Tag Archive: music city


Jeremy Phifer live shot 388875

The latest volley to flash across my musical bow comes from Blossom, Texas-born Jeremy Pheifer, who, with that non-Country music-sounding name, brings us “Take the L Out Of Lover”. Not only is his name non-traditional Country, but so is his look. To me, he appears to be enforcing the guitar into the song, rather than playing it. Hunched-over his axe on the dropbox video (which I can only link here as wordpress does not support a viewable upload apparently), I can see why he used to be a bouncer and American football defensive/wide receiver! Sports and music are this hunk’s two major personal passions and his touch on guitar is surprisingly tender at times. https://www.dropbox.com/s/am9toib48bsqcd8/TakeTheLOuttaLoverc.mov

Jeremy Phifer image 6

Physical presence notwithstanding, the hook lyric, “If you take the ‘L’ out of lover and its over…” is clever and true. I can think of a couple similes like, “take the ‘M’ out of mother and its “other”, or “take the “N” out of never and its ever…” But I guess I digress as only a wordsmith would. None in love want to remove the “L”! Indeed, it might be over. Can you relate? Tell your story in our comments section, ok?

This latest single is the culmination of Jeremy’s life hurdles and struggles which include losing his baby sister as a child and special educational challenges with reading. Music runs in his blood as his dad, Jerry is a legend in the state of Texas, who has is own studio and is the backbone of his band on pedal steel.
Jeremy Phifer and the Texas Bad Water Band, with a sound he describes as “Lynyrd Skynyrd on cornbread meets Alabama”, has toured all over the Texas/Oklahoma casino circuit and from Paris to Dallas in The Lone Star State itself. Apparently however, it was not until they “put together a team of pros from the New York/Los Angeles music city of the south, Nashville, that the lyrical aspirations began to move forward for this young entertainer.

I give “Take the L out Of Lover” three (3) bold Pajama Bar stars *** out of a possible five, mainly for the creativity of the title and conceptual play on words. What do I know, it’ll probably be a smash!

If I were him, I would just use “Jeremy” as my stage name and polish-up my act not to look so ordinarily “just off of the truck”. Yet again, having spent many-a-day in Nashville, I understand that J.P. surely sounds different when said by a southerner, and his father and nine-year-old son who is pickin’-up in his footsteps would give him grief if he did that, lol. As Jeremy put it after a recent gig where all three shared the Elks Loge stage in Paris, Texas, “To have three generations of Phifers playing together is a memory I’ll cherish forever”. Just remember, if you take the ‘for’ out of forever it is “ever”.

Nashville, TN, April 7, 2010

Most of us “musical types” have had the experience of going to a show at a small venue, to see a band that we have never heard of before, only because we might know some of the players in the band, or through word of mouth that they are good.

Nevertheless, it never ceases to floor me when I hang out at such an event and am absolutely blown-away, head-nodding style, by what I see and hear.  Thus was what I experienced tonight while visiting Nashville Tennessee’s 3rd & Lindsley pub when I was invited to hear The Consoulers.

When I first read the email invitation from drummer Tim Buppert, who I had just met for the second time (the first time we met we both didn’t remember and it didn’t matter) at an impromptu Easter Sunday evening jam session out at mutual friend, “Fred’s” house/studio while I was visiting “Music City”, my mind saw “the Counselors”initially.  I think that partly was because I’m always the English major, my mind knew the verb “to console” didn’t have a “u” in it.  After hearing them do dead-on, tight covers of classic hits from The Spinners, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Sly and the Family Stone, Firefall, The Four Tops and more and looking once again at their name, it made perfect creative sense the “ConSOULers” make their mark playing classic soul hits and doing them justice as if they were spawned yesterday…

“Cover” never sounded so good.  Tim’s solid foundation and leadership glued each number with authority even as he sang vocals – something I could never be as coordinated to do back when I played drums in my high school band. Lead guitar and vocalist John Foster had on the “foster Grants” and performed with the attitude of a Huey Lewis-style rock star.  Don Barrett, the group’s founder, was creatively disciplined and precise on bass, rendering a dead-on version of the Spinners’ 1973 classic “I’ll Be around.  Steve “consistent” Williams played a beautiful piano on electronic keyboards and sang his own true vocal version of The Impressions’ ‘It’s Alright” and almost had them going, OMG with a rendition of the Chi-Lite’s “Oh Girl”.

Each of the five members took turns specializing in staying true to the original version’s sound according to their unique personal talents.  The saxophone player, Randy Leago, deftly switched-off between a tiny alto (I don’t remember seeing one so small), his tenor and the congas.   I thought, “Are these cats studio musicians just jammin’ for practice?”

After their fantastic yesteryear set where they had members of the audience – including many beautiful women – literally dancing in the isles down front-row, they performed a few original numbers from their forthcoming album that they had been working on.  I can only say that those tunes were yawners only because they had their own tough act to follow.  Maybe they should mix them into the soul set, as they were only two or three songs.

Who says Nashville, TN is “just Country music”?  See the Consoulers and you’ll be proven wrong for sure.  Being from New York City and in the music and radio business going on forty years now, I was so happy to be wrong about the oneness of the musical perception in that town!  Oh, and I must mention that these gents in their middle ages (like I am), and totally belie the myth that they “can’t jump” through the rhythmic hoops necessary to entertain and move to the groove on the (super) fly.  I was amazed by their enthusiastic effort to rock these tunes as if they are still hot on the charts.

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