I'm honored to be a new Steemit OpenMic Night Judge! Let me introduce myself properly!
@luzcypher invited a team of us to assist him in Open Mic judging, and I must say, it's already shaping up to be an incredibly fun and amazingly fulfilling experience. I feel completely honored and privileged to have been selected to help represent the musical community here on Steemit along with veteran Steemian musicians @soundlegion and @verbal-d, as well as PAL and minnow advocate @krystle. We all have different opinions and things we look for in performances, and it has been a real treat to share in this process with them.
Who am I?
Well, I'm Jessamyn. I'm your neighborhood-friendly sad bastard. I've been be-bopping (let's be real--I've been obsessed) on Steemit since last October, and was pretty close to a charter member of the Open Mic community started by our friend and musical gigging guru, @luzcypher.
Luz was integral in helping me acclimate to the Steemit community, both in general and musically, as I'm sure he has helped and encouraged many of you, as well.
Here is my first #openmic submission from way-back-when (Week 2 of the contest):
I'm a (newly) full-time gigging singer-songwriter currently living in Springfield, Missouri. I travel a regional radius playing music at all kinds of shows and venues...everything from Open Mic features to festivals, to dinner services at fancy hotels and everywhere in between.
I've played this guitar all over the South and Midwest United States playing my sad songs for all kinds of amazing people. I also recount and share my experiences through a series called Gig Reflections, and extremely enjoy sharing the process with my friends from all over the world on Steemit.
I was introduced to music by my parents. We always had good music playing in the house. Neither of my parents play an instrument, but they were very excited when I expressed an interest in piano at age 9.
Piano was the basis of my musical involvement, and I played until I was 13, when band instruments took over my life, and the flute and eventually alto saxophone became my instrumental loves.
Now, I've always been a poet, and words have always been a huge part of my life, but when I picked up an acoustic guitar at age 15, I was forever changed at the potential of composing original compositions on an instrument and adding words to it. It was like the clouds parted, and a single beam of light shone upon the situation, and I knew even in that moment, that I was never going to be the same.
During college, I recorded a collection of songs I call The Friendship Confidential, and while it definitely does not represent exactly what I'm doing now, it does show the origin-story in music of a few songs I still play today. You can listen to The Friendship Confidential EP in its entirety on YouTube:
I fought pursuing music for many years. The first time I remember fighting it was when I made the decision to go to a small college that didn't even offer instrumental music beyond Class Piano. Ugh. What was I thinking? Well, I was 18. Give me a break. 😂😂
Then, after vacillating a year or so after college graduation, decided to take a job as a high school English teacher. While I loved that line of work more than any job I've ever had, I realized I wasn't taking any time to write and perform music. Sure, I learned how to play the drums during that time and spent a lot of time cathartically beating the shit out of them, but I wasn't really applying it to anything, and I wasn't really writing music. This bothered me to the point of basically bringing on a bonafide existential crisis. So, I made a change. (I'll be talking more on this topic in the next couple of weeks.)
After enjoying a couple of years playing bars around Springfield, Missouri, my grandmother died in 2013 and I stopped playing. There's a lot more I want to say on this subject but it is still really hard for me to find the specific words for it. I was hurting so badly, and losing her really tore my world apart in more ways than one. It physically hurt me to even attempt to pick up the guitar and sing songs...so I didn't. However, I eventually realized that wasn't the way I was supposed to go, either.
So, beginning in January of 2016, I took the stage again...this time with a renewed ardor to make it happen, and I haven't really stopped since.
For me, it's all about a passion to create and then share that creation in a symbiotic experience with the listeners. We feed each other.
Over the years, I've taken my love of playing and writing with multiple instruments and worked that into my live set through the use of a loop pedal. It enables me to work toward my dream of becoming a lazier version of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
DVD Image Source
The past year and a half has brought a ton of opportunity and change for me. Through diligent efforts both locally and online, I am able to quit my 9-5 job (THIS FRIDAY!) to focus solely on music and creative endeavors, and I'm so excited for what the upcoming months are going to bring, as well.
I've never been able to have my eggs in one basket, so I am beyond grateful for the support I've received here on Steemit, as this wouldn't have been possible without you, and this incredible community we have here.
In the image below, you can see what my current on-stage setup looks like. Pedalboard with lots of goodies including my BOSS RC-30 looper and vocal effects, keyboard midi controller running GarageBand on my iPhone, a couple of guitars (sometimes and/or a ukulele/open-tuned guitar/12-string), and a couple of vocal mics. Fun stuff. I get bored really easily, so I'm always changing up instrumentation or other elements within the songs I write. They're alive, they have breath, and are constantly evolving.
Here are a couple of my original songs. I hope you dig them. The first video was shot when I had the opportunity to play my new song, "16 Bucks," for close to 1000 people at the historic Gillioz Theatre for The Mystery Hour, a late-night Emmy-award-winning Midwest talk show...as well the originator of the viral video about the Instagram Husband.
The second selection is my song, "Hoxie," recorded for Bat Cave Files, an Ozark-based video music series.
IT'S SAD BASTARD MUSIC, Y'ALL
I also have a side project that is based entirely on Steemit called Electronic Cassette. EC is a project I started to expand my knowledge base regarding beat production and electronic music, and I make these sounds using exclusively iOS-based tools and interfaces. I am in love with exploring new and interesting ways to create music.
Here's an original Electronic Cassette track called Morning Goddesses. These songs will eventually be produced into a real life cassette tape and digital album, both of which will be able to be purchased using Steem/SBD.
This song and other EC music has also been featured in some games created by @quantumanomaly, who introduced me to Steemit in the first place. You can hear it on his Shennanijam 2017 submission demo below:
Obviously, I love #originalmusic
I love it so much, in fact, that I even introduced this tag to Steemit 10 months ago, and now it is the home to the original music creations of all types and genres of music across the platform. You can read that post here, and see the beginnings of what turned into original music goodness!
I love uniting musicians!
I also am the founder of Steemit Local Music Society on Discord and Steemit Musicians on Facebook, and both of these arenas provide a great place for Steemian musicians to share, promote, and network with other folks with similar interests. If you haven't joined our communities yet, please check out the Discord link at the bottom of this post. Let's get together!
What do I love to hear during OpenMic?
What makes our community so special is not only the talent we see on a weekly basis from Steemit musicians, but also the hearts, minds, sheer creativity, and passions of the creators. I love a passionate performance. I love original music that makes me think and feel...across genres. My own musical tastes are incredibly diverse, and I love seeing the array of musical talent we have represented in OpenMic.
I LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO REPRESENT YOU! I feel honored, humbled, and blessed to have this role.
I hope after checking this out that you know me a bit better and what it is I'm doing here. It is truly an honor to be one of your Open Mic Night judges, and I hope to continue to serve you on the Steemit platform. You are all truly at home here. I plan to feature my own Judge's Picks each week here on my blog through special weekly edition of Cool Stuff Curation, and I do hope you'll follow along to catch some incredibly talented Steemian musicians being featured here. Find some new faves. Steemit is the best place to do that.