Jerry Lee Gingery & The Juju Kings ……….Southside of Nowhere
Brought up in a split family and raised by a single mother on the edge of poverty, many times Jerry Lee Gingery was made to feel like an outcast in society. Most people would associate this style of upbringing as being born on the “wrong side of the tracks”, but this was not the case with Jerry Lee. Even though he grew up on the “wrong side’, it felt like the “right side” to him. It was all he knew. It was home and his start in life. When times got tough and the blues set in, he would always reach for his guitar and dig in to his music. This always gave him the energy he needed to fight and claw his way out of the “Southside of Nowhere” which is the title song for his new CD.
Jerry Lee’s commitment to the Blues was born in Chicago when he was just a teenager. He attended a Howlin’ Wolf performance and was invited to sit in on bass guitar for a few songs. After sitting in, he sat with the audience about five feet from Howlin’ Wolf performing “Decoration Day” and was truly moved by the blues. He couldn’t believe the power, real pain and sorrow that came from just one man’s voice, three chords and the truth. It was experiences such as this which motivated Jerry Lee to explore the mysteries of his guitar and to master the grooves he could create with his bass guitar from that point on.
After recording his first release “Mojo Palace” in 2002, many years slugging it out in the Midwest bar scene and a forced hiatus due to some unscheduled health issues, Jerry Lee came back to the music scene with a new found fire in his belly. In the spring of 2012 he formed Jerry Lee & The Juju Kings with his good friends Eddie Narakas on guitar, Rob Aguilera on drums, and Richard “RJ” Westrick on keys. Together, the chemistry was so good that by the fall of 2012 they won the Prairie Crossroads Blues Society’s “Road To Memphis” blues challenge. This propelled them on to the International Blues Challenge in January of 2013 where they rocked the house at the famed Rum Boogie on Beale Street in Memphis. They returned to the Midwest and proceeded to rock and delight audiences at several major blues festivals during the summer of 2013. After witnessing how well his new music was being accepted at these events, Jerry decided it was time to record his next CD. After a short chat and a simple handshake with Mark Klak of Klakworks Studio in Buckingham, Illinois and a years worth of meticulous dedication, “Southside of Nowhere” was released on September, 18th, 2014.
Songwriting comes naturally to Jerry Lee and inspiration comes from deep within, which gave him his motivation for writing the collection of stories recorded on “Southside of Nowhere.” It is 59 minutes of outstanding songs loaded with deft vocals and expert musicianship. There are touches of clever and humorous lyrics, like “I must’ve been blind- as far as I can see” from the song, “Must of Been Blind.” “Whiskey Train” was taken from his early drinking years. “Something’s Wrong” was written about a dear friend who was addicted to a woman and drugs at the
same time. “B&B by the Sea” was inspired by a trip to Northern Ireland and is a soulful song about love and longing. “Life Goes On” was written about what he witnessed on a daily basis from his wicker chair on his front porch. “Daddy’s Song”, which is dedicated to Jerry Lee’s father, was written the fateful day that Jerry was driving down the highway and received the call no one wants to answer. As Jerry pulled his car off the road, he did what he does best and channeled his grief by writing his true emotions right there on the spot.
Realizing that these songs/stories were so close and personal, he just knew he had to call upon some friends to help get the music to the finish line. Brandon Santini and his Seydel harmonicas was the first to offer his expertise. Then Timothy “Doc” Romanowski jumped in on keyboards, Cindy Altenberger on washboard, followed by Karen Brault and Susan Williams on background vocals. And last but not least- stellar performances by his friends, The Juju Kings.
While Jerry Lee is modest when he states that he is not the best bassist, guitarist, or vocalist on the planet, one has to witness his commanding stage presence and touch of “bad boy” charisma to get the whole picture of the artist. One thing for sure, he always brings a “blues collar” feel to his songs and incorporates great back alley rhythms coupled with a touch of uptown rock & roll that make his songs so approachable while moving you emotionally and physically. It’s the combination between the way Jerry Lee weaves his vocals and lyrics into a fabric of infectious grooves, while maintaining his Blues’ roots, that truly makes him a standout craftsman.
As Jerry puts it “A little rock in your socks…..a little blues in your shoes”.
Jerry Lee Gingery might think that he is from the Southside of Nowhere- wrong side of the tracks……… But I believe he is on the “Right Track to Somewhere”
Written by James “Skyy Dobro” Walker from “Friends of the Blues” radio show
Jerry is excited to get his music and new CD into the hands of fans and blues lovers everywhere. His new CD
“Southside of Nowhere can be ordered through CD Baby. If you would like a personally autographed copy, simply go to the MUSIC page.