Singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Jacob Jeffries heads up a quartet that makes lovely piano-driven pop rock perfect for a relaxing afternoon at the beach or contemplative evening in the woods. Just before kicking off its fifth tour, the band has made time to open up for New Orleans' raucous Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the 2012 New Times Broward Palm Beach'sBeerfest this weekend.
Jeffries is a Broward native who's played alongside bands like the Gin Blossoms and Sugar Ray at festivals like South by Southwest and the Sundance Film Festival, and also, of course right here in South Florida.
He claims to have a love/hate relationship with the scene down here. One main problem is geography and the diversity of the audiences' tastes. "Beyond the physical distances, it's an eclectic crowd with different cultural backgrounds here in South Florida," he says. "The idea is not to focus on who you aren't affecting and realize the people that dig what you're doing -- and respect them for respecting you."
He says that there are some sonic "gems" in the scene and that once you start looking, you'll find them. What he likes is, "It's not like Los Angeles or Nashville, where every soul is searching for a record or publishing deal." South Florida keeps it real.
L.A. is one of Jeffries' stomping grounds, though, and he enjoys it out there. Calling it cutting-edge, he notes, "It is the center of the entertainment world, and that excites any traveling musician."
The band has been lucky enough to find it easy and pleasurable enough to spend time on the road. "We're lucky to have so many great friends all around the country, so we usually have an open invitation to sleep. No sleeping in Dumpsters or anything."
They pass their time on the asphalt playing something they've named "tour games," he says, "Through this game, we've managed to punch sandwiches, slap drinks out of our hands, confront policemen, and even receive public spankings." But other than that, he claims they're kind of boring. "We like finding good food, reading books, and tossing the occasional Frisbee. One hundred percent no pranks, ever." No pranks ever? Sure.
Musically, he's inspired by singer/songwriers, R&B, '50s doo-wop, and classic rock. The band recently released a video, "Crazy Under the Moon" (see above), and the last show it performed was the release party for this classy and engaging video at the Green Room. The place was filled with those who helped create the final product, friends, and fans. "At the end of our set, we premiered the video. It was a really special night," he says.
Catch Jacob Jeffries Band open for Dirty Dozen Brass Band at New Times Broward-Palm Beach's Beerfest 2012 on Saturday, March 31, at Huizenga Plaza, 32 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at noon, and admission is $40 at the door.