Just Released by the Jerry Sires Band
We are proud to present this new recording recorded live at one of our favorite venues.
Look below for song samples and ordering information.
Check our Calendar Page for upcoming performances.
Jerry Sires Band “Live At Jovita’s”
This CD is the result of my desire to make a live album with a bunch of Country standards and some of the more obscure songs that always populate our set lists. As always with a live album there are some songs that I hoped would make it on to the CD but had to be omitted because of little things like me forgetting to sing one of the verses, as in our crowd pleasing version of “ The Ballad of Thunder Road”.
We ended up with 12 tracks that we wanted to use, and I decided to sweeten the deal with 3 bonus tracks from my first live cassette, “Live at Stubbs”, 1989. Most of the “Jovita’s” songs are well known but here’s a few words about the others.
“I Like My Chicken Fryin’ Size” is a great little swinger written by Merle Travis. We did a studio version of this on our “Looking For a Good Time”, in 2000. At that time ours was the only recorded version other than Merle’s in 1947.
“Two Glasses Joe” was written by Cindy Walker for Ernest Tubb. I’m always surprised at how many people, including Country musicians, who aren’t familiar with this great little number.
“Woman Down in Memphis” was written in 1929 by one of Country music’s first stars, Carson J. Robison. He recorded it twice under 2 different pseudonyms, of which he used dozens. We learned it from the great Durham, N. C. band, The Red Clay Ramblers. In our live shows, it never fails to get a good response.
“Bully of the Town” is well known in traditional music circles, and was written in 1895 by Charles E. Trevathan for a stage show, “The Widow Jones”. I guess I should have listed it “Public Domain” instead of “Traditional”. I really like Jesse’s arrangement and performance on this one.
“Dodging Bullets” This is one of mine that was also on our “Looking For a Good Time” It’s a polka, but people seem to like it anyway.
“Early” was written by one of my favorite contemporary writers, Greg Brown, and was on his first album “44 & 66”. There is always a Greg Brown song on our set list, as well as our last 3 CDs.
Dean Stinsmuehlen- Bass, vocals - played with Stonewall Jackson at the Indiana State Fair when he was still in high school. After moving to Austin, he was a long time member of Balconies Fault. He and I have played together for 20 years.
Greg Lowry is a talented multi-instrumentalist, who in addition to playing accordion and harmonica on this CD, plays lap steel with us when we don’t have a pedal steel player. This is our 3rd CD he has played on.
Jesse Gregg – rhythm guitar and vocals - played on my very first recording in 1984. He played with the Uranium Savages for several years, took a few years off and hooked up with us in 2003.
Fred Smith – Lead Guitar, vocals – was raised in New Braunfels and played around Central Texas most of his life. Fred plays with a lot of soul and twang, and sings some great Lefty Frizzell and Jimmy Reed.
Bill Terry- played guitar and pedal steel full time in Ft. Worth for many years. A good day job in Austin has cut that down to part time, but he has enjoyed playing with the some of the best bands in town. And we are mighty glad he could join us on this CD.
Michael Christian –Drums- also played in Balconies Fault. We get him when he is not playing with Larry Lange and His Lonely Knights. You can’t make a good live recording without a great drummer.
The CD art work was done by my good friend and former drummer Steve Stratakos.
We hope you enjoy this album as much as we did making it. Thanks, Jerry Sires
The Saga of “Live at Jovita’s”
On July 2nd 2008 I bought a Roland VS2480, a portable 24 track digital recorder, on a whim at a pawnshop down the street for $800 (cheap). It appeared to be in good shape and came with a 30 day no questions asked guarantee, but no owner’s manual. But I could download that from the web. (The only recorder I had previously owned was a 1964 Sony stereo reel to reel.) I found the manual on the web; it was 480 pages of mostly terms I was barely familiar with. But I’m an optimist, so I downloaded just the pages I felt that I needed to make a 12 –14 track live recording. A few weeks later, I managed to make a multi-track recording at home, so I figured I was ready to try it out with the band as soon as I could get a gig a Jovita’s. Jovita’s was the natural choice because they have a great soundman and they “mike” everything for the house sound anyway. So you can just plug in to the back of the soundboard, and you’re good to go.
