@skopemag Q&A Featuring The Jackson Whites & “Dressed To Get Naked”

Happy Saturday morning out there to all here @skopemag. We are so excited to have you here today as we get closer to Christmas & New Years 2019. Today we have The Jackson Whites, a fluid collection of over 30 musicians from the New Jersey area who have been recording continuously since 2013. “Dressed To Get Naked” is the Band’s 2018 Christmas single featuring performances by artists who have performed in such well known acts as BB King, The David Letterman Orchestra, Donald Fagan, The Rascals and The John Eddie Band. I tip my hat to this group and we are so excited that we get to chat with them on topics such as the New Jersey music scene, coordinating 30 musicians, and of course “Dressed To Get Naked.”

@skopemag: Where are we talking from today and how is the holiday season so far?

TJW: I am in Benny’s Cozy Studio, deep in the Jersey Delta, where we just finished doing some guitar and vocal tracks for a new song, and my holiday season has been like one of those movies on the Hallmark channel, except at the end there’s gunfire and a court date.

@skopemag: What are 1 or 2 of your fondest memories growing up around Christmas time?

TJW: They put in power lines on the hill behind the Shopping Center and me and some buddies tried to ride a toboggan between the towers standing up. There was a broken jaw and a giant splinter in an ass cheek, but I walked away with nothing but fond memories.

@skopemag: What is your secret to keep the group going since 2013 considering you are a fluid collection of over 30 musicians from the New Jersey area?

TJW: The truth is, it’s really effortless because when you have dozens of people to work with someone is always available. When i was in a band with 3 or 4 members it was a whole lot harder.

@skopemag: I love how you identify with the New Jersey music scene, being that we are in New England what are we missing out on?

TJW: I have to imagine that you have a fabulous music scene up there, but for most me, it would be hard to identify a specific “sound” that i identify with New England. I guess i would think of The J. Geils Band and The DropKick Murphys. I imagine we get most of the same national acts and our own local acts. In Jersey we have some great bands like The E Street Band, Southside Johnny,The Smithereens, The Weaklings, Railroad Earth, Kinderhook and The Wolves.

@skopemag: I have to ask who came up with the ambitious idea to gather 30 musicians for 1 group and how do you coordinate rehearsals and shows?

TJW: Well, you have to understand that it’s not like we put 30 people on stage together. Benny and I just sort of developed this concept that a band should be amorphous and the players should be fungible. I think of it this way, if you go to a Phish concert you never know what songs you’re gonna here. Why not have a band where you never know which musicians you’re gonna see? As long as the players are always worthy it makes it worthwhile for people to come out because the possibilities are endless.

@skopemag: How did you come up with the name – The Jackson Whites – and how does that define your music?

TJW: New Jersey’s original homeboys are The Lenape and Ramapough Tribes. Somewhere along the line some of the people who occupied New Jersey began referring to our original residents as “The Jackson Whites.” It’s kind of a New Jersey thing that outsiders wouldn’t know about. Benny and I feel like our indigenous people have been treated like shit and we chose the name to show our support.

@skopemag: We are loving your new Christmas Song: “Dressed To Get Naked.” When did you write & record that and where can folks buy/stream?

TJW: I remember it well. I was standing in the surf in Dewey Beach, Delaware, in August, 2017. I wrote a freakin’ Christmas song in the middle of summer for reasons I cannot explain. When the spirit comes upon you the best thing you can do is listen carefully and write it down.

@skopemag: You really have some big names here such as Pat DiNizio, Glenn Burtnik and Al Chez, just to name a few. What is your connection to all these talented musicians?

TJW: Pat and I grew up in the the same town. His dad was my garbageman and Pat worked on the truck too. I know Glenn from my good friend Patty Maloney. Benny knows Al and he also connected us with fabulous musicians like Rob Paparozzi, Kenny Aaronson, PK Layvengood, Dave Halpern, and Timmy Carbone. Benny knows everyone in the NY/NJ music scene and everyone loves him because he is a truly righteous dude.

@skopemag: Any chance we will see a music video featuring all of the musicians and what would those visuals look like?

TJW: I’d love to do a video with every single member of the band; what a fabulous clusterfuck that would be. But honestly, i don’t think it’s in the cards. We have a couple of videos on Youtube, but they don’t feature musical performances. A Jackson Whites video will probably always be more like a mini-movie.

@skopemag: If you were to choose two of your favorite holiday songs what would those be?

TJW: “Christmas Rapping” is my favorite but I also love Bob Dylan’s version of “Must Be Santa” as well as the video.

@skopemag: What is coming up for The Jackson Whites and where you @ online?

TJW: You can find our Xmas single “Dressed To Get Naked” and our first LP on CD baby, iTunes and all online outlets. Our second LP (do they still call it an LP?) should be out soon. I really, really encourage everyone to go to jerseydeltarecords.com to check out the history of the Jersey Delta and the legendary musicians from our little part of the world. What’s next for us is new music, my brother, always something new.