About: Bo Kitzman
Check out Bo's latest contributions to Our Jackson Home:
Jackson’s musical dichotomy has had a strange, often polarizing environment for musicians to grow in over the last decade. Often touted as the bathroom break between Memphis and Nashville, Jackson—with the exception of Carl Perkins’ aeonian influence on rockabilly—is not critically recognized as a musically significant city. To say that Jackson is part of a bigger delta blues triangle would be more plausible. Music scenes are often planted in Jackson but never seem to flourish.
Lauren Pritchard (LOLO) doesn’t care what you think about her, and just to make sure you never forget it, she named her new album In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Sh*t. This particular album is a collection of very self-aware songs that seem to offer the listener a firm idea of where Lauren’s direction as an artist is going. This is Lauren’s first release since her 2010 full-length, Wasted in Jackson, and it is without a doubt a departure from the sound that characterized that album.
I have an affinity for hardworking people. That's why I like guys like Brandon Barnett. Brandon is one of Jackson's more interesting songwriters, and he also has a knack for churning out thoughtprovoking podcasts about the struggles of being a musician via "Left of Nashville." I sat down with Brandon last month to talk about things we liked and his music/podcast endeavors.
Have you been through a breakup recently? Have you ever been let down? Have you ever wanted to let someone know how you really felt but weren’t sure if you could say it to their face? Or if they even deserved that luxury? Well, then I’ve got the music for you. Bo Kitzman got his heart broken, and he’s not afraid to tell you about it. I got a chance to sit down with him recently and pick his brain about his own feelings. He also asked me to share a few of my thoughts on his songs.
The first time my ears ever did a double take was listening to Maps & Atlases. I had just gotten home from school, and an old buddy I used to go to shows with sent me a message on Facebook or MySpace saying, “Dude, you have got to hear this band from Chicago.” My friend couldn’t really tell me what they sounded like, so I had my assumptions. The only bands I could think of from Chicago were Wilco and Fall Out Boy. (I’m still impressed that fifteen-year-old Bo knew who Wilco was.)
Growing your local music scene is a lot like trying to grow a fledgling business. You need people eager to support your products, the wherewithal to put in the hours to create good products, and (of course) some good products. Jackson’s music scene has an massive amount of potential, but it lacks some of the key ingredients to basic growth. First, the arts in general need more support in Jackson. Jackson’s music scene needs all the support every arts-lover can stand to give. Why?
People hate to exercise because they don’t have fun doing it. The idea of exercise being fun may sound so morbid to you that you laughed as soon as you saw "exercise" and "fun" in the same sentence. Let’s face it: if you live a sedentary lifestyle (e.g. you have been compared to the likes of a potato, Netflix asks you more questions than real people do, or your family has put you on a soda budget), you could be at risk for a chronic disease that’s easily preventable.
In September when I packed up all of my things and started my fall journey I had no idea what to really expect. Not because I hadn’t toured before or worked before, but because this time was different. Working two full-time jobs simultaneously is not my norm, and it felt like I was possibly biting off more than I could chew. But I had to trust that God was not giving me more than He thought I would be able to handle. So off I went to New York City to begin putting Songbird on stage.
Folk music has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance over the passed five years, but with any genre of music, another period of stagnation could always be around the corner. There have only been a handful of folk artists I have been able to really appreciate over the past year, and that’s disappointing when the Americana and Folk scenes of 2015 have seemed to be thriving. Luckily, there are always some under appreciated diamonds in the rough.
Much to the chagrin of all Grizzlies fans, the first West Coast trip of the season has arrived, and of course the Grizzlies will be playing the Warriors the first game of the trip. Other than having to stay up late to watch the whole game, the game itself should set the precedent for how well the road trip’s going to go. Steph Curry is as hot behind the three-point line as he has ever been.
Summer league is a solid indicator of which free agents, development league players, or rookies have the best chance of getting a bench spot during preseason or even regular season. This summer’s MVP for the Grizzlies was easily point guard Russ Smith, but Jordan Adams also performed extremely well. The Grizzlies won the 2015 Orlando Pro Summer League Championship against the Orlando Magic on an offbalance shot by Russ Smith during the second overtime of the final game.
I like to pay special attention to the first words said on a recording because I feel like those words and how they are sung will set the emotional and aural tone for the entire album. The first track of Jackson-native Erin Rae’s new album “Soon Enough” is “Light Part 1."
Garrett Hinson of Trenton, Tennessee, is no stranger to the artistic struggle, but what makes his struggle so interesting is how he has grown into his own brand of aural singularity. Folk and rock music are incredibly different than their traditional interpretations, and that’s part of what makes Garrett’s sound so enjoyable. Garrett applies the traditional and contemporary styles of folk and rock for a sound that doesn’t cross barriers but fuses them instead.
Nashville is an interesting place for a plethora of reasons, but one of the most interesting things about the city is what it does to musicians. The best of the best from all over the world flock to the city in hopes of fulfilling some guilded dream of becoming some sort of star, but in actuality they are sharpening the fangs of the cities growing problem with musical egocentrism. Why am I saying all of this? Because Erin Rae is part of the solution to the very problem I just described to you.
Instead of exploring the seemingly rich platitudes that most mediocre artists tend to in their formative years, West Tennessee’s Lauren Pritchard has taken another route. Pritchard, who now goes by her stage name LOLO, is a performing veteran with an impressive credits list ranging from Broadway to Jay Leno. LOLO is now signed to DCD2, a label started by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz.
Logan Wall is a twenty-two-year-old Jackson native with an impeccable ear for melody. Not only can he write music well, but he is also a very talented singer-songwriter. Logan is currently studying audio engineering at MTSU, but he already has an enviable amount of studio experience as a player, engineer, and producer under his belt. One could say Logan is a Jack-of-all-trades when it comes to music, but you’d never know due to his humble nature.