Band O' Steve
Stephen Jackman has been writing songs since he was three years old. There is a much loved story in the Jackman Family History, about when three year old Stephen, who had been put to bed for the night, exploded out of his bedroom, footy-jammies and all, grabbed a broom and in front of an entire living room full of adults, proceeded to make up a little song. On the spot,sampling the music from the old Jimmy Rogers hit, HoneyComb, Stephen sang about how he didn't want to miss the party the adults were having..... "Uh-Oh, I'm outta the bedroom again, Uh-Oh, Uh-OH !" Three years old. Stephen grew up in the middle of Montana. Great Falls to be exact. A town with not much diversity, but a skyline that went on forever. As a boy Stephen liked to ride his bike to the edge of town and stare off towards the world he knew was out there. He had heard some music from that world. It was not the Country and Western style he had come accustomed to hearing in Montana. No, this music was called Folk music. And he also had heard about Jazz. He liked what he heard. Stephen would blend these two styles to form a palette for his songwriting. It was while attempting to gain some Higher Education at the University of Montana, that Stephen formed his first road worthy band. "Missoula was rated by Playboy magazine my freshman year, as the number four party school in the nation," explains Stephen. Higher Education indeed. " We were cutting class to jam... Not uncommon for us to play six or seven hours in a day. But we started to really get serious when we did The Flo & Glass Band." The name was derived from the nicknames of the co-founders, Stephen and his high school buddy, Andre Floyd. The Flo & Glass Band stood out for playing original music when back in the day, most club bands did covers. Many clubs required bands to play covers. But it was the songwriting of Stephen and Andre that people came to see when Flo & Glass were in town... In the mid '70's when Flo and Glass were touring, most road bands would play Monday through Saturday night at one club, pack up and drive 500 miles on Sunday, and kick off another week of rockin'fun, the next night. Six nights of music one night of travel. After several years of this grueling haul, Stephen felt the need to get the band into the studio. Several unsuccessful attempts to record his music, combined with increasingly divergent interests among other band mates, led Flo & Glass to go their own ways. Jackman took the next couple years off from the road. But he continued to write and soon had a large collection of songs just waiting for some one to sing them. Stephen contacted Chuck Beagle who had been in the last installment of the Flo & Glass Band, to see if he was interested to in hitting the road again. The result was the duo, Pappy Jackman and the Salty Dog. With Beagle on 12 string guitar and singing his trademark high harmonies, and Jackman playing lead and rhythm guitar, and mandolin, the duo tore up the Northwest. They were making a name for themselves playing songs by Jackman. "Bozeman, Boise, Bend, turn around and work our way back again." Jackman adds. "It seems we were constantly on the highway...." Eventually Beagle left the duo to take a "grown- up job". This left Stephen to search for compatible musicians to band up with. Finding none immediately, and yet having immediate financial needs. Stephen took on a secondary career in Radio Broadcasting. Working as a radio show host took Jackman from Seattle to Bozeman, then to Vail, Colorado, then back to Montana,( Great Falls this time..) then to a different station in Great Falls, then to a station in Missoula. In the early '90's, Jackman convinced his pal Andre Floyd to move back to Missoula. Floyd had been immersing himself in the blues in Chicago and was ready for a change. One of the first things the two friends did was call Chuck Beagle. At first Chuck was resistant to getting back together to perform. He had a very successful career going and he was not about to hit the road. After agreeing to travel as little as possible, the trio was formed. The quickly became one of the favorites of the Missoula and Northwest Montana music scene. People were coming to hear those tunes they could her no where else. Original songs by Jackman and Floyd. After four years the trio started to stagnate. Floyd wanted to pursue his own music with more of a progressive blues feel. Beagle was ready to just take some time off, and Stephen found himself band less again. It was during this time, that Jackman first toyed with the idea of doing a solo project. After all, He had a large portfolio of strong songs. And he did play organ and piano along with saxophone, guitars, (lead rhythm, and slide), mandolin, percussion and sang in his previous bands. Why not? A concept album with the band made up entirely of "Steve's" Songs by Steve, played by Steve. A BAND O' STEVE. 16 Songs. A Sampler if you will of the songwriting spectrum of Stephen Jackman. It's been a long time coming. For examples of his earlier songs, check out MONTANA MAMBO. Straight ahead acoustic rock with a Latin feel written in 1975. If you like acoustic, check out the ballad, dREAMGURL, from 1999. Then, there's the urban flavored FUNNY from 2002. BERKELEY TO MARIN AND BACK AGAIN is a sweet instrumental that evokes the wide open spaces of central Montana. A real interstate cruising song. A little bit of techno in U B U written in 1995. The album also contains a live gem recorded with Floyd and Beagle in Missoula in 1996. A mandolin and guitar tour de force called the CAT Comes Out to Play. "When I play out, it's the song most people want to hear....." says Stephen. Hard at work on his second Album, Jackman continues to write constantly. "I am always writing .....odes to my cats, songs about my Rottie, and of course love lines for Mrs. Jackman ! Most of these songs are for Family Ears Only, but it keeps the writing juices flowing...." says Stephen. "They say the first album is the hardest. I dunno, but it took me the better part of two years..." I have half of the next CD in the can already...! I plan to release it in the summer of 2007..." adds Jackman. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. Take some time to savor the songs of Stephen Jackman as BAND O' STEVE.