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Human Country Jukebox

1/23/18 - Special Guest: Turtle Recall

Thanks to Erin and Guido of Turtle Recall for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

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  1. The Motions, by FeelFree (Reggae, Alternative Rock)

  2. DC Tour Company, by Turtle Recall (Rock/Punk)

  3. Time Bomb, by Bells and Hunters (Rock, Blues Rock)

  4. Fort Worth Lady, by Human Country Jukebox (Country)

  5. Vision Hazy, by Matt Tarka (Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Are you a parent?  Have a young niece/nephew/cousin?  Did you know DC’s local music scene has kid-targeted family friendly music?  We caught Rocknoceros at The National Theatre in DC on Sat Jan 20.  Picture kids everywhere dancing, mom’s dancing with babies, and even a few dads showing their moves!  Everyone was smiling and laughing, it was hard to believe we were in the middle of dc with demonstrations and a government shutdown surrounding us within 2 blocks.  Songs we caught included: What Is Your Favorite Animal,  I Wish We Used The Metric System, Harry Elephante, and The United States Of America (they named all 50 states). We have a profile for these guys in our DC Artist Database so you can catch them around, they play regularly in the area.  We hope you’ll bring the kids and check them out

Our Instagram, @dcmusicrocks, started 6 months later than our facebook, but just surpassed 1000 followers and is about to overtake our facebook presence!  On instagram each week, we post pictures of the artists we share on the show and include interesting facts about them.  We also share concert shots of artists we’ve featured on the show when we’re at their shows.  We’ll keep the good content comin!  If you don’t follow us already, we hope you’ll come join the fun!  Thanks for making us a part of your instagram!



Jonny Grave - Fever

Ras Slick New Mini Documentary

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Check the calendar, linked below, for the full list!

Fri Jan 26
-Exnations, My French Roommate, Mystery Friends @ Rock N Roll Hotel on H St in NE
-Justin Trawick Album Release Show @ Pearl Street Warehouse in SW at the Wharf

Sat Jan 27
-Elikeh @ Gypsy Sally’s & Scott Thorn @ Gypsy Sally’s Vinyl Lounge in Georgetown

Sun Jan 28
-Venn @ DC9 Nightclub by U St

Tues Jan 30
-Tomato Dodgers @ DC9 Nightclub by U St


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill    --David Mohl    --Eli Lev

Turtle Recall


Turtle Recall's Bio:

turtle recall pic.jpg

Turtle Recall is pop/folk/rock that does mashups and medleys of Top 40, Rock, 90s, oldies, and country. No backing tracks here tho it’s 100% live music and we bring the energy and the party to every show. We have two albums of original music including our own happy birthday song so we never get stuck playing that dirge. Featuring vocal harmonies and electric fiddle atop punk-inspired rhythms is sure to bring the hype.

Housy (john currie’s house) has had so many parties it has it’s own Facebook page and our new drummer Clayton hosts an annual open jam front yard party called Farmaroo that is attended by so many musicians it’s like having a legit cover band playing all day. Farmaroo IX is in May 2018. We are playing Clarendon Grill on New Year’s Eve!


Turtle Recall pic.jpg
turtle recall pic.jpg


Brian:     So, on DC Music Rocks, we're shedding a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Turtle Recall is a pope ... A pope. It's a pope. No, it's definitely not a pope.

Erin:     Could be.

Guido:     A religious band.

Brian:     Wrong. It is a pop/folk/rock ...

Erin:     All the above.

Brian:     ... band that does mashups and medleys of top 40 rock, 90s, oldies, and country. There's no backing tracks. It's 100% live music, and they bring so much energy with every party that they do. They've got two albums of original music, including their own Happy Birthday song, which I want to hear one day. I haven't heard that one yet. They feature vocal harmonies, electric fiddle, atop punk-inspired rhythms, which bring some serious hype to every show. I've seen them live, I've seen them do this, and it's phenomenal.

Guido:     Oh, thanks.

Brian:     So, I've been a fan for a while, and it's freakin' awesome to actually have you guys here. Thanks for doing this.

Erin:     Thank you.

Guido:     Your show's cool.

