Local music fans might recognize Jackson Vee from various gigs throughout the Scranton area, but they probably associate the 32-year-old with the cover music musicians are forced to play to make a buck in this town.
But like most motivated musicians, Vee wants music fans to know he's got some rockin' original music, as well. He's gearing up to do just that when he releases his first full-length album, Sigrad's Theory, on Friday, Aug. 27, at Waldo's Tavern in Scranton.
The album is a rock-influenced journey of hope and the need to focus on the future. The songs center around the title of the album, which refers to a poster Vee won at a fair as a youngster, an item he still has to this day and used as artwork on the inside of the CD cover. With song titles like "Believe," "Bury Yesterday" and "Take It Or Leave It," it's pretty clear what the theme of the album is.
"It's a poem on this poster that I won when I was a kid at a fair," Vee said. "The author is just Sigrad, so I figured Sigrad's Theory. Pretty much all the songs in one way or another reflect around that poem.
"It's titled "Forget Yesterday," one of those passé things - forget yesterday, I am where I am, tell me what I can do tomorrow."
Sigrad's Theory is a bit heavier than what many have heard in the past from Vee, but it's a reflection of his musical influences. It's easy to hear the Bon Jovi, Guns 'n' Roses, Motley Crue and other early-'90s rock sounds blended into each song. Those sounds were instilled on Vee from countless hours listening to the radio.
"I always considered myself a radio-type of guy, a side beats type of guy. I always grew up with a radio on," he said. "All the cars I've ever owned have never had a CD player. I've always pretty much just listened to the radio. That's a lot of my influences, stuff I've heard on the radio."
With the help of a few friends on the album - Joe Wegleski, Chris Condel and Eric Perry - Vee has crafted an album that showcases the depth of his ability as a musician, well beyond the Kings of Leon, Creed and Tom Petty tunes you may have heard him play.
Vee also has a lighter side, having recorded a few humorous, adult-themed tunes like "Bicycle Seat," which you can hear on his MySpace page. He hopes to go back into the studio in a couple months to record an album of similar songs just in time for Christmas.
"That's the great thing about music, you can go a thousand different ways with it," Vee said. "That one will have songs like "Bicycle Seat" and "Johnny Motorboats," the more adult-themed songs."
- randy shemanski