK Rock sound features extremely tight, almost progressive drumming alongside easy to digest bass lines.
“Of course, to complete this for me they had to have an amazing vocalist, and they do in Taka Moriuchi. This guy is an absolute powerhouse. Vocal range that will bring you to tears at moments in songs like “Heartache,” or make you shout along in the song “Decision.” Both songs can be found in their first all-English release 35. It defines what Pop-Rock should be.
“They have mixed both Japanese and English lyrics into their music on most other releases. I believe this has created a conversation in which both Japanese and American audiences are curious about what the other is saying. They are literally one of the biggest bands in the world. Google image search their show at Yokahama Arena and you'll see what I mean. Pay attention to One OK Rock!
See Crowds for One OK Rock at Yokohama https://goo.gl/images/QMKujt
One OK Rock “Decision” https://youtu.be/j4sEvo4ojq8
Next we venture to Chicago and the one and only Umphrey’s McGee. With an extremely versatile setlist and an ensemble of beyond-stellar players, these guys will surely deliver something you love if you give them long enough. I’m shy to admit the number of times I’ve seen them...my friends will tell you it’s more than a lot!
“One of the first things I’ll tell you is hang on to your pants. These guys are all in! Hands down, they have one of the best light shows in the business! And... If you have enough time you'll hear them hitting on multiple styles of music like they own them all. It'll have you moving without a doubt.
“They shine strong with the song “Glory.” I’ve shed some tears during this song. I urge you to listen to the many versions they have put out of this beautiful song. To me, it feels like the guitar is shedding tears as he plays it. This song alone can carry me through some hard times.
“If you wanna really hear them open up, check out the song “Divisions” which is harder to come by these days but is absolutely epic, and well defines what the band is capable of. This band can take a song, cover it, and make it their own. Check them doing “Africa” by TOTO, or my personal favorite, “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel. They also do a stellar version of “Shine on you Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd. Check out their version from Red Rocks and you won’t be able turn it off. I strongly encourage you to peel yourself off your devices and go see them live the next chance you get. They really care about you coming. But if you can’t make it they offer their concerts live as they happen for a small cost in HD from folks such as tourgigs.com and nugs.net. Don't miss it!
Umphrey’s McGee “Glory/Bridgeless” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJ43IwF-oWk&feature=share
Umphrey’s McGee “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=998TzVK7pQ4&feature=share
“I appreciate you taking some time to see what’s in my jukebox! Now go put it in yours!”