Jimmy O'Keefe Talks of Himself and the Future!

3D rocker JIMMY O'KEEFE is always writing and having his music ready, all new content will be made available soon. He himself goes into talks about his works and what the future holds.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Jimmy O'Keefe and Friends originated as a solo project I started in college. All the recordings were done in my bedroom. I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't find a place to practice, and that I couldn't keep a group together. It's that feeling you get when you think that I will never be recognized for the art I create, but I'm still driven to create it.  No one is there to stop you from going into your own deep end, and some beautiful things can come of that. 

Flash forward 12 years. I felt that feeling again. Isolated from my band Hollywood Blanks during the pandemic, and with the time to record more DIY tracks, I revisited this solo project. 

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Jimmy O'Keefe and Friends was an ironic name at first because it is mainly a solo project. It's also a name that's supposed to make you think that I finally gave up on trying to come up with a name for my project (which is true). When I'm alone on stage, the friends are in the audience. The name creates fluidity. It's a name that allows this project to be open to constant change. It acknowledges the reality that, as a songwriter, there are times when you will be alone and times when you will be surrounded by friends.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

I'm based out of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore has a really vibrant and eclectic music scene ranging from hip-hop to electronic to folk. Regardless of the genre, the throughline always seems to be a tinge of weirdness and grittiness. Up until the Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire in Oakland, California many of Baltimore's best artists found their start at the warehouses and art spaces around the city. But even beyond that, going back in city history, Baltimore's Pennsylvania Avenue was a staple stopover for Jazz singers and Big Bands on their way to New York. People such as Billie Holiday and  Cab Calloway called Baltimore home. Finally, Baltimore has a strong connection to the classical music scene fed by the Peabody Music Conservatory. Current popular bands to check out:

Future Islands

Beach House

Dan Deacon

EZ Jackson

4. How would you describe your style?

Vocal and lyrics driven, dark, brooding bedroom folk rock that is trying to be three dimensional

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

I think the thing that strikes people first is my voice. My grandmother was a singer, and she used to tell me that I had an uncle who had this really interesting singing voice. She said it was haunting. The way she describes it, it sounds like I inherited it. My voice has an interesting range and I can do some cool things with it. 

When I was in college, I released a full length called American Archetypes. It's a really strange album, but at the same time it's very familiar. The proportions of the sounds are all strange because I didn't really know what I was doing, but close friends really love that album. That sort of familiarity with a subtle warp or disproportionality is something that has stuck with my music's sound.  

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

100%... I just need the capital to record and release it. I have so much material to release. I'm constantly writing new music and lyrics. I have another single that should come out through The Animal Farm in the next couple of months. It's a really dark song. 

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

Right now, I'm just focusing on reestablishing myself in the Baltimore Music Scene as a solo artist. I was in a band called Hollywood Blanks for about a decade. We toured around the East Coast here and there, but mostly played in Baltimore. 

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

I want to actually start having real musicians in my band again. At the same time, I also want to explore the desperation that comes out of being alone on a stage with just an acoustic guitar. I played my first show alone in over two years, and I really had to get creative about keeping the audience engaged. 

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?


10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

The first time people listen to my music, I think they will remember my voice - how unfamiliar yet familiar it is. I'm definitely not trying to sing like Ed Sheeran or even like Hozier (maybe a little more like Hozier). The next time they listen, I hope they pay attention to the words. 

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