Jeffrey Gaines is possibly one of the more honest musicians that you’ll meet in the business. Be it lyrical or conceptual, Gaines’ approach to music is as bare as a performer can make themselves appear. There is always a hype or façade associated with playing music, but Gaines truly understands the inner-workings of the soul and how it can translate to sound and song. This vulnerability is what makes him the performer he is and the various music lovers that experience his live set become fans for life.
The latest release from the Harrisburg native, Live In Europe, contains tracks encompassing Gaines’ past and present; from the soft-alt “I Know a Man” to the eerily fluid “I’ll Have You”, Gaines constantly summons the emotional depth that he has become so known for.
As a true singer/songwriter, Gaines is more than comfortable commanding a stage with little more than a guitar and a microphone. While he benefits from a band backing him up to help the music become “fully realized” on Live In Europe, more often than not, that tends not to be the case. As a solo artist, band members must be summoned to tour along with you…and sometimes the logistics aren’t available to support such an endeavor. Luckily for Jeffrey Gaines, his songs contain such a personal element that the need for an enitre band is transcended.
“Mostly it’s about the spontaneity”, says Gaines about performing solo. “When you have a band, you have a set list and you know what you’re doing. You walk out there and you know where the middle and end is. Solo, you see where the crowd takes it.”
With that spontaneity comes a certain level of intimacy as well, which shines through in his performance. The notes are being strummed, but you can feel the lyrics and the emotion that is attached to them. Truly, Gaines understands how to access his passion and broadcast it to an audience.
Gaines will be playing a set on August 11th at the Steel City Coffee House, so be sure to be near the Phoenixville area to catch his performance in-person. If you appreciate purely soulful music, you won’t want to miss it.