Brian:     Thanks guys. So now, first, actually let me ... Tell me about the name. Where does Turtle Recall come from?

Guido:     I like turtles.

Erin:     Well, basically, yeah. We like turtles. I think we ... There's been an inside joke between all of us since high school. Most of us went to high school together, South Lakes High School, in fact.

Brian:     Nice, okay.

Erin:     Yeah. We were all in different areas of the art wing.

Guido:     You were, like, chorus.

Erin:     Chorus.

Guido:     I was the band kid.

Erin:     Yeah. Then, Matt was-

Guido:     Orchestra.

Erin:     ... orchestra, yeah. I was also in the fine arts. I did actual, you know, painting.

Guido:     John-Currie's your theater boy.

Erin:     Theater. He's the thespian.

Guido:     The theater.

Erin:     Yeah. So, we all knew each other in different ways, which was really fun.

Brian:     How many of the ... Now, there's six people. Introduce the names and instruments in the band.

Erin:     We have John-Currie-

Guido:     He plays the bass and sings.

Erin:     Yeah. And this was his New Year's resolution, to start this band. So, he gets a lot of credit.

Brian:     When was that? What year was that?

Erin:     I don't know, two-

Guido:     Would've been January 1st, 2009.

Brian:     Wow.

Erin:     But I was not in the band back then though.

Brian:     Got it.

Guido:     Yeah, we didn't pick up Matt and Erin until 2010. That's really when the band started.

Erin:     Yeah, he suckered me into it later.

Brian:     Oh, that's awesome. All right.

Erin:     Yeah, and then we have Guido who also does guitar and vocals. We have Matt who we call the talent. He's on fiddle, but he also does sound, he does lights, he created this crazy light board, and he can stomp on it and change the whole vibe of the show whenever he feels like it. And he also does harmonies, so you can tell why we call him talent.

Brian:     Get out of here. God, talent, yeah, seriously. Okay.

Erin:     We have Sam who does lead guitar.

Guido:     And trying to keep his eyes open.

Erin:     That's another, yeah, another one of his tasks.

Brian:     Okay, we'll stick with guitar then. All right, he's lead guitar, and then there's got to be drums.

Guido:     Clayton.

Erin:     Clayton.

Guido:     We kind of have a running Spinal Tap joke almost with the drummers in this band. We've easily clipped a baker's dozen, but we're really, really happy playing with Clayton right now. He's a great guy.

Brian:     That's awesome. So, Clayton's the current drummer. And then, of course, Erin on lead vocals, and harmonies, and all kinds of magical vocal things, right?

Erin:     Vocals, yep. I clap in one song, so I would like to be known for that.

Brian:     I've seen you with a tambourine. Some tambourine action.

Guido:     She plays a mean tambourine.

Erin:     I've been known to tamb-o.

Brian:     Nice. I love it. Now wait, where was that ... So, for folks who don't know that school that you mentioned, where is that?

Erin:     Reston, Virginia.

Brian:     So, you're all local Reston guys.

Erin:     Yeah.

Brian:     Wow, that's amazing.

Erin:     Yeah. Can never leave.

Brian:     Now, what is it that makes ... If people go see a Turtle show, what makes a Turtle Recall show special from maybe some of the other shows they could catch?

Guido:     I mean, I guess I'd have to go back to sort of what you mentioned in the intro. I really think the fact that we do everything live. It's just six people, we're ebbing and flowing tempo-wise as necessary for the feel, we can go to the next thing, and you can just do things that you can't do when you have piped-in music.

Erin:     We're also constantly rotating music. We mix up old school stuff, like a lot of classic rock, with the newer pop music. So, it kind of hits every crowd, I think, which is really fun.

Brian:     Nice. I mean, I've seen ... They have a medley they do, which I'm inspired-

Erin:     We have a couple medleys.

Brian:     Well, it's a medley, but it's also, like, 40, 50, 60 minutes, something straight where there's no stopping all the way though.

Erin:     Yeah.

Guido:     I think we're almost up to an hour now, and it probably covers about 30 songs.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Guido:     So, I'm not trying to encroach on power hour territory here-

Erin:     We're close.