We got a gig at Jovita’s in August, and I intended to set the board up and have my daughter Sarah adjust the levels as needed to keep the signal from distorting. All the tracks could be equalized and balanced later during mix down. But we only had about 30 minutes to get everything set up (including the whole stage), and I completely blew it. The 2480 has a maze of buttons that have multiple functions, and if one is in the wrong position it does nothing. It can do so many things it will make your head swim. I would have paid extra if it could only do a multi-track recording. I finally gave up and we just played the gig.
In the next week or so I figured out how to get everything set up in advance, and save it as a work in progress. Cornell Hurd was nice enough to let me practice by recording his regular Thursday night gig. My recording started a little bumpy, but it ended up sounding pretty good. In the next week or so I learned a lot mixing down the 16 tracks of his big band.
I was lucky enough to get another gig right away, so we had band practice at home with a friend of mine, Jason Lively, running the board. He owned Roland too, but it was smaller and quite different from the 2480. Never the less, he soon had all the levels set up for us, stayed for a few of songs, then left us to our own devices. It turned out great for something recorded in my own crowded living room.
Our Jovita’s gig was Sept. 7th, the day before my 64th birthday. We had a great crowd, and by all accounts everyone in the band was sounding good. But there was another band playing after us so we had to get off the stage as soon as possible so they could set up. By the time I got off the stage Jason had everything rolled up, so I had to wait till I got home to listen to it. He said he thought it turned out good.
Imagine my surprise when I get home and there is nothing on the hard drive. The VS2480 requires you to “save” the recording before you turn it off, and I hadn’t gone over “shut down” with Jason. I couldn’t believe it. So I called Roland support the next day to find out how to I could recover the lost data. I was told there was no way to recover an unsaved Roland recording. Yes, the data was probably there somewhere, but Roland had never written a recovery program. So I took the hard drive to some local data recovery people and they told me if it was from an Apple or PC, no problem. They do it all the time. But this is proprietary data, and they are sure that no one in Austin can help me.
I guess I could have gotten another gig and tried it again, but I felt that my credibility was near zero, and I really wanted that nights recording. All the tech people I had talked to said that data had to be there somewhere. I continued learning all I could about using the recorder, and avoided recording over that part of the hard drive, just in case. Then one day, I found a post on a website, VS Planet, run by dedicated Roland enthusiasts that began “so you forgot to save that great live recording” by a guy called Danielo, from Switzerland. It turns out that Danielo has written several programs that solve problems Roland never addressed. And you can download it for free. If it works for you, he asks that you make a small donation to underwrite his efforts. And it is appropriately named “Lazarus”. To make a long story shorter, after trying and failing to learn how to use it for over a month, I gave it one last try, very methodically, saw what I was doing wrong, and recovered the whole night in about 4 hours.
Then I downloaded a mixing and editing program (Reaper) from the web ($50), bought the 412-page manual and learned enough to do a pretty decent rough mix after a few months. And finally, I took it down to my friend, the Eastside Flash, at Flashpoint Studios to work his magic and make it sound professional. And Allen Crider, who does sound for Cornell Hurd, mastered it for me. Chalk one up for persistence.
JERRY SIRES BAND • LIVE AT JOVITA’S
(John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music - July 2009, 3.5 Flowers)
Having just given John Doe a ration of shit, it may seem rather contradictory to commend someone else for doing the exact same thing, but where Doe’s album of country classics was an ‘I’ve completely run out of ideas’ holding action, Sires and his Austin vets are chronicling what they do most weekends, when the Day Jobs allow, which is play hardcore honky tonk. They’ll never get rich or famous with their energetic versions of Drivin’ Nails In My Coffn, Walk On By, I Like My Chicken Frying Size, Two Glasses Joe, I Never Go Around Mirrors, San Francisco Bay Blues, Don’t Be Angry and Wild Side Of Life, leavened with the more obscure Woman Down In Memphis, Bully Of The Town, Greg Brown’s Early, Sires’ Dodging Bullets and, bonus tracks originally released on Jerry Sires & The Stallions’ Live At Stubbs (1989), I Found Me A Trailer That Matches My Truck, Daddy-O and Old Hand At Singing Inside, but that’s not the point. They’re in this for love of the music and if Gram Parsons wanted a good saloon in every single town, I want a band at least as good as this in every one of those saloons. On one level, there’s as little reason to buy this album as Doe’s, on another, there’s a genuinely important one—support a local country band, someday they may be scarce. JC
|Use your Credit Card via PayPal|
Order by check or money order:
Send check for $10 + $4 for shipping within the U.S. for each CD
912 Josephine Street
Austin, TX 78704