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Lifestyle // Old Friends
Chris Fleck

Go Jimmy Go

Photo courtesy Eric White

 

Way back in the 1990s, when Go Jimmy Go was merely a collective group of rambunctious musicians finding their groove and vibe together, they made a tactful decision – a decision that seems to be a significant reason why they are still well-known and performing 16 years later.

“We were a band that never had the illusion to support ourselves by selling our music. A lot of bands tour or play live shows to make their living. We always reinvested into the band,” says Go Jimmy Go tenor saxophonist Eric White.

“We didn’t pay each other all these years; we just put it back into the band so we could tour and travel and do cool things together. That’s how we were able to survive this storm. Now we’re in a position where we can just play and have fun.”

With five albums released to date and a novel worth of stories from touring worldwide, Go Jimmy Go has gone through a natural evolution of sound, but constantly stays true to its ska, reggae, rock-steady roots.

“Our influences aren’t very modern; they are more original. I think over time, especially through touring all over the U.S. and Europe, you are exposed to so many different sounds and styles. I’m sure being in those environments for so long had an impact on us,” adds White, who was featured with Go Jimmy Go band members on MidWeek‘s cover Nov. 4, 2009.

“When you’re in Serbia, their take on ska and reggae is a trip. Touring with a band like The Toasters, we were out for two months, playing every day together in Europe. I think we started sounding more like them, more two-toned, faster, more aggressive. But it’s so funny, when we came back I think we were more toward who we are, but, you know, it’s all progressive.”

Where that progression has brought Go Jimmy Go – where at one time all members quit their jobs to tour for three years – is back to home, a place where they can enjoy playing the music they love as well as concentrate on other aspects of their lives.

“From 2009 to now we’ve started going toward the family style. We were going hard there for awhile (touring and performing). We’ve all sprouted families and just play shows to enjoy and not stress anything,” says White, pictured here with band members Ryan Kunimura, Ian Ashley, Jay “Jayder” Kalk, Jason “Bison” Friedman and Shon Gregory.

White also says there are talks about recording a new album, as well as performing shows where cover or ticket charges are reasonable and less than $10 – the way they remember live music when they were growing up.

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