Guido:     ... but if you wanted to drink while we change songs, I wouldn't hold it against you.

Brian:     Please say that next time you do it. That's actually a really fun drinking game.

Erin:     I'm pretty sure Guido did encourage that at the last show.

Brian:     Yeah? Okay. That's amazing. I love that idea. All right, so now, you guys have a lot of fun, and you know each other. So, talk about funniest moment that comes to mind with Turtle.

Erin:     Funniest moment?

Guido:     Yeah, I think I got a good one for this one.

Brian:     Yeah?

Erin:     Go for it, go for it.

Guido:     I believe it was at Level X Lounge. I don't even know if it's called that anymore. That's up on U Street. So, they had a movie on. It was probably a Cinemax movie or something. That movie ended, and they were still projecting that channel on the wall. We were playing, I think it was Magic, you know, that B.o.B song with Rivers on the-

Erin:     (singing)

Brian:     Nice, okay.

Guido:     Well, let's just say, Cinemax turns to other forms of entertainment at that time of night.

Brian:     So, you were playing the soundtrack to a very interesting display on the screen? No way.

Guido:     Particularly, you know, not-

Erin:     Graphic.

Guido:     ... just not the right song for, you know.

Erin:     It definitely changed the vibe of the whole thing.

Guido:     But I didn't even know it was happening at the time. Our friend had a video of us, and he kind of just panned to the left to it.

Brian:     Oh man, that's amazing.

Guido:     I saw it the next day.

Brian:     Little did you know, you guys became a backing band for incredible cinema experience? That's awesome.

Erin:     Yeah, I've always wanted to be famous for something like that, so I feel like we checked it off the list, you know?

Brian:     That's awesome. What about you guys on a personal side? So, outside of this music thing, what do you guys do? Are you hobbies? What do you do outside of that?

Guido:     Can I be, like, super DC right now because this is what I do with all of my free time. This is what I do to have fun. What I do during the day is I work for the Department of Energy.

Erin:     Boo.

Guido:     So, we can be super DC and, "What do you do for a living?"

Brian:     Got it.

Erin:     I think I just fell asleep.

Brian:     Oh, okay. All right. So, there's Department of Energy during the day, and then there's all this music stuff. And speaking of all this music stuff, share the other bands because you're in some other bands now.

Erin:     I think there's seven now? Guido, are there seven?

Brian:     Seven? Stop it, Jesus.

Guido:     You know, I'm kind of getting a lot of flack for this, you know. I may be on the easy side.

Erin:     But we love him the most. So, let that be known.

Brian:     All right. We'll share him then. What do you got?

Guido:     But I'm really excited about a new project I'm starting with Casey, formerly of Tempercrush, called Boayt, B-O-A-Y-T. We don't really have anything up yet, but look out because we've got, like, a discord feel coming.

Brian:     Oh, nice.

Erin:     Look out.

Guido:     It's along the high-energy vibe-

Brian:     Got it.

Guido:     ... again.

Brian:     And then I know there's Bells and Hunters too. We're going to play one of those songs coming up, so you get to taste that.

Guido:     Bells and Hunters is, like, second band family. I mean, I just love everyone, and that band is such a good group of friends.

Brian:     That's awesome.

Erin:     I can vouch for them all too. They're all great.

Brian:     That's amazing. What about you, Erin?

Erin:     Oh, I don't do much. No, I have a pretty big family, so I try to prioritize them. They all live back in the area now. I have a couple of nieces.

Brian:     When you say "pretty big family" and "they all", how many people are we talking?

Erin:     I have four siblings, and a mom.

Brian:     Four siblings including you, or that means five kids altogether?

Erin:     No, five total.

Brian:     Wow, okay.

Erin:     We're all musical, so we all like to sing together.

Brian:     Oh, that's adorable.

Erin:     We've been singing together since we were little. But I try to hang out with them as much as I can. I also have a small business of my own doing marketing, and websites, and graphics, and stuff like that. So, it's an aside.

Brian:     Nice, yeah, I know man, it's like-

Erin:     I ride my bike, you know. I'm really cool, so I just want everyone to know.

