Held at the beautiful Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, Magnolia Fest will be celebrating it's 19th year this October 15-18th. MagFest consistently features some of the world’s finest performers in Americana, Roots Rock, Acoustic Blues, Singer/Songwriter, Bluegrass & Newgrass, Cajun/Zydeco, New & Traditional Folk and American Roots music. In the fifth of a series focusing on the artists who will be performing at the Fest, Jerry Joseph, whose career has spanned more than thirty years, kindly took the time to talk about playing the Fest for the first time, being inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and more.
Magnolia Fest is entering its nineteenth year, how many years have you been a part of it?
So, being that there are numerous festivals for you to choose to play at, why did you say yes to being a part of Magnolia Fest?
Well, a lot of reasons. One because I don’t think we’ve ever done any of those late fall Florida things, not that I can remember anyway, and we're psyched to do it. We’re always moving, doing load in and playing, so I never look at these things as social events, but I’m excited to go down there and do it. It’ll be cool to play with all of those bands.
MagFest draws artists from cities all over the U.S., such as Jacksonville, Richmond and Denver, with diverse music scenes. How does Portland stand out amongst these places?
The music scene in Portland is pretty explosive. It seems like every face tattooed, dread locked, nose ringed, coffee pouring guy in a coffee shop has a record deal. There’s a lot going on, so it’s hard to keep a tab on everything that’s happening. When the local papers announce their top ten list for the year I haven’t even heard of like, two thirds of them--and I buy, and listen to, a lot of music. It’s a very liquid music scene with a lot of people moving there specifically for music, kind of like Seattle in the early 90’s or how all of the country songwriters move to Nashville. I don’t know how much that affects me and my shows or what I do, but I imagine if you were a young band starting up in Portland it would be kind of a bummer if you wanted to make any money. But, it’s exciting and super vibrant with lots of good stuff happening.
I’m actually being inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in a few weeks [October 10th]. I was really honored, like this is great thank you so much, but I was also like, who the f--- gets inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame? (laughing) It turns out they’re a bunch of really cool people, I just didn’t know that.
Congratulations on the honor.
Circling back to MagFest, The Jackmormons will be there with you. The current line-up has been in place for about a year now. It's been working out well?
Yes, they’re good. We had some changes, but we’re not really a big personnel switch band. A few days before we were leaving for Europe [in 2014] we got new additions, which is a lot easier to do when you’re going to Paris to play. Then we went into making this new record which will probably be out in March and a two song thirty minute vinyl, which will probably be out late November.
One of the members of The Jackmormons is Jeff Crosby whose Silent Conversations was distributed on your label [CosmoSexSchool]. Are you involved with his upcoming release?
I’m not involved with the new one. I'm a big fan of his. I’ve had a long career of acts opening for me that were pretty successful. Sometimes I’m a total failure, but usually I’m pretty good at picking this stuff. He was opening shows for me maybe three to four years ago and I thought he was the real deal. We put his record out and then his songs ended up on the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack. I think he’s got a pretty cool trajectory. He’s got an awesome new record coming out and it’s great for me to play with him.
For more information on Magnolia Fest visit the official website.
Also, find Magnolia Fest on Facebook and Twitter
For more information on Jerry Joseph visit his official website
Find him on Facebook
Follow him on Twitter