Friday, January 25, 2013
Earlier this spring my friend Ib was writing about cosmonauts & posted up the song “Mir” by the band Jetty Webb off their first single on Loverly Records “Mir” b/w “Cornerwalk” LM-9802-7. What a phenomenally great tune. He said, “There appears to be very little information out there on Jetty Webb, which is a real shame, because this song is so good it deserves a second listening in less time than it takes a comet to orbit the earth. The a-side appears to be a McKay, Sikes & Easley composition.”
I remembered hearing this band before, they had a track on the 2004 Summer Break Records compilation Sunny Teriyaki Hamburger Breakfast, probably the best song on the entire comp. I had to hear more.
I decided to do some detective work & after several false starts, was able to contact Brian McKay - vocalist, guitarist, & founding member of Jetty Webb. We conversed by e-mail numerous times & he sent my a FREE copy of their self-titled 2003 release (recorded mid-2000). I was truly impressed by his gracious good nature & the bands fine musickal skills so I asked if we might conduct an interview.
NØ: “How did Jetty Webb get started & tell me about the name?”
TL: "Jetty Webb started back in 1998, when Stuart Sikes (drums) & Brian McKay (guitar/vocals) moved from Dallas to Memphis," says bassist Tripp Lamkins. "Stu worked as an engineer at Easley-McCain Recording Studio, & we had band practice there. We named ourselves after a lady who used to live in their rental house on Manila. They kept getting mail addressed to Jetty Webb, so Jetty Webb it was."
BM: Brian recalls, “Stuart & I started playing at the house we rented on Manila (‘The Manila Palace’). We had a fairly large house, with cheap rent in Midtown & once Stuart bought drums & I finally bought an electric guitar we started banging things out in our attic. Shortly after this, Tripp Lamkins (bass) from the local band The Grifters joined our jam sessions. “Mir” was the first 45 we put out & the second (& last one) was a split 45 with The Satyrs that included our song 'Stays the Same' (included on the full length self-titled release). We played the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival on Beale Street in 1999. After that we started getting gigs around town, & out of town as well, in New Orleans (The Mermaid Lounge) & Dallas, TX. In early 2000 Jerome Brock from Dallas joined the group as second guitarist as well as for his songwriting abilities. We then went into Easley-McCain Studios in South Memphis & recorded most of our self-titled release. Two tracks were recorded in a cabin in Calvert in the Texas hill country. We felt like we had the complete line-up that we’d been working on creating. Then several key members (myself & Stuart) had to move to various places away from Memphis.”
Tripp adds, “Our lives took us to different locales & long distance relationships rarely work. I continued to work on the tracks we had recorded. I decides to start Lamar Records with Shangri-La Records' Jared McStay with the intent of releasing Jetty Webb's album.”
NØ: “What was the late '90s - early '00s Memphis scene like?”
BM: “Tripp is really the one to answer the 'Memphis Music' scene question. Both Stuart & I were transplants from Texas. Tripp had been in bands here in Memphis since the '80s. I can however relay that in the 90s the scene was very much thriving. Favorites for me were bands like Delorean, The Grifters, The Simple Ones, The Satyrs & Lorette Velvet. Jeff Buckley played a weekly show at Barristers, a regular Monday night spot.”
NØ: “As a group, what was one of your most excellent adventures?”
BM: “One of our best times was a Saturday night show at The Mermaid Lounge in New Orleans. We spent Saturday morning nursing Friday night's hangover with a Bloody Mary bar crawl throughout the Quarter. Despite the booze, or perhaps because of it, we had a fantastic set. It's hard not to have a stellar time when visiting New Orleans (pre-Katrina).”
NØ: “Tell me about the ending...I'm listening to Undone & really loving it, but it made me ask this question.”
BM: “It all ending amicably. We had such a great group of people in the band (which when we were in the studio recording consisted of many friends stopping by to lend a vocal track here or a guitar or keyboard track there). Eventually, I left for Connecticut & Stuart moved to Dallas. Due to the distance things became static. I've played with other people but having Tripp on bass is an asset. Tripp is an excellent arranger. You can show him the music you are working on & he can take it places you would not have thought on your own. He was essential to the music Jetty Webb produced.”
I'm always amazed & at the same time depressed by all the great musick that bands have created that has fallen by the wayside because of the commercial business of MUSIC & the unbelievable lameness of popular mainstream drivel. It is always such a rewarding experience to be able to experience a band like Jetty Webb.
I can not thank Brian enough (& the rest of these great musickians).
Now its "Raining"
One last thing from Brian, “I think it's cool you'd like to direct other people to our music. Overall, I think it's the songs that tell it all. A cliche, perhaps...but, the music speaks for itself.”
Year of Release: 2003
Label: Lamar Records initial release LMR001
Stays the Same
Song in F
hidden track (Over & Over???)
Download: Jetty Webb - Jetty Webb
Download Size: 94.1Mb (as always with NØ 320Kbps)