Passion is what it takes for one to dream up their path in life. But discipline gives in to the course of action and for Jackson Wetherbee, these two components fuel his musical fire.
Bred in the South Shore area, a sleepy beach town region just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Jackson Wetherbee has been honing his craft as an acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter since leaving college for the coffee shops and bars of the Boston suburbs nearly four years ago. Rounding out the Jackson Wetherbee Band is Dave Malekpour (guitar), Chris Santos (drums), Dan Fowler (bass), George Smith (Keys) and Jonathan Berman (horns). The six-piece have made a name for themselves in the last year with their good-natured jam-tinged, alternative rock blend.
Wetherbee spent his formative years singing in high school choirs prior to taking up the acoustic guitar as a sophomore, once discovering the sounds of Jack Johnson, Dispatch, Jason Mraz, and Ray LaMontagne. From there, there was no stopping him. He even immersed himself in Opera for five years and credits the art form for allowing him to develop as a vocalist.
“It was a lot of fun,” Wetherbee says. “It really taught me the fundamentals of how to take care of my voice and how to sing to correctly. But I truly love playing guitar and singing much more.
After a brief showcase for Jay-Z and L.A. Reid at Universal Records in 2007, Wetherbee returned home to get a band together. He was eager and undeterred, turning down a deal with Stolen Transmission in order to focus on his skills as a live performer. And with him in tow was seasoned guitarist and sound engineer Dave Malekpour. Together, the two began creating what would become the debut; self titled release, Jackson Wetherbee. Pianist Paul Wolstencroft (Slightly Stoopid), bass player Robyn Soper (Adam Ezra Group), and drummer Chris Santos also lent a hand during the recording process. Arriving September 14th on Wetherbee and Malekpour’s Flying Carpet Records imprint, the twelve-song set is chockfull of sincere and honest lyrical illustrations and effortless feel-good anthems. From the funky bass lines of “Remember My Friends” and the carefree summer tones of “Weeping Willow” to the more introspective “Symphony of Dreams” and “We’re Not Giving Up Now,” Wetherbee’s heartfelt approach is pure. In the same vein of John Mayer and the Dave Matthews Band, it’s that poignant reflection that sucks you in and keeps you there.
Earlier this year, the band won Radio 92.9 WBOS Boston Battle of the Bands to open the 17th Annual EarthFest in Boston, opening for the Gin Blossoms, Collective Soul, Crash Kings, and Marcy Playground. Sponsored by Radio 92.9 FM, it was Wetherbee & Co.’s biggest performance to date. “We played before 30,000 people and by the end of the day there was 150,000 people,” Wetherbee exclaims. “It was the coolest thing we’ve done so far.”
Their grassroots approach in reaching the masses also proved worthy. They passed out all 2,000 copies of their hand pressed three-song CD and Wetherbee signed autographs for over an hour, another memorable moment for the budding artist. “This was the first time I experienced something like that,” he says.
Eco-conscious causes are important to Wetherbee. Their song “Weeping Willow” is featured on the Give to the Gulf, Vol. 1 compilation via iTunes, with all proceeds benefiting the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Their album will also be green-friendly and made without any plastic materials.
Jackson continues to play in and around Boston at well-known venues such as the House of Blues, Hard Rock Café, The Middle East, and Paradise Rock Club and Hard Rock Café.
Additional appearances are also slated for this summer.
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