Rebel Download Band
Jordan Phillips Rebel Download Band: Tripadelic Texas honky-tonk Sherryjane Cooke
Houston Country Music Examiner
The Interview with Jordan Phillips' Rebel Download Band, a Tripadelic Texas Honky-Tonk Band - What a fun interview!
Several weeks ago, I was referred to be-friend a new friend and band on Facebook - Jordan Phillips and Rebel Download Band. They just celebrated their second year anniversary as a band on August 10, 2011. By this time, the Rebel Download Band had played over 200 gigs! As I accessed their information and checked out their websites, it was obvious that this was a band I had to know better – an undiscovered treasure. I listened to their first CD, “Keep It Real” completed in the first year of their two year career as a band. I was hooked.
The fact that this Rebel Download Band received over 1000 hits a week on their website and their music was hailed as a “4 piece Tripadelic Texas Honky-Tonk band,” my reporter-moth-to-a-flame persona was not to be hindered!
Rebel Download Band was also all over the place, socially online with just as many hits on Facebook, My Space, Reverbnation, YouTube and more. They also have an active newsletter distribution of 100+ each month. We arranged a conference call so all could tell me all I wanted to know. The day came for the call and quickly, I headed straight to the phone! Everyone was together and as a great bonus - manager, Mama Karen Phillips was also there!
The lead vocalist/guitarist, Jordan Phillips answered my call. He sounded so young - he’s only 22 yrs. old – but what vocals he can deliver! It’s the perks of singing professionally since the age of 14. Jordan said the group consists of four, tightly-knit artists – “Myself (Jordan) Phillips, “Magan (aka Ki’) Phillips, my sister, beautiful female bassist and singer, then Charlie (aka Bo’) Reaves is my baby sister and our beautiful female rhythm guitarist and singer. Then there is Charlie’s husband ‘Wildthang’ Luke Reaves.” Jordan continues, “Luke ‘Wildthang’ holds our twisted rebellious beats in his hands.” Along with this and their songs, I’m beginning to love them more already!
As to the fact that Mama K. is their manager and mom, Jordan says proudly that “She’s a tough cookie sometimes, but it’s great. Many people don’t understand our sound, style and the way we work, but she does – we don’t have to break it all down for her. We don’t have to go through the Music Management 101 thing like people have to do with their new manager. It makes it a lot easier to communicate all our thoughts and ideas with her.”
The interview began with all hi’s and hello’s from all. We did agree that we all needed a third cup of coffee. Well, except for Jordan, who is definitely a ‘sweet tea kinda guy!’
So where does the band call home base?
We’re located out of Camilla, and Coldsprings, Lake Livingston around the Lufkin-Nacogdoches and Houston-Cleveland areas.
I would love to hear what the Rebel Download Band is up to now.
Jordan answered, “Just so many things! We’re doing a lot of shows, bookings and a lot of road time! We’ve been busier and logging in more road time than last year -- and, finishing up a new CD.”
And,your most memorable road story?
“Speaking of road stories, we were following Luke around this town trying to find our way to a restroom. Luke’s from Louisiana and has a hard time with turn signals. So, we’re circling around and around, trying to follow Luke. This story ends with us being stopped three times, in the same town, by three different policemen, for, as Charlie says, “Suspicious behavior following closely behind a black truck!” Mama K, in the background, asked Jordan to tell me something – It was a little muffled with all the laughter and Jordan refused to repeat it. I asked if I heard the word “Depends?” No one would tell me, just a huge round of laughter from everyone! I was surely family now! Ok, so we all composed ourselves, amidst short giggles (including mine!) Deep breath, and….
To Jordan: Did you always want to do this? Be a country artist and in a band?
“Oh, yes. When I say ‘Country is my backbone,’ I mean it. I’ve been in the band life and bar room scene, but I grew up on Gospel and Gospel Blues music with my mom. Loving Country Blues, also included a love for rock, reggae, country and gospel were all part of our background from all the families. So, when people ask us where we get our influences, it’s hard to list them all…you would have to write a book!”
“I got my first guitar when I was about three years old.” Jordan reflects. “And, began singing about 6 years old and really in church, I sang my first song ‘Old MacDonald’ to a real audience. I went out there with everything I had, and man, I rocked that song! At 14, I began singing in restaurants and acoustic venues. Around that time, I brought the girls in (Magan and Charlie.) They were catching on to the instruments so quickly, and Mama K. played harmonica with me. About two years ago, the band began to form. I interviewed so many musicians, it was crazy.”
