MTB founding member Jerry Eubanks retired from the
band after 25 years in 1996. Life on the road had taken it's toll and
he decided he wanted to spend time at home with his family. But old habits
die hard and he's once again a full-fledged member of a band - this one,
like MTB, from Spartanburg, SC. SevenMoore has been at it for about a
year now - and smaller versions perform acoustic shows as Jackson Crossing.
While he has his finger in the pie, he seems to be happy with just a taste,
not necessarily wanting to make making music a full-time job as he once
did. As you can tell in our interview he is very content where he is at
in life and with the music:
After 25 years on the road with MTB you decided to stay at home. How
was that adjustment?
Well....it was an adjustment, for sure. But to be honest, it was more
of an adjustment for the people around me than it was for me. I was ready.
The last couple of years with Tucker were not fun. The musicianship and
songwriting were not up to the level that I wanted, and for business reasons
I wasn't free to change all of that. I finally reached a stage of total
burn-out. I put my horns in the closet and didn't touch them for four
years. I was convinced that I never wanted to play music again....but
a funny thing happened on the way to Medicare. I found that I truly missed
making music. Not the touring aspect of it, but the pure joy of creating
something beautiful out of nothing.
You've played in a few local bands - the Throbber and Lippnikkies.
What was that experience like?
The Throbbers and the Lippnikies were fun experiences. Although neither
band played the kind of music that was exactly to my tastes, it was a
great learning experience. Because the music was so different, it forced
me to rethink my way of playing. The same old MTB licks just didn't work.
The time spent with those bands broadened my musical technique. I'm glad
that I did it. It made me a better horn player.
You're now in a band, SevenMoore, with Paul Riddle and some other local
musicians. How did that band evolve? I know you worked with some of the
other players before (besides Paul).
SevenMoore evolved out of conversations between Rick, Paul, Mike, Tim
and myself over a few years. Rick and Paul were in the Throbbers. Mike
and Tim were in the Lipps. As musicians commonly do, we spent a lot of
time discussing our different musical tastes, exploring the common ground
between us. Music is unique in that, to function on the level that I like
to play, the members must understand each other mentally, emotionally,
and personally. It simply doesn't click any other way. Out of those conversations
grew the idea of putting together a band that was devoted to nothing but
the music...no egos, no desire to be Bar Stars, no pressure to conform
to what anyone else wanted us to be...a band totally dedicated to making
the best music that we knew how...and letting the chips fall where they
may...no regrets either way. And thus, SevenMoore was born.
Tell us about the players.
SevenMoore is: Mike Rogers on acoustic guitar & vocals, Rick Willis on
Les Paul & vocals, Tim Clements on six-string bass, Bobby Gaines on Fender
& slide, Steve Keeter on piano, Paul Riddle on drums and myself (on Hammond
B3, sax, & flute). Simply put...the best that we knew. All great players...all
totally without ego problems...all seasoned musicians with the vision
and dedication required to pull off what we had in mind. I won't bore
you by saying how good they all are. Wait until we finish the CD and everyone
can decide for themselves if I'm right or wrong.
Tim Clements, Jerry Eybanks, Bobby Gaines
It seems like you're taking this band a little more seriously than
your other post-MTB bands... You're recording a CD and playing major
venues. What's the goal and how far would you like this thing to go
I just don't know about this one. Recording the CD was for the band,
and the band alone. It was a personal thing. It's part of the creation
process. It's been a totally relaxed and exhilarating experience...actually
rather mind-bending and awe-inspiring to watch this bunch create together.
I know people won't believe this, but I really don't care if it goes
any further than this. The goal was to create the music, not sell it.
We're all doing just fine without going on the road, or getting a big
record contract, or any of those things that most bands aspire to. To
quote a much abused phrase: "Been there, done that, forgot most of it!".
Which isn't to say that I wouldn't like to share this music with other
folks. I would. I miss playing the outdoor ampitheaters in the summer...I
miss the on-the-road camaraderie with other bands...I miss waking up
in a new city each morning...I miss seeing the look on people's faces
when they truly enjoy what they are hearing. But I refuse to give up
the magic of SevenMoore for any of those things. If it works out that
we can keep it fun and have all of that also, great! But I'm not going
back to the place where some record company exec or some manager is
dictating my life or my music. This one will be on our terms or not
What was the first live gig like with SevenMoore ?
It was absolutely the most incredible musical experience that I've ever
been a part of. It was the culmination of almost a years worth of work.
The band was