Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Music always pays homage to artists that made history in many ways, one of them is covers, but sometimes covers reinvent the original in creative ways without altering the feeling that was intended to have. These covers are mostly associated with people that post in social media and just do it for fun, the interesting part of this is that there are succesful artists out there that want to do the same, just have fun while remembering music history.

One supergroup/cover band that has been showing up a lot lately is the Jaded Hearts Club Band, which initially focused in covering the Beatles, but now expanded their horizons to soul and other rock classics.

The members are all musicians with well known careers in the industry. The band consists of Jamie Davies, Miles Kane, Sean Payne, Graham Coxon, Nic Cester and Matt Bellamy.

One of the greatest things about this is that is just simple pure fun, this is an idea that came from playing at a birthday party, and they had so much fun that it was impossible to just leave it at that, so they decided to make it a project, a cool little side project.

NME Interview

In an interview with NME the band discusses how they handle the fact that they are a supergroup and how they got into the project.

Guitarrist Jamie Davis said:

Supergroups have got a bad reputation for massive egos and not sticking it out. We try to treat The Jaded Hearts Club like a new band who will continue. We are officially what a supergroup is, but we’re trying to stay away from those associations as much as possible, by playing gigs and making music as often as we can.

One of the things that keeps them away from all of that ego fighting drama is the fact that they are just having fun, drummer Sean Payne says: “There’s no bullshit or head games. It’s simple: Turn up, play, have a laugh.”

On how they got together as a band, Jamie says:

“I wanted to hire a Beatles band for my birthday. But then I saw how much they cost, plus they were all a bit naff. Then I thought, ‘Hold on, I know a few musicians…’ It was a eureka moment. I’d thought, ‘They’ll do me this one favour and it’ll be this one gig’. But, after the party, everyone was going, ‘That was really good, we should do this again’.

Just a Cover Band?

Jaded

During the NME interview they all gave their opinions on making original music in the future (with the exception of Matt Bellamy who wasn’t present at the interview).

Nic: “Everyone’s tastes are more or less aligned, so I’m sure it’s possible.”

Miles: “At this point, the next album will probably be more covers.”

Jamie: “Matt and I text each other every day with suggestions for other great lost songs, and we’ve easily got enough for volume two.”

Sean: “The way we’re doing it keeps any songwriting egos out of it. But I’m sure new songs will naturally fall into place. We need to watch The Traveling Wilburys documentary to see how they did it. Everyone wrote in that band, and they managed to kick the doors down straight away.”

Their Debut album “You’ve Always Been Here” is out today and while it doesn’t cover any new ground in music, it’s hard not to enjoy the talent from each one of the members through classics.

Even more than just enjoying, one of the ideas behind the band is to bring old musical gems to everyone’s attention. There are hundreds if not thousands of songs that are all over stream services but don’t get enough plays. Maybe with this fun project, we can go back in music history and enjoy some of the classics in soul, blues and more.

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James Rhodes is an English pianist born in March 6, 1975 in London. He became very interested in music at a young age, more specifically piano, after listening to a recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 E flat major, Op. 73. He wanted to play piano and asked many times for piano lessons but never got any. Around the age of 14 he finally got the chance to study with Colin Stone and even got a scholarship to the Guidhall School of Music and Drama, but he decided not to take the opportunity.

It might seem like a strange thing to do, but he didn’t exactly have a normal childhood. At the age of 5 he was a victim of sexual abuse, which he wrote about in his autobiography.

This became a very hard struggle against “the demons from the past” which haunted him not only because it happened, but because he couldn’t say anything, which led him to self harm, and suicidal tendencies.

After rejecting the opportunity to study music, he took a sales and met his first wife, an American writer had a son and left music behind, however this didn’t work for him, and he said:

‘It was grim. It just wasn’t me. I was brought to my knees. I thought, “The only thing I want to do is music.”

After ten years he decided to go back to music, although it wasn’t easy. The next few months were hard, he practiced with Edoardo Strabbioli in order to get his skills polished but during that time he was in and out of mental institutions trying to hold on to life and although his marriage feel apart, he didn’t. After those dark days, he went out to make his first album and signed with Warner Bros.