Brian:     I was going to say, speaking of all this stuff you're sharing, you do sound pretty freakin' cool, I got to say.

Erin:     I'm super cool.

Brian:     I love it. And this marketing thing on the side, if people want to know about that, do you want to share that, or is that-

Erin:     Sure. I guess I've never advertised for it before, it's all been word of mouth, and it's just been really fun for me. I mean, you could go to if you want.


Erin:     I've never said that out loud before, but it's a thing.

Brian:     That's Erin, E-R-I-N, and Girardi is G-I-R-A-

Erin:     A-R-D-I.

Brian:     There it is.

Erin:     Dot com.

Brian: Check it out. Check her out.

Erin:     I'm impressed that you even got most of the way there.

Brian:     I feel cool now, thanks.

Erin:     You are very cool.

Brian:     I appreciate it. All right. Now, what about ... One of my favorite questions to ask on these interviews is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be? From both of you guys.

Erin:     Oh, man. I know Guido has better advice than I do. Be nice to people. That's my advice.

Brian:     Be nice? Say more on that. Where does that come from?

Erin:     No, it's hard. Are you talking about being in a band? Is that what your advice-

Brian:     It's up to you. You can answer however you like.

Erin:     It's hard. Everyone knows being in a band is hard. Creative people are very emotionally attached to the things they're doing, so it's cool to get a bunch of impassioned people in the same room working on a project, but sometimes, hard conversations have to be had. So, going into it knowing to be open-minded, and listen, and be gentle when you're talking about someone else's art I think is important.

Brian:     God, so true. So true. I like it. All right, be nice. What do you got, Guido?

Guido:     I would ... Maybe preaching to the choir with this audience, but go out and see your friends' shows. Go see strangers' shows. It's always really fun, and it's really inspiring to see what other people are doing. We just had ... I didn't know you were going until I saw you there, but we just saw Juxt last Thursday at Union Stage-

Erin:     True, and they rule.

Guido:     ... and master class in stage performance.

Erin:     Yeah, they were awesome.

Brian:     Nice.

Erin:     There was some rolling around on the ground, I mean.

Brian:     Oh, excellent. Any time it goes all the way to the ground, you know that's just-

Erin:     There was a jumpsuit involved.

Guido:     And you know roXplosion caught it.

Brian:     Of course, there's going to be pictures.

Erin:     And those pictures were pretty awesome.

Brian:     And if you don't know who they're talking about, roXplosion is a photographer in the scene. He takes some of the best photos, and he actually was one of the first DC Music Rocks episodes. So, you can go back in the archives to one of the very first episodes-

Erin:     Aw, Alec.

Guido:     Number one.

Brian:     ... and catch an interview with him because he is an awesome dude.

Erin:     Such a winner.

Brian:     We love roXplosion. That is it. All right, now, last little bit here. If they want to find out more about Turtle Recall and follow what you're doing, and where do they find this information?


Brian:     Nice. And if you're on the social medias, what is it?

Erin:     We are Turtle Recall Music probably on all of them.

Brian:     All of them. Excellent.

Erin:     Yeah.

January 31, 2017 - Special Guest: Jack Gregori of Human Country Jukebox & NBC's The Voice

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National Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  • Used the Easy Listening Jams Playlist at a small gathering at my house, was a huge hit!  Shout out to 70+ artists on the playlist for puttin out GREAT music! 

  • We're up to 17 videos from DC area talent who've shared their Tiny Desk videos for NPR with us!  Check them all out on the Find-Browse Artists Page!


  1. Mark Trail - Jelly Roll Mortals (Rock/Classic Country)
  2. Last Rights of a Living Leg End - Cartoon Weapons (Hard Rock/Math Rock)
  3. Cant Write No Songs - Human Country Jukebox (Country/Rock)
  4. You, Me, and the Tennessee Blues - Tom McBride (Country/Folk)
  5. Doing Time in Pennsylvania - The Highballers (Country/Punk)
  6. Prairie Rain - Justin Jones (Rock/Folk)
  7. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Jack Gregori



DC Music Rocks Jack Gregori (3)

