Jacob Bailes, vocalist, has a sonorous and soulful voice that has impressed my ears for about two years. To list Bailes as a ‘vocalist’ is only part of his story. A second-year university student, with a ‘non-music’ major, Jacob is a former member of an award-winning high school marching (and show) band. He held first chair in alto saxophone with the band. He continues to help chaperone summer band camps.
The band, The Lumberjack Express, in Richwood, West Virginia, USA, routinely receives ‘Superior’ ratings at high school band-competition events. This Richwood High School band has also routinely traveled to appear in select venues at select events. There are not many school bands that are annually invited to visit Disney World, Orlando, for an early-Saturday afternoon slot on its Main Street when crowds are the largest. The list of nationally-recognized festival at which the band has performed is extensive and includes Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, to highlight only two. Sport-venue openers include the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves. Enough said.
This post is not really about Jacob’s musical history, but his initial coversong work. He sent me a smartphone video of a contemporary pop-song cover in May 2016. I thought then and think now that the cover was quite well done. Long story short, I did a quick video edit, arbitrarily called him “JDan Music” and dropped it on my YouTube channel.
Although the video edit is mine, and amateurish, the video has received a respectable 120 views, as of this writing. All comments have been favorable and have come–unexpectedly on my part–from around the world.
To conclude this post, I will also say that I have hesitated for a long while to post any entry on Jacob Bailes, as I have likely been ‘too close’ to his work to be 100% objective in my review. I say this because Jacob worked with me several months as a student intern. As a small-city elected official, I mercilessly dragged him with me to meetings and events (music and otherwise) around our state. However, the high spot of those frequent road trips, was the chance to hear him sing along, usually at high volume, as I drove, with whatever music was playing on car radio or smartphone subscriber-music lists.
Jacob has indicated an interest in doing more video covers. Check back here every now and then for updates. I promise to limit my however-slightly bias of his work.
— R. Johnson 20 September 2016