He stopped the medications, and went on to play piano as one of the most passionate and unique pianists to ever express himself with the instrument.

Classical Music Rockstar

Rhodes

He is not super precise, nor does he care about the exact “form” of playing a specific piece, he is just himself, messy and chaotic but charismatic and so very human. In way he acts like a rockstar but not because he wants to play the part, but because that is who he is, and how life has treated him, but through music it feels right.

He also urges people that want to do something, to just do it, there are no excuses to hold back on being creative and making art if you feel the impulse to doing it. Who better to say this than someone who supressed his desire for music for 10 years and then suffered for it?

‘Don’t be a massive d**k,’ he says. ‘Don’t be one of those idiots who say, “I’ve got a book in me” and then don’t write it. Don’t be a f***ing idiot and complain that you have no time to devote to music. Anyone can find 20 minutes a day. It’s not that hard.’

James Rhodes

And he is right, all you need is to take a bit of time out of your day, and beautiful things can come out of it.

‘I mean who the f*** cares about sonata form in Beethoven’s Vienna? I don’t!’ he says. ‘I want to know that Beethoven was born into poverty and syphilis and domestic abuse, almost beaten to death twice by his drunk father before he was a teenager.’ As for Bach, he was a ‘gnarly, aggressive, obsessive lunatic’ who was arrested for keeping groupies in the organ loft. ‘Once you play a piece after that, it makes sense to people. It’s about feelings.’

James Rhodes

James Rhodes is living proof that music can save lives and shine a light on the darkest times, and just like he did, he wishes more people to experience how beautiful and intimate a musical experience can be.

‘Trying to do things for other people is the best possible thing. Kindness is the best cure for any mental condition there is.’

James Rhodes

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This year has been tough for everyone, and many musicians have made the most of the time during lockdown to reflect about their lives and the state of the world today. This has led to many interesting creations, but many of them focus on the things we are living today, and becoming so self conscious can be a little exhausting, that’s why there is a musician that preferred focusing on something free of the darkness of the world and full of optimism for the future, children.

Just like many others Ziggy Marley found himself at home with a lot of spare time and decided to make music, but not just any kind of music, children’s music. Some may say that the audience for this kind of music is limited or that it doesn’t resonate that much, but it does. Besides when you are a very young kid, it’s hard to find a connection with most of the music out there, but there is music for them, which helps them learn and find this connection.

Marley had already released a children’s music album back in 2009 called “Family Time”, so “More Family Time” it’s the follow up, and according to him, a very fun album to make and commented on doing something comforting during this hard times.

Rolling Stone Interview

“For me, [this album] was the rebellious thing to do, instead of writing about what’s going on, it’s something comforting. Plus, the children need as much help as anybody else in what we’re going through. So giving a family something to uplift their spirits and feel happy and enjoy together, I think, is just as important as addressing what is going on.”

rollingstone.com

He is working on other things as well such as Bob Marley: Portrait of the Legend,but this project it’s an important part of music that can’t be ignored.

He also says that his songs also teaches kids, which is an important aspect of music at an early age.

He talks about a song on the album called “Please Excuse Me Thank You,” which is a duet with Alanis Morissette, and it has the title of the song work like a mantra. “These are the words we use every day,” and then “Please, I would like some pizza?/Please, may I have some ice cream.”

“So there’s a lot of teaching going on; there are a lot of lessons in the songs,”

rollingstone.com

Music is a great way for children to develop social skills, learn faster, have fun and of course develop a deeper connection with music, but it’s also great for adults who interact with the children, including of course the person who made the music, which in this case is Ziggy Marley.

“My father loved children — he has that childlike energy to him also,”

rollingstone.com

He talks about how Bob Marley and going through old photographs inspired him to make the album.

“We went through a bunch of these photos, and you can see his childlike innocence. You can see how relatable he is to the children who are there. There is just a purity of innocence.”

rollingstone.com

Everyone deserves to be happy, and today we all need anything we can get to achieve that, and children could benefit from this sort of projects, as they find music exciting and new. Chldren’s music are not just b-side jingles, they deserve more recognition in the music industry, and we can only hope that there is always something we can look up to for our young ones.

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