With over 750 shows under his belt, you might call Jack Gregori the man who brought country music to the buttoned-up bar scene of Washington, DC. And while Jack has now honed a well-deserved reputation for genuine Texas-influenced country and western musical style (and attitude), his musical path began far away from the cradle of country music in Texas and Nashville. 
In 2015, Gregori performed on NBC’s "The Voice" to an audience of over 15 million viewers and was selected by the judges to advance on the hit show, eventually ending-up on “Team Adam.” Working alongside the likes of Grammy Award-nominee Ellie Goulding and three-time Grammy Award-winner Adam Levine, Jack’s charismatic baritone put him firmly on the country music map as a rising star to watch. Gregori’s multiple performances on the international hit show resulted in the eventual recording and release of two singles: “Feeling Alright” - the legendary Dave Mason song made most famous by Joe Cocker’s 1969 rendition, as well as, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, both of which were released in the fall of 2015 through Republic Records (a division of UMG Recording). The national exposure has not swelled the native New Hampshirite's head, however. When not touring, Jack can still be found each week performing at his long-running residency in Washington DC’s favorite local bar, Madam's Organ.

DC Music Rocks Jack Gregori
DC Music Rocks Jack Gregori (2)

Interview Transcript

Brian:     Jack Gregori with over 750 shows under his belt, you might call Jack the man who brought country music to the buttoned up bar scene of Washington, D.C. In 2015, Jack performed on NBC's The Voice to an audience of over 15 million viewers and was selected by the judges to advance on the hit show, eventually ending up on Team Adam. Working alongside the likes of Grammy Award nominee Ellie Goulding and three-time Grammy Award winner Adam Levine, Jack's charismatic baritone put him firmly on the country music map as a rising star to watch.

                  His multiple performances on the international hit show resulted in the eventual recording and release of two singles, Feeling All Right, the legendary Dave Mason song made most famous by Joe Cocker's 1969 rendition, as well as Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. They were both released in the fall of 2015. When not touring, Jack can still be found each week performing with his band Human Country Jukebox at his long-running residency in Washington, D.C.'s favorite local bar, Madam's Organ.

                  I went to Madam's Organ and I have seen Jack play, and it is truly a sight to behold. All the shows are a little different. They're such a laid-back group, but yet they play such fun music and it's different every time. Listeners, it's with great pleasure that I introduce Jack Gregori.

Jack:       Thanks for having me, Brian.

Brian:     Thanks so much for being here, man. Rewind now and tell us how music came into your life. How did that start?

Jack:       It was always there really. From the earliest I can remember, it was all about the music.

Brian:     Does that mean you came out of the womb with a guitar in your hand?

Jack:       Pretty much. It was a difficult birth.

Brian:     Was it always guitar? Has there been more than one? 

Jack:       Now, I actually started playing saxophone when I was a kid.

Brian:     Wow.

Jack:       Yeah, and migrated to piano and played that for a little bit and got tired of that. Really, what happened is I got a car and the piano lessons went right out the window after that.

Brian:     That was it.

Jack:       Yeah, so around the same time I got a guitar, which that was crucial.

Brian:     Okay.

Jack:       That was the way to go. A lot more portable.

Brian:     Exactly. So then you stuck with it all the time? Was it on the side? Did you do it in school?

Jack:       Not really. We played some in school and did it in high school and that kind of thing, but it wasn't the kind of situation where I practiced as much as I should as far as the guitar went.

Brian:     Sure. I got it.

Jack:       But it's been there. Just varying degrees of intensity.

Brian:     Then Human Country Jukebox is the band. How did that come together?

Jack:       That came together fairly organically. A bunch of current friends of mine met at an open mic at Bobby Lou's. It was hosted by the inimitable Silky Dave of Gypsy Sally's fame currently. 

Brian:     Silky Dave. Hi, Silky Dave. 

Jack:       Silky Dave. Hi, Silky. He owns the Gypsy's with his lovely wife, Karen, who I will not fail to mention.

Brian:     Got it. Karen, you are such an important part of that dynamic duo. We appreciate you, too. 

Jack:       Absolutely. We all met doing open mic and it kind of just morphed into this thing. Getting back to the naming conventions here, we had the same experience where you just sit there and try to brainstorm for hours and hours, trying to figure out what's our name going to be. What's it going to be?

