Jacksonville’s best kept secret is the city’s diverse music community. From rap to country to blues to metal to everything in between, this sprawling Florida city has an abundance of musicians doing live music every night of the week. Now two Jacksonville musicians, brothers Kent and Brent Smedley, have announced a new album due out from Combat Records, part of the EMP Label group, in early 2019. For both these musicians, music has indeed been an ‘Eternal Odyssey’, the namesake for their new musical endeavors.
I don’t know Brent personally, but I do know Kent. Kent is one of those jack-of-all trades musicians. He plays guitar superbly. He’s done solo work and played with bands. He’s performed in different genres with different musicians, including my daughter at least once. He is a gifted teacher. I couldn’t count all the musicians Kent has had a hand in teaching and mentoring.
When we first moved to Jax, I knew we’d need a guitar teacher for Rebecca. She’d been working on guitar for quite some time, and had several teachers in our former home state. Kent was the game changer. From the first lesson she took, we could see such a difference in her work. He’s been part of so many events for both our family and the girls’ band. He played at one of my book launches. He played at my older daughter’s wedding. He performed during the release of Rebecca’s first single when she was exclusively doing solo gigs. Besides all his talent, Kent is just a great fellow.
I saw the announcement about Eternal Odyssey’s new album, Awakening, and was thrilled to see this is scheduled for release in March, 2019. Megadeath bassist David Ellefson, who founded the EMP Label Group, acquired the Combat Records brand.
Kent’s brother Brent is a percussionist of iconic band Iced Earth fame. Brent’s nickname is “Deadly Smedley”, and although metal is his passion, like Kent, Brent has been very versatile in his music career.
I hope to do a personal interview soon. This week I’ve been immersed in post-construction matters here at home ahead of Rebecca’s wedding (also here at home) and in the poetry of Jennifer Reeser. Watch for a two-part article on this incredible poet next week.
(Kay B. Day/Oct. 19, 2018)