Jokingly, Jordan says, “Then came Luke. He ate up all my food, slept in my bed, kicked me out of the house for a while, and married my sister!” But, Jordan quickly explained that Luke is one of the best people ever, “I love him like a brother and just couldn’t do without him. He’s family and is my best friend and the best drummer I’ve ever played music with!”
Going even farther, Jordan explains, “I’d say that I always wanted to be both – Gospel and Country music artist. My mom always told me it would be harder to make it in Gospel than in Country. I belong to ‘Promise Keepers’ and its international group of men who live God’s promise and His Way. Every year, in Dallas, they have a convention and a huge concert that is awesome! I’ve attended and have always wanted to play in that concert! But most of the time, I’m playing in another area and can’t get there.”
“Through all this, I decided to perform my Country music, add a little Gospel mix and not be judged by either or… and fulfill my promise and passion. Without God, I wouldn’t be here, nor would music and for that, we are so blessed. Even in bar rooms, I play Country Gospel, so, I have my cake and eat it too! We don’t want to be a bar room band, but I love what I do. When I play in these places, I am committed to bringing my whole self – my heart and what is within me - 100 percent, not just the singer.”
So, Magan and Charlie, as sisters do, probably have their love for each other and minor disagreements. Now, how do you and Luke handle the brother-in-law relationship?
A funny story about Luke and I, was the time just after we fired our first bass player. After the bass player auditioned and before we even hired him, he began to tell me everything I needed to do, including learning to sing Tejano music! Bad move at an audition!
So, Luke and I went outside and I told him I wanted to fire the bass player before we even hired him! Luke disagreed with me and said “Well, I can read people too!” Well after the anger with this bass player, and Luke disagreeing with me – I wanted to fire both LUKE and the bass player. Of course, Magan had a say in this and her words were “Like Hell you are!” There was nothing left to do but for Luke and I to calmly talk and agree to not patronize each other. We learned so much from that and as I said before we all love Luke! Meanwhile, Luke is laughing in the background. (Well, that’s a woman’s gift of mediating to settle these men down, I thought to myself! Another one for us, sistas!)
If I asked you to classify yourself in a genre or type of music, what would you say?
Jordan explains, “It’s kind of funny, and not something we came up with – some fans came up with it and uniquely labeled it “Tripadelic Texas Honky-Tonk” music and the name stuck. It fits perfectly with all our Country, blues, honky-tonkin’ theme and melodies.” (I loved this, because this group is blended of the many colors of music, sparkling with life, Texas true, honky-tonk infused and an enthrallingly unique sound!)
“If I had to name one influence for me, it would be Robert Johnson, a blues singer, Garth Brooks. Like, Garth, I want our fans to get the most for their money and if I could climb the rafters to do that I would. I have a few alternative bands I like. Ones like Choidoes, an alternative rock band, Rage Against the Machine, Sublime, Incubus, and Coheed.”
Suddenly a female voice said in the background, “If one of you doesn’t say Bob Marley, I’m going to knock you out!” We all laughed out loud and I said, “Who was that? That’s got to be Magan!” Jordan said, laughing, “No, that was actually Mama K. our manager.” Man, I loved this woman even more! I heard her laughing as I replied, “Amen, sister!”
Influences and favorite musicians? The responses were as varied as the colors of the musical tapestry that makes up Rebel Download Band!
When I asked Luke his inspirations…no pause, “Eric Clapton! Also, if you ever saw the movie ‘Angel’ with Christian Kane…he came out with an album. That guy has some vocals and can sing like you wouldn’t believe! He is someone I can relate to, am awed by and would love to sing with. So, if you had to put a top one on my favorites list it would be him! And, I would love to sing with Kid Rock on one of our original songs, ‘North and South,’ that is on our second CD. The CD is in progress, coming out in March, 2012 and will be available on ITunes, CD Baby and many more.”
Magan was asked the same question about inspiring artists and her favorites. Her answer? “Some people say that I’m a rocker and I love Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jeannie C. Riley, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, the list goes on and on, but deep down in my soul I am a Country girl!”
And Charlie? “My grandmother and I listened so much to Patsy Cline and both love her. I know every song of Patsy’s and every word by heart. Another of my favorites has to be Dolly Parton. I just love the way she performs and dresses – the big hair, the shiny clothes, I love it all.” (Amen to that and her song “Backwoods Barbie” is her, but not her. Barbie has no talent or graceful charm or voice, just stuff! Dolly has it all!) Charlie continues, “Another real favorite of mine has to be Reba McIntire. Her songs are filled with all kinds of stories and meanings that just relate to so many people. When it comes to new contemporary alternative music, my influences include Paramour, FlyLeaf, and Avril Levine.