                  I have sort of come up with this name for myself as a joke, Human Country Jukebox, because I just love this kind of music and we'd have get togethers or parties or whatever and people would throw out songs and I'd play them and it would just be the thing, so it was the Human Country Jukebox. Then, we just got tired of trying to think of a name, so we just came up with that and then sort of that was the way it was.

Brian:     Human Country Jukebox. At what point, how did The Voice come about?

Jack:       Actually, Silky, on a whim, sent my name into them to see if they wanted to have me on or audition.

Brian:     Oh, sure.

Jack:       I get an email out of the blue, and he didn't tell me he did this, so ... 

Brian:     Oh, boy. Really?

Jack:       Yeah. I get an email out of the blue and I'm like, "All right. This is probably not real. Let me investigate this." I looked at it and it was real, so I sent them back a message and they said, "Hey, do you want to audition for The Voice?" I said, "Do I have to stand in line?" They said, "No," and I said, "Okay. I'm in."

Brian:     Wow.

Jack:       The line was a deal breaker for me.

Brian:     The line? Really?

Jack:       Oh, yeah.

Brian:     Yeah, because it is a pretty long line.

Jack:       I don't like standing in line. That's the thing. Yeah, so anyway, went in and arduous, arduous process. It was fun though and it took a long time.

Brian:     When you say a long time, does that mean it was days? Where was it? This was in D.C.? Was it in L.A.? Where was it?

Jack:       I auditioned here, so we were at Cue.

Brian:     Okay.

Jack:       I went down there and did the audition and then, you know, you have to go through a number of callbacks and it's a whole thing. It's not like you audition and then the next day you're in front of the judges.

Brian:     How long did it take?

Jack:       Oh, months. Yeah, months. Half a year, probably.

Brian:     Okay. Did you get to meet the judges beforehand?

Jack:       No, no.

Brian:     It really is completely blind? You get out there. You've never seen them before. They're in chairs, facing backwards like on the show?

Jack:       Yeah. There's no interaction on our end anyway. Maybe they were watching from afar, but ...

Brian:     Right. Cameras or something. Wow. When you walked out there, what were you thinking? Were you just, "I'm going to nail this song?"

Jack:       I was thinking, "Don't fall down." I'm serious, man.

Brian:     Stop. That's it? Really? Don't fall down?

Jack:       Oh, yeah. Don't fall down. Don't fall down. That was it. Yeah, it is nerve-wracking. You go up there and it's quiet as can be and they start the music and you go. That's it. You have one chance.

Brian:     Online now, you can pick up a copy of the song you did, Ring of Fire, for your audition. Is that actually the live recording that's online or do they bring you in and you record that?

Jack:       No. Yeah, it's separate. You can still watch the audition piece on YouTube or whatever.

Brian:     By the way, if you haven't seen it, check out ... He's got two awesome videos. Check out Jack on the YouTube channel because ... What a cool experience, man.

Jack:       It was a lot of fun.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Jack:       Definitely.

Brian:     What did you take away from ... When you came back after that whole experience, what was that like? What did you take away from all of that?

Jack:       Oh, it was surreal. I mean you don't get that opportunity very often. Yeah, coming back, I got a lot of from people that I had seen and had seen me play 50, 100 times, that worked in the scene, all of a sudden, like, "Hey, man, you're really good. I had no idea."

Brian:     I've seen you 50 times at the bar and now you know?

Jack:       Sometimes it just takes somebody else telling a person that you're like good to make you good.

Brian:     Oh. Got it.

Jack:       I'll take it.

Brian:     When you got back, you came right back to playing with Human Country Jukebox?

Jack:       Oh, yeah. Yeah. Just got right back into it. That's the whole thing.

Brian:     Was it different afterward?

Jack:       Yeah, it was a pretty big bump right afterward. It was a lot of energy and good energy. Yeah.

Brian:     When you say bump, what is that? Just more people?

Jack:       More people, more energy, just more action. It was great. Yeah.

Brian:     Okay. How long did that last?

