Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”
Middle Tennessee was devastated by flooding in May from which it will take months—in some cases, years—to recover. Please join the recovery effort by contacting Hands on Nashville at Hon.org or by calling (in Nashville) 211. Otherwise, please call 800-318-9355. You can also support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts by going to Salarmy-Nashville.org of calling 800-725-2769. Thank you.
Josh Jackson and friends “cover” great rock/pop/country territory with Yes Dear
By Dave Carew
For the past decade, Josh Jackson has been known as the lead singer of the widely acclaimed Josh Jackson Band. In 2002, The JJB was named “Best Local Rock Band” and “Best New Band” in the Nashville Scene Readers Poll. Soon after, Rolling Stone’s contributing editor, David Wild, hailed the band as one that “makes great, uplifting rock & roll with a lot of heart and a lot of craft.”
I have very fond memories of seeing The JJB play to packed houses around the city, particularly at The Sutler, the band’s favorite stomping grounds for years, and a venue sorely missed by everyone in Nashville who cares about great music and irreplaceably funky ambiance.
The current project of Josh Jackson—along with his former JJB bandmates Joey Boone and Locke Sandahl—is Yes Dear, which allows these gifted musicians to explore their “covers” side. Josh recently granted this interview about Yes Dear to Underground Nashville:
UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: If you had an elevator ride to tell someone what the basic “musical idea” of Yes Dear is, what would you say?
JOSH JACKSON: Well, if the Eagles met Van Morrison and went bowling with Jimmy Buffett who was on a 3-way phone call with James Taylor and John Mellencamp backstage at a concert where Tom Petty was opening for the Beatles…that’s what we sound like.
UN: Where does the band’s name come from?
JJ: We got our name due to the fact that we are three middle-aged, married men (Josh Jackson, Joey Boone, and Locke Sandahl), each with two daughters. “Yes, Dear” was something we all seemed to say quite a lot, and so it stuck as a name.
UN: Yes Dear mostly performs cover tunes. How do you select which tunes to cover? To what degree, if any, do you cater songs to a specific audience?
JJ: We tend to go for songs that are heavy on melody and harmony, which are the two things we seem to do the best. Joey has a great country voice and I’m more of a rock ‘n roll guy. So it is neat to explore the vast catalogs of each genre, searching for the things that together we do best. We seem to have gravitated towards the songs of the Eagles, due to the fact that there are two (or three) lead singers in that band and they have outrageous harmony that we aspire to re-create. As far as catering songs to a specific crowd, we have approximately 40 songs that we [can] cover at just about any event, but we are always up for learning a new song for a specific crowd. And of course, we are always willing to perform requests at shows, especially if there is a $20 bill attached.
UN: I understand that Yes Dear mostly does corporate gigs, weddings, and that type of thing. Is that going to remain the “model,” or are you going to branch out a bit more into club performing?
JJ: We have found that it is easier to make money, especially in Nashville, doing private events. However, we did a very well-attended event at 12th & Porter a few months back. So, you never know. We love to play and anytime we can get together and do so, we will.
UN: How can people sample your music online, and contact you for gigs?
JJ: People can contact us best through email at: email@example.com. To hear music samples and to learn more about us, visit www.myspace.com/yesdeartheband
David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.