The rest of the story...

Here's where I tell you all the stuff that wouldn't fit in a 2-minute TV story.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

After Jack

For the second segment in a row we have focused on talented local musical acts trying to accomplish the same thing as the American Idol contestants.  How hard is it to make it?

Fox Photographer Curt Schruth takes some video of After Jack.

Mary Allison
After Jack is an interesting band to say the least.  Three young women -- all talented actresses, musicians and vocalists who play a twangy, bluegrass or "roots" oriented sound that ranges from Lady Gaga to their own song, Bless Your Heart.

They play multiple instruments and harmonize beautifully.

All three live in the same old farmhouse out in the country.  What a hoot it was to record our segment as they practiced on their front porch.

Rachel Blankenship
In the previous segment I asked local rockers Madrone how hard they were willing to work to make it.  The four young men said they would work as hard as they could, but have no delusions about being the next Metallica.

I had hoped they would say they wouldn't quit till they had a wall full of gold records, but that wasn't their answer.

Ditto for After Jack.

"We work for the privilege to continue working," said Emily Rose Tucker.

"We work for the privilege to continue working."

In other words we hope to be good enough to get another gig.  And then another.  And another.

Like Madrone, the members of After Jack want to build a following, get better every performance and see "where it takes us."

You have to admire that.  Last night (May 14) I had the honor of speaking to Roanoke's B'nai B'rith award winners -- essentially the true who's who among Roanoke Valley High School seniors.

I shared with them the thought that they needed to figure out what they loved and where they excelled and to pursue that.  I asked them, "How many people who work in cubicles, 'work for the privilege to continue working?'"

Look, we all have to work for a living, and few people with responsibilities can pack up and hit the road chasing a dream.  But if you have the talent and the passion.  If you know that's who you are, why not?

Emily Rose Tucker, Rachel Blankenship and Mary Allison, whom I've seen perform in the Jack Tale Players and in musical productions at Ferrum College seem to me to have the presence and talent to entertain the masses.  They have only been After Jack for nine months.

After a lifetime of performing each said they felt a certain success with this band they had not felt before.

I hope one day we see them on the Grand Ole Opry or hear them on the radio or interview them when they make a gold record.

But for now, they are just hoping to be good enough to "keep on working."

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