January 23, 2017 by Robb Powell
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome back to Band of Badgers presents, my name is Jim Kirby and I have finally returned in order to provide yourselves with advice, news, reviews and sometimes even a slightly tongue in cheek article every now and then.
It has been a long time since I last laid my words, thoughts and opinions out before you and for that, you have my deepest apologies. 2016 saw a turn in my life that leads to many stories, and 2017 seems to have more planned to come.
So without further hesitation…
Now, as a disclaimer, this article is for entertainment and is based on opinion, lightly decorated by fact and slowly cooked in the experience of 26/27 years.
No offence is intended (if indeed there is any taken.)
A Note of Change
2016 saw many changes in not only the music world but also to the general one we inhabit. From the Brexit to the final notes of many an artist. Heroes gone but not forgotten, principles changed though not necessarily agreed upon.
Having been a seasoned traveller myself (via need rather than luxury) and having had to have lived in a third world country where I actually had to catch, kill and cook my dinner, I can honestly say that I am not heavily bothered by which way people aligned themselves in the Brexit poll. In, out, shake it all about… Whatever helps you sleep at night.
What I was mortified by was the decline of people’s social lives. Long term friends poised to pounce on one another with pitchforks in hand and the laughable politics of social media.
But one thing that I have seen is that regardless of aforementioned politics, one thing that unites so many, beyond both borders and oceans is music!
I’ve played in despots where just opening with the Eagles gains respect, friendships and opens up a world of both love and affection. Yet in the UK I’ve seen streets where wearing the wrong coloured tie at the wrong time of year can almost get a person shot!
Could we for a moment imagine a world where we elected Genres instead of politicians?
But I digress.
The point of this article for me is based upon positive change. I’ve seen many an ego of musician get in the way of their true nature and I’ve seen many an ambition collapse around the seed of good intentions.
There was a point in my life last year where I pushed myself beyond boundaries in order to match the criteria set by labels and managers. Indeed, The politics of the industry.
But as stated above, regardless of which way one leans in their choice of lifestyle, we should never forget ourselves and celebrate that!
My way of dealing with my own ambitions now is to do what I do but do it in a way that it benefits others.
In 2015 I created the Blues From The Herts Project (which Band of Badgers politely hosted and published for me) in order to support SANE Mental Health Charity. Since then, I have released 2 Eps “Before We Say Goodbye” in 2016 and “The Time In Between” in 2017. All digital sales go straight to SANE via my publisher.
This allows my story to be told in the way I want to tell it for the benefit of others. Putting a human element toward the stigma of mental health. Making a difference regardless of where I am, my political opinions, how much I may or may not earn and without my preference of sandwich filling impacting upon my social circle.
As said, music unites people. Music embraces us and holds us (ourselves) together in the most darkest of times. Yes, there are divisions but these are easily overlooked and resolved by finding common ground. It could be the beat, arrangement, the production, the lyrics… Anything!
So for all those reading this, find something you can get behind this 2017 and make sure it’s something that you can just be yourself for.
This has been a confabulatory ramble by “Just” Jim Kirby.
Wishing you a happy 2017 and hopefully, there will be more to come.