In the infamous spring of 2020, Mr. Jack sent me a new song he'd written entitled "Lessons Learned." He asked if I wanted to add drums to it, which of course I did. His brother, Matt Webb added bass. Over the next few months, Mr. Jack kept writing songs and sending them to us. After we'd done A few, I said, "We should put these together into an album!" And thus "Moanin' Jack Webb" was born. The band name is just our names...think about it. Mr. Jack came up with the "Pandemic of Fear" title, which is awesome, in my humble opinion.
As you may guess, most of the songs he wrote during that time related to what was happening in our world at the time. I also pulled out some old blues songs I wrote years ago and we recorded those as well. I even did vocals on "Lemon," which is about a used car. It was inspired by a huge inflatable gorilla and sign that said, "Monster of a Sale!" that I saw at a used car lot years ago.
We also dug up some old Mr. Jack songs that were already recorded but just sitting on his computer. Finally, Matt Webb wrote a super cool instrumental he called "Running." He wanted lyrics, so I wrote some and came up with a vocal melody. One of Mr. Jack's guitar students (Cede Jesness) sang it, and though it sounds like nothing else on the record, it's cool.
Anyway, we have CDs if you're interested...yeah, I didn't think so. Anyway, this whole record is available on all the streaming services, so if you want a 2020 album like no other (musically or lyrically), give it a listen!
In 1994, my brother told me about some guys who needed a drummer. I vaguely knew John Hutchinson, who was one of the guys, so I called him, and the rest is history. We rehearsed in Hutch's (aka Mr. Jack) basement, and they PRAYED for me! I had just graduated with a "Commercial Art" (i.e. graphic design) degree, and was looking for a job. Within weeks I was hired to do Mr. Jack's old job, and in my home town, no less!
The band was: Me on drums, Mr. Jack on Guitar, vocals, and harmonica, Michael Walther on bass and vocals, and Steve Johnson on guitar. There's a whole history of the band that should be written down sometime, but I don't have the time now. Basically, we spend the next six years playing in bars and clubs around the area. We played biker events a lot, too (the Fargo Blues Fest was our biggest audience). In 2000, I gradated college (this time with a teaching degree), got married, and moved to the Twin Cities (St. Paul, technically). I knew I'd be leaving them band, so I talked the guys into recording an album as a time capsule, if nothing else.
We recorded in the summer of 2000 (like a week before I got married) with Mike Coates at Raptor Studios in Fargo, North Dakota. That in itself could be an article. Anyway, we ended up with a decent representation of our sound. Over the years we've sold and given away (probably mostly given away!) a few hundred of these.
But who listens to CDs anymore? I do! But I'm a rare bird. In the summer of 2021, en route to our first gig in over 20 years (the band has continued with various people--I also came back for about three years at one point), I proposed putting it online, and the guys agreed. So now, Diminished Reality is available on tons of streaming services worldwide, minus the three cover tunes we did (I'm not about to pay royalties on those). If you want blues that's about something other than waking up this morning, losing your baby, or finding a new one, this is for you!