Know It Or Not
“About a million years ago, I used to cut my neighbor’s lawns for $3.00 a pop,” says J.B. Frederick. “When I was 12, I bought my first drum set for $35. It was an absolute clunker, and every drum was a different color, but I didn’t care. It came with no hi-hat, so I taped a cymbal to my nightstand and pounded on that.”
JB recalls, “To my folks’ credit, they humored me. At least until the wallpaper in the dining room below me started peeling. After a couple of months, the neighbors began to get a little miffed from the noise. Most of them fired me from grass cutting so I wouldn’t have money to buy new drumsticks. So much for supporting the arts.”
In high school, JB also tried his hand at singing. “I joined the school singing groups and the school choir just for a goof, because all the hot girls were in there. I wound up as 1st chair for All State! Who knew?”
The voice also got JB into college. “I wasn’t exactly a brain-trust in the halls of academia, so singing opened the door for college acceptance. They certainly didn’t take me for any OTHER reason,” JB says.
What made his voice unique was his incredible range. “My voice had almost 3 octaves of range with no falsetto. There wasn’t another tenor around, be they classical or rock, who could touch that, and the college knew it.”
JB went on to do live back-up vocals for artists like Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow and Paul Anka. From there, he played and toured for years as a lead singer with a number of rock bands. “We opened arena shows for anyone and everyone, from Molly Hatchet, Journey, Vixen and Blue Oyster Cult, to The Guess Who, Blackfoot, Twisted Sister, Fastway and a bunch of others that I can’t even remember. That period was like one big blur. I am fortunate to still have a functioning pulse.”
When JB embraced Christianity, it was as though the pieces all fell into place. “I sincerely believe that all of the past musical experience was preparation for the mission of music that the Lord has put forth for me. He had claimed me long before I ever knew it, and prepared me. It all led up to this, it led me here.”
JB believes that all of the musical stages he went through have shaped his current style. “The years as a hard rock drummer are evident in the heavy, driving rhythm tracks, the Manilow-Diamond days influenced my use of melody and building AROUND the melody, and the rock singing days brought forth the signature back- up vocal sound and style that is immediately identifiable. “
The culmination of these influences? Resurrection (2004) and Know It Or Not (2006).
“I am very proud of these works. I absolutely love what I do. If I didn’t have to get up and take out the trash, I’d never leave my studio! I had to learn to be a recording engineer by necessity, along with being a producer, the songwriter, the musician and the singer. (J.B. did all of the drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, lead and back up vocals himself except for the lead guitars on four songs). I’m always pleased when I’m growing, both as a Christian and as a musician. Writing secular music way back when was always kind of a grind. Christian lyric just seems to jump out at me from no where. It is actually a fun and joyous task, not even remotely work at all.
JB lives in West Palm Beach, FL. with his wife and manager, Diana Lynn and two daughters Samantha age 8 and Sabrina age 6. “I thank the Lord daily for Diana”, says JB. “I figured out years ago that I’m not for everyone. I love her dearly, and she brings stability, happiness and peace to our lives, both personally and professionally and this project is every bit a part of her as it is me.”
Says JB, “Diana is a vice-president for Bank Of America, and she is the financial and organizational genius behind Sandstone Records, Sandstone Management and Diana Lynn Music Publishing. She is the best personnel and money manager I have ever seen. She almost makes me feel like a dummy, but I know I am in good hands.”
“The two of us share a big house with our 2 growing children, seven cats, 3 of which are kittens that refuse to leave the toilet paper on the rolls, 1 Husky with the I.Q. of a soup spoon,” and a German Shepherd puppy.
“The Lord has been benevolent and good to me,” says JB “I love my life, dumb dogs and all. I’m thankful that my recent neighbors are a bit more tolerant of musical instruments than the old neighbors in my parent’s neighborhood. Cinderblock construction is a blessing, I guess.”