Media in Jacksonville and Florida in general are a sleepy bunch, especially when it comes to the arts. One major accomplishment has apparently escaped media attention. Jacksonville Beach recording group The Gunboat Diplomats’ song “Crazy About You” is included in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film Glass. I had to laugh after an email exchange with one of the Diplomats because he shared that news with me as an afterthought.
The CD Awakening featuring brothers Kent and Brent Smedley performing as Eternal Odyssey is now available for pre-order from EMP Label Group. The estimated shipping date is April 12. The CD features nine songs in keeping with the band’s melodic metal/hard rock aesthetic. Kent and Brent have both dedicated their lives to music, including playing in or being associated with well-known bands.
Gladys Knight spoke about singing the national anthem for Super Bowl Llll in an interview posted by the NFL on YouTube. Amid criticism from a small but vocal collection of activists, Knight has maintained her calm and is sticking to her decision to sing the anthem. Knight has seen and participated in all aspects of the Civil Rights movement, recounting having to give separate performances for white and black audiences in the South of yesteryear.
Florida musicians have a talented advocate working quietly in the background at bars, festivals, and other venues. Mike Hamilton is becoming the persona grata in the world of Sunshine State music, and he’s drawing well-deserved attention for the many images he’s shot of musicians working in different genres. The first time I saw Mike, I had no idea who he was. He was shooting photos of Rebecca and Jennifer at one of their gigs. Later he posted some pics on Facebook and it was obvious he has a good eye for composition. I saw that he was photographing different bands,
Anyone in the music business is aware streams of artists’ music play a vital role in their success. While indie artists’ fans often ask for CDs or vinyl, streaming stats supply numbers guaranteed to impress media and fans. Whether streaming numbers translate to similar numbers in fans is up for debate. Now Norway authorities are investigating US musician Jay-Z’s Tidal, alleging millions of “fake streams” for some artists. If true, this would result in disenfranchising others because of the way revenue is tabulated for artists.
My indie arts family is psyched for the national college football championship game tonight between the Clemson Tigers and Alabama’s Crimson Tide. I didn’t know until yesterday that Imagine Dragons will do the halftime show. I hadn’t listened to much of that band’s music, but when I saw a columnist dissing them as halftime entertainment while expressing positive feelings about their music, I revisited their song “Zero” and a couple others. The columnist suggested a great musician would’ve been a better fit for the gig. I disagree.
Indie Art South has followed recording group Gunboat Diplomats for quite some time, reporting favorably on their compositions. Now the Jacksonville Beach (FL) group has reasons to celebrate something besides Christmas. Keith Holmes, who does lead vocals on the song, “Crazy About You,” told IAS the song will be included in content for use in M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Glass. Holmes isn’t shouting the news from the rooftops—he shared it as an aside in an email exchange in response to my mentioning song licensing opportunities.
Misty Posey has released a new original, “Moon, Oh Moon”, and she’s aiming for more. In an email, she told me, “I am currently getting my recordings and artwork together for a full debut CD.” She’s doing this after selling out of her EPs at a Celtic-Renaissance festival. This week Posey will head to Dallas to a concert I’d love to hear. Posey will perform in two concerts on Dec. 7 and 8. “Celtic Christmas with the Selkie Girls and Friends” promises an evening of holiday sounds you can bet are honed to perfection.
The first time I went to Porchfest in the Springfield community of Jacksonville (FL), I was in awe of everyone coming together to share music and admiration for the unique homes. Porchfest is a free event. People can stroll the wide streets and hear music on porches throughout the neighborhood. Food trucks, kids’ activities, and a big mix of musical styles await those who come out for the 2018 festival.
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.