That’s my kind of artists and my kind of band, with a passion for music of all kinds, and staying true to great Texas Country music. I’ve heard Rebel Download Band’s music and love it! I could have written the review before the interview, but wanted to give you the background heart and soul of Rebel Download Band.
Jordan, Charlie, Magan and Luke don’t make boundaries in their love and quest for mixing it all into a big old wonderful blend of Texas music. They are as truly unique “Tripadelic Texas Honky-Tonk band” and super talented in their own right, as heard in their music. And, I am loving the family mix of love for God, each other and Texas music as their passion and foundation.
Mama K, you raised them right!
Before the interview with the Rebel Download Band family, I listened to the their first CD, “Keep It Real,” completed in the first year of their two year career as a band. I was hooked and still am finding undiscovered treasures in the band!
The thing I love about the Rebel Download Band, consisting of Jordan (Mordache)Phillips, Megan Phillips and Charlie Reaves, his sisters, and brother-in law, Luke Reaves, (never forgetting the amazing Mama Kay, manager extraordinaire) is that that they sing the songs we wish we had written about our lives!
The lyrics are straight from the band members’ experiences and memories and so much like our own that you can’t help but connect on a deep soulful level with these young, but oh so talented and wise members of the Rebel Download Band. One wonders how they can be so young, yet know so much about life as it relates to any age group. Now that’s a feat of its own and rarely captured by such a young band. Their sound is aptly named by the band as ”Tripadelic Honky-Tonk.
As Jordan says of the group: “Rebel Download Band celebrated their one year anniversary on August 10, 2010. We are a 4 piece Tripadelic Honky Tonk band. In 2010 we have played over 200 gigs, and have over 1000 hits a week on our website www.rebeldownloadband.com, not including MySpace, YouTube, or Facebook.We have an active newsletter distribution of 100+ each month."
Lead vocalist/guitarist, Jordan Phillips is 22 yrs. old, and has been singing professionally since the age of 14. Jordan continues, "Magan (aka Ki’) is our beautiful bassist. Charlie (aka Bo’) Reaves is our beautiful rhythm guitarist. “Wildthang” Luke Reaves holds our twisted rebellious beats in his hands.”
In first reviewing the soulful sound and lyrics of “My Baby Don’t Cry” … ok, they had me with the phrase, those “sexy green eyes!” The song has the beautiful melody and backup guitar riffs, lyrics of real life and of making any woman wish they had such a man….a man who is determined to his baby not crying. The vocals, the lyrics and the music drag your heart straight into the song. It’s pure magic, but experience it, I did. Listen to the song… you can’t help but be there!
“Another Sunday Gone” – Of course, we all feel a certain anxiety on Sundays. But “Another Sunday Gone” takes it even father and more melancholy, missing and remembering that person that could have made Sunday so beautiful and bearable… a little background from Charlie, Magan and Luke adds to the memories in such an amazingly far away ghostly but lovely sound of that person he so loved and remembers. It tears at your heart and makes “Another Sunday Gone” take on a whole new depth of meaning.
“I Survived” blends a beautiful harmonic thread, as if it were a magical childhood memories blood infusion into and the lyrics can relate to all of us. We’re wondering how we all survived those years. Love in the front seat of Daddy’s truck…and Texas nights. The inclusion of the harmonica is brilliant, bringing such a wonderful nostalgic sound (performed by Karen Phillips aka Mama K.) back to those times of when harmonicas were a must in the music of our past years. I couldn’t be more impressed with this collaboration of lyrics, vocals and background melodies. Did it bring me back to those years? Absolutely. The amazing thing is that my son also listened to this song, and it affected him just as much. I see this as a song that will last forever…it crosses over to any age group! Again, sheer genius from the Rebel Download Band!
Tripadelic Honky Tonk? You bet! Rebel Download Band may be a young band, but they’ve already found that way into your soul, the way to rock your senses and the magic to make you love their music.They’ve become such shooting stars that they are even booking for 2012! Watch Rebel Download Band rise to the top of the charts. They remind me of a few bands that were unknown at the time, but ones that I my instincts and belief led me to know that they would hit charts in Texas to Nashville. Rebel Download Band is on that same golden path. Bravo, RDB!