Jerry Joseph has headed up a few bands over his 30-year career. These include Little Women and Stockholm Syndrome (with guitarist and good friend Eric McFadden) as well his current band, Jerry Joseph …
Jerry Joseph has headed up a few bands over his 30-year career. These include Little Women and Stockholm Syndrome (with guitarist and good friend Eric McFadden) as well his current band, Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons.
Joseph has been based on and off in Portland, Oregon since the early 1990s, but he formed the Jackmormons over two decades ago in Utah. Right now, he is touring with the band, but this will be the Jackmormons last tour for an indefinite period of time as the band members take a break to pursue other artistic projects.
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons will perform Monday (Nov. 26) from 7-10 p.m. at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. Tickets are $7 at the door.
When I called Joseph to interview him for Tempo, he was in the Baja region of Mexico where he'd been booked to play for a wedding. The phone connection was patchy, but we managed to muddle through. Joseph said he had recently taken his eight-year-old son on a trip to the Amazon forest of Brazil.
Joseph is a well-traveled musician who has used his travels to not only explore the world, but also to teach and share the humanizing power of music. In 2015, Joseph went to Afghanistan where he taught at an underground rock school in Kabul.
More recently, he brought guitars and supplies with him to a refugee camp in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where he then performed and taught music to Kurdish refugees, mostly girls who had never held a guitar before.
Joseph is doing this work under the auspices of a nonprofit organization that he started to bring music and instruments to war-torn areas of the globe. "Once you make art, they can't take that away from you," said Joseph, describing the effect that playing music had on the girls in Iraq. "It's a big world, but we're all connected."
As it says on Joseph's website, "He believes in the power of giving those experiencing trauma a voice and through music, letting them know they aren't alone."
"I'm hoping to do a lot more," said Joseph, who plans on using the band's hiatus as an opportunity to get more involved in the work of his nonprofit.
Joseph has been all around the world, but it bothers him that he has not yet been to Japan, a place his father frequently traveled to for his work as a fisheries conservation scientist.
"I grew up in a family that traveled," Joseph said. "I travel with my children."
"Full Metal Burqa" has two songs inspired by his time in Kabul. "Peacocks and Blackhawks" comments on the disturbing cries of peacocks crying shortly after the mosque's call to prayers and the invasive sounds of American Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters patrolling the skies. "Chicken Street" references one of the many market streets in Kabul. The other three songs on the EP are also inspired by different countries and cultures.
For his Taos show, Joseph said he'll be playing tunes off of both of his newest albums, "Full Metal Burqa" and "Weird Blood." He will also play songs spanning across his long musical career. For more information, visit jerryjoseph.com. For more on the show, call the venue at (575) 758-1900.
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