Jack:       Oh, maybe three months of solid push. Then, you kind of get back to the routine of getting your shows in and playing. You know, back to the grind.

Brian:     Yeah, so talk about the grind, then, for you. What is that? It's Human Country Jukebox. How many shows a week? What's life like for you now as a musician? 

Jack:       Playing quite a bit still. At one point, we were doing maybe 15 shows a month sometimes. That's pretty intense. That's a pretty intense schedule. Sometimes, we were doing three, four, five nights in a row.

Brian:     Wow.

Jack:       It's fun and you do it and it's good, but that gets tough sometimes. Now, we're probably down to two, three times a week sometimes and depending. I've been intentionally pulling back a bit so I can focus more on writing and rehearsing if possible. 

Brian:     Writing, so writing for a new album? 

Jack:       Writing for a new album. Yep. We're getting some songs together for ... Hopefully, by the end of the year, we'll have something out. That's the goal.

Brian:     Rehearsal, what's rehearsal like for you guys? When I see you live, people call out songs ... 

Jack:       It doesn't happen often.

Brian:     ... and you play them. Is that how it works in rehearsal, too?

Jack:       No, we try and be slightly more focused if we have rehearsals, which is seldom.

Brian:     Which is rare.

Jack:       Yeah, very seldom. That's the good and bad thing about playing so much. The good thing is you keep pretty sharp with each other and you get that rapport with the other musicians and that's ... There's no substitute for that really.

                  The downside is everybody's so tired from gigging that you don't necessarily want to do it on your night off. You don't want to get into a rehearsal space and grind it out for four hours on a Monday night. That's the sort of double-edged sword.

                  For rehearsals, we try and be more focused because if we're going to be trapped together, it's better to have people there to listen.

Brian:     Right, and you've got to find time. In the rehearsals, you've got to find time to do the new songs, too, and put those together.

Jack:       Exactly.

Brian:     That's ... Wow. Now, when you think about you on the personal side, when you're not doing the music thing, what's life like for Jack?

Jack:       Well, you know work. A lot of work. Got the day job that I go to. Fortunately, it's flexible.

Brian:     Got it. Flexible schedule, that'd be handy. 

Jack:       Flexible schedule is good for a musician's life.

Brian:     Sure.

Jack:       You don't get out until three in the morning playing music and then you have to get up the next day and you don't want to get up at eight. Believe me. You know.

Brian:     I believe you. I know actually. Yes, absolutely. It's rough.

Jack:       It is rough. Fortunately, I've got the flexible schedule, but honestly, I try and do the music as much as possible. That's where a large chunk of my energy goes.

Brian:     Are you big into reading or you join a book club? Are you training for a marathon? Are there any other ... Life for you, you're a big foodie? You like going out on the town? What's life like?

Jack:       Oh, sure. Yeah, I mean if I can, I go catch shows. I go catch shows as much as I can in D.C. and sometimes out of D.C. Foodie, sure. The part of D.C. that's great is that the restaurants are amazing around here. I do smoke a lot of barbecue myself in the old backyard there.

Brian:     Excellent.

Jack:       Yeah.

Brian:     All right. A barbecue man, which explains why you love some of the ... Like I've seen, I know Hill Country Barbecue is a play that you play. 

Jack:       Oh, love it.

Brian:     That must be good eating that night.

Jack:       Love it.

Brian:     Shout out to the guys. If you haven't tried Hill Country Barbecue, you need to go try it. Go on a night Jack's playing and it's a combination. It's a heavenly combination of good music and good barbecue. That's everything.

Jack:       That's a great place. They have great artists that come through there as well.

Brian:     When you think back to Human Country Jukebox, what's the funniest moment that comes to mind as you think about the band?

Jack:       Well, we take a lot of risks with that band. Part of that is we're fortunate enough to play so much that we feel comfortable that if we take a risk and it doesn't go so well, we'll be okay.

Brian:     Take a risk meaning try a song and it didn't work out? [crosstalk 00:12:56]

Jack:       Try a song. It doesn't work out. My favorite is when we bring people up on stage and inevitably they insist that they know every word to every song and then we get them up and we say, "Okay, tip us and you can come up and sing it." They'll come up and it's just a train wreck a lot of the time.

Brian:     Is there one particular that try? What comes to mind? What song was it?

Jack:       I don't even remember what song it was, but there was a guy who came up and tried to make our bass player play two bass solos. Not just one. The first one went okay and it was fine. It was dragging on and after the second time, he said, "Bass solo," the bassist, Danny, stepped right in front of the guy and said, "This is over. Get this guy off stage. We're done." 

Brian:     Oh my God. All right.

Jack:       Sometimes you have to do that, but those are the kinds of things that I really like and that was one good example. [crosstalk 00:14:04] He threw some colorful language in there, too.

Brian:     Somebody told me there's a Jukebox story that there's certain songs that you don't want to play, but a good tip you'll do just about anything. Say more on that.

Jack:       That's generally how it works. I mean money talks. That's the bottom line with a bar band like that. Some stuff, we'll play for free and other things. Of course, everybody's down on Wagon Wheel and that's an expensive ... You're looking at 250 for that.

Brian:     Okay. All right.

Jack:       Occasionally, we'll make exceptions. [crosstalk 00:14:33]

Brian:     ... and you'll do it, but all right.

Jack:       Yeah, we'll do it. We won't like it, but we'll do it.

Brian:     Now, what's an example of songs that you do like? What comes to mind? We don't even need a tip. We'd love to play that.

Jack:       Oh, anything by Doug Sahm, who's just amazing, and if you don't know who he is, you're doing yourself a disservice. He's just ...

Brian:     Okay. Doug Sahm, check him out.

Jack:       ... one of those guys that transcends all. Yeah, Doug Sahm. William Jennings. Sure, Johnny Cash and those. Haggard, of course. Anything by The Band or Neil Young. We love that. All that stuff.

Brian:     Got it. 

Jack:       So those are pretty much free. If you're a good patron though, of course.

Brian:     If you come regularly, then you can request. 

Jack:       Yeah, sure, but I mean we don't turn down the tips of course. You want the tips. It's always nice.

Brian:     Yes. That's the [crosstalk 00:15:24] ... Musicians, man. Musicians love a little bit of cash. That's true. It's absolutely true. What do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Jack:       Oh, you know, Grease soundtrack probably.

Brian:     For real? The Grease soundtrack? Oh my God.

Jack:       Yeah. I know. You laugh, but they're great musicians playing on that soundtrack for real.

Brian:     Right. That's exactly what I think when I hear that soundtrack is, "Oh, listen to how good those musicians are." No, I'm joking.

Jack:       Right. I know. I know you don't.

Brian:     I'm glad that you do.

Jack:       Yeah. Totally. I like all kinds of stuff. Elton John, I get a lot of surprising looks about that for some reason and I don't understand. The same thing, I mean that ... Amazing artist, great musician.

Brian:     Yeah, he really is.

Jack:       I just ... Top notch. There are a lot of things like that, but I like it all. Judas Priest. 

Brian:     Oh, true. Judas Priest.

Jack:       That's one that I get ...

Brian:     My favorite question to ask ... The last one that I've got is what's one piece of advice that you would offer?

Jack:       Be nice.

Brian:     Be nice? Meaning when you're on stage? Say more.

Jack:       All the above. Well, not necessarily on stage. Part of our shtick when we do the Human Country Jukebox stuff is if you request a song we don't like, we might give you an earful and tell you where you can put that song.

Brian:     Oh, which contradicts the be nice concept.

Jack:       Right, but it's all in good fun. I'm talking about be nice to the people that work there. Be nice to your sound guy. Be nice to other musicians in the scene. Be helpful and be pleasant. That's how you get work to a large extent.

Brian:     Now, for folks who want to find out more about you, where do they find out more about you? Where can they go? 

Jack:       You can go to my website, which is That's G-R-E-G-O-R-I, or you can go to the Human Country Jukebox website, or you can go to either of those on Facebook or Twitter, if you like. It's @CountryJukebox or @JackGregori. Any of those ways. We have all the social media that you could ever want.

Brian:     Awesome.

Jack:       You can find it.

July 12, 2016 Show