Monday, May 2, 2011

Midtown Review: Smith's Olde Bar

Monday, May 2, 2011
 So I'll be honest, I have a weird love relationship with music. It's hard for me to listen to a song once and fall in love, download it to my Ipod, and be singing the lyrics in the same day. I usually have to come across a song a couple of times to develop my feelings about it, decide if I am a fan, and then maybe start the process of downloading the song to my Ipod. Let's just say the music has to "win" me over, I am rarely ever an instant fan. So when my friend invited me to check out Smith's Olde Bar, I was hesitant at first. I knew I would probably not "fall in love" with any of the bands at first since music tends to have to "grow on me." But Smith's Olde Bar and the artist Jeffrey Joslin who was performing that night, caused me to have my first "love at first listen" with music :)
   Wednesday night my friends and I headed over to SOB (I feel like I can nickname Smith's Olde Bar now since we are so close) to check out Jeffrey Joslin. At first, I played hard to get, fighting my temptation to get lost in the music and enjoy it, but I couldn't help myself. The venue was simply stunning and stumbling upon a great artist like Jeffrey Joslin definitely topped the cake. His music gave me a Maroon 5 mixed with a little Prince feel. Definitely made me want to get up and dance. Long story short, I had one of my favorite nights in the city that Wednesday night (and every Wednesday night since) at Smith's Olde Bar. Everyone is right, it is truly a hidden gem in the city. I ended up buying Jeffrey's CD that night and have been playing it on repeat ever since. 

 I became such a fan of Jeffery Joslin's music that I had to ask him a few questions about his musical background, why Smith's Olde Bar is one of his favorite places to play, etc:

Have you always been singing your whole life? When did you decide to form a band, etc?
I have been singing my whole life, not always publicly haha...  It took me a while to get up the courage to sing in front of friends and family.  I was actually an athlete for the better part of my life, so the toughest part was overcoming the "jock" stereotypes.  I played quarterback through high school and recieved a full scholarship to play in college.  Those high school to college years are when I really dug in deep and began performing and writing heavily.  I gave up my scholarship in 2005 to pursue music professionally. The band is recent development, as I played for many years as a solo artist.  But as my songwriting progressed, the sounds matured and the band is the best representation of all the sounds and songs that I like to create.

Do you write your own music? If so, what is the source of some of your inspiration?
Yes I do. I've always made it a point to write my own music, just simply because I can.  I have a voice and a mind, and I enjoy putting those ideas to music and into the atmosphere to create movements of love and joy.  Inspiration for me comes from a variety of places.  Obviously relationships are a natural draw for lyrical content, but I also enjoy writing in a proactive fashion.  I take a look at areas in this world that I can speak to and add a perspective of love and community and write to those places as well.  Ultimately I just try to be real and transparent, but always intentional with the music that I write.

What are your top two favorite venues you have played in?
I play at Smith's Olde Bar pretty frequently and LOVE the sound the of the room upstairs.  It's a great environment to play in and a great sounding room.  Eddie's Attic is another great spot with a great sounding room.

Considering you perform almost weekly at Smith's Olde Bar, what seperates this venue from others?
Anyone you ask about SOB will agree that it's one of the best sounding rooms in town.  That's so important in creating a memorable performance.  If you can't hear yourself well, it becomes very difficult to get into the sound you're creating.  It's not a problem at all at SOB.  On top of this, the staff is really great.  They seem like a pretty tightly knit group and it's been fun getting to know all of them there.  They've been very supportive in helping me grow as an artist and a performer.  Big thanks to Emily Warren for allowing me so many opportunities to perform on those stages.

Favorite concert experience so far?
Christmas Eve in 2010 I got the opportunity to open for B.O.B at SOB.  The place was packed and the crowd was amazing.  It was my debut under the same management as B.O.B, with B Rich, and I ate it up.  It was one of those moments of arrival on the way to bigger and better things.  I definitely felt something in myself change that night.  I was put in a scenario to prove myself and I stepped up to the challenge.  It was milestone in my career and I anticipate more of them along the road to where I want to go. 

Favorite song to perform? 
My favorite song to perform is a song called "I Want You Back."  It's a fun song to perform because of it's high energy, but it also has a lot of different elements of sound and genre.  To me it kind of sits in the vein of a Prince song with guitars, synths and programmed beats mixed with a live band experience.  It always brings out the most energy from me in my set and I look forward to it every night.  

Musically, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to be a national touring act, as well as an international one.  I've worked hard to create music that has the potential to take me anywhere I want to go.  I have a good team of people around me that believe in what we're doing.  All of us are shooting for the stars and won't rest till we get there.  I'm excited for the road to come, as we've already made many leaps and bounds in just a few months.  5 years from now I'd love to have 2 major album releases under my belt, and a solid reputation with fans and peers as a seasoned artist and musician.  

So I recommend to you, if you haven't already, check out Smith's Olde Bar in Midtown for some incredible, local music. SOB allows you to have a musical relationship with these artists since the venue is so personal. It definitely caused me to fall in "love at first listen".

Make sure to follow Jeffrey Joslin on Twitter to find out when he is playing next! 

Smith's Olde Bar
1578 Piedmont Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30324


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