Alex Beaird is an accomplished songwriter, but now he has taken on a new project

Friday, July 13, 2012
Justin Beaird, left, and Alex Beaird and Matt Garner pose for a photo. (Submitted photos)

Alex Beaird has been playing rock in local bands for a decade (Bull Mountain Revelry most recently) and has always garnered respect from other area musicians for his songwriting abilities. But with his current project, the Alex Beaird Band, he finally gets to put his songwriting abilities front and center.

The Alex Beaird Band is a self-described "blues-rock outfit from Southeast Missouri with sense of rhythm, minimalist song structure and vintage guitar tone." The band's first album, "Shine On," was released in February, and the group has steadily gained popularity since. Although the band features Beaird, live shows also have Matt Garner on bass guitar and Beaird's brother, Justin Beaird, on drums.

SE Live talked with Beaird about his music and what influences him in life and on stage. For more information about the Alex Beaird Band, visit facebook.com/alexbeairdband.

SE LIVE: You have been around the music scene in this area for a while. How does this project compare to Bull Mountain Revelry?

BEAIRD: I would say that piece by piece, Bull Mountain Revelry songs are more riff-oriented, but in many ways not as complex melodically as what I am doing now. I would say the difficulty is comparable between the two, but with Alex Beaird Band music it seems to come a little more naturally.

The Alex Beaird Band’s first CD, “Shine On,” was released February this year. When performing live he calls on his brother, Justin, for drums and Matt Garner for bass guitar.

SE LIVE: What got you started with this project in the first place?

BEAIRD: I always wanted to record an album. I worked with the Walker Bros. on a charity album in early 2011, and I realized what it would take to put one together for myself. My brother is a drummer, so we just got together and worked the songs out that I had written. It really flowed well during these practice sessions so I decided we should actually record. I had "Fireflies," "Born Under a Blue Sky" and "Hound Dog Moan" written earlier, but the rest were written from October to December 2011, then we simply went in and recorded it over a couple of days at the Walker Bros. Studio in Bernie.

SE LIVE: Talk about your songwriting influences for this band, and where you might be taking it from here.

BEAIRD: I started listening to a lot of Albert King, Freddie King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was also listening to oldies from Al Green and Otis Redding. The next direction will be similar, with more folk influence.

SE LIVE: For those who have never seen the band, describe the sound and feel of the music.

BEAIRD: Alex Beaird Band is a heavy blues-rock experience with an emphasis on rhythm and soulful lyrics. We also dabble in some country and Americana. Our live show also includes some old favorites that everyone will love but done in our own way.

SE LIVE: How successful has your album been? And, with using different musicians on the CD than you do live, how different do the songs sound live and in person?

BEAIRD: The CD is selling pretty well at the live shows, and we're getting positive feedback from all who have listened. People are always saying they love it. Live we can't do it exactly the same, for example on "Bourbon Hotel" it would be hard to hire a fiddle player for just one song, but the intensity of the music delivered live is much more dynamic.

SE LIVE: What are your expectations for the band? Do you have another album in the works?

BEAIRD: We definitely have another album in the works, and we plan to branch out this winter and play more shows out of the area as well as locally. From there, who knows, it's a hard business, but we are going to continue to enjoy playing as long as we can.

SE LIVE: What makes your band different/unique in this local music market?

BEAIRD: There are some very good blues acts in the area; I would say we are a little bit more rock 'n' roll than some of those acts. One unique thing that we do is a bass, drums and acoustic guitar trio set that is heavier than most acoustic sets out there; so people should check that out.

SE LIVE: What do you want your audiences to get from your live shows?

BEAIRD: I hope that the each audience member hears the message behind the songs and relates with it in their own way. The best part about performing is when you sing something and you see someone in the audience connecting. It doesn't get any better than that.

SE LIVE: Anything you want the fans or curious music lovers to know?

BEAIRD: If anybody wants to hear our music, just like us on Facebook and I will send a free mp3. I have been doing it all month so I would love to do it some more. We also have copies of our CD for sale at Hastings in Poplar Bluff, P-Mac Music in Cape Girardeau, Bernie Express in Bernie and for all others on iTunes. The CD is selling for $10. If anyone is interested in a T-shirt we have those for sale as well for $15, pictures of the shirt can be seen on our Facebook page, facebook.com/alexbeairdband.

jsamons@semissourian.com

388-3641

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