Wayne Healy and Marty Lloyd, founders of The Freddy Jones Band brought their acoustic guitars to the Montrose Room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Rosemont Saturday night to a small, but very appreciative and enthusiastic audience. The crowd of about a hundred, many who heard about this gig via the band’s Facebook page, were treated to various songs from the band’s studio albums. Most of the shoutouts from the audience were for songs from the groups eponymous debut album.
Anyone who thinks that two guys playing acoustic can’t rock, should have witnessed the many jams that took place during that show. Wayne and Marty took a significant departure from the original setlist. After a particularly rocking song Wayne blurts out “the only way to follow a Marty song…..is with another Marty song!” That was the way the show went, with extended jams on most of the songs, as both men seemed to be having a really good time. Marty told me later, “It was kind of like the old days, with the two of us jamming at the old apartment on Waveland.” They continued trading off lead vocals, with Marty on his rhythm guitar and Wayne plucking away on lead, extending each song well beyond their length on the group’s albums, seemingly unaware of the time. In fact, at one point Wayne exclaimed, “Wow, it’s already eleven thirty!”
It’s a far cry for a band that seemed to be destined for rock and roll glory back in the early nineties. After honing their skills locally and on the Midwest college circuit, they had several successful trips to Colorado and down south. FJB was opening for groups like Widespread Panic and Big Head Todd, then getting their own headlining gigs. Also, WXRT was a big supporter, playing several of the band’s tunes, and indie radio was also taking notice.
But then nothing happened, despite several albums and a few more song receiving airplay. Blame it on the wrong record company (Capricorn.) Perhaps it was management that didn’t realize what they had, but there was no stair step to rock stardom. Instead, the band members went their separate ways, even though the group never disbanded, as they have played a few one off gigs, usually at Thanksgiving or New Years.
Having known the band since 1991, I went backstage after the show to catch up the guys I hadn’t talked to in more than a dozen years. Lloyd has been living in California, dabbling in real estate, but related some very good news to FJB fans. “I’m to go back to music full time. I have been writing some songs and recording them with garage band,” says. “These gigs (with Wayne) are planting the seeds for when we return.” He adds,”I tell everyone we’re going out to Colorado, and if anyone wants to come along, it’s great. If not, it’s Wayne and I, jamming away.”
Marty informs me that Justin Niebank, who produced their “North Avenue Wake Up Call” disc, and has now become a sought after producer and engineer (Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, David Cook, Blake Shelton) wants to produce a new album of FJB originals.
The band has always maintained an inspired cult following and now they have something to look forward to.
August 20, 2011 – Wayne Healy and Marty Lloyd (of Freddy Jones Band) – Montrose Room – Rosemont, IL
This Time Around
Late This Morning
Hold On To Midnight
Take The Time
E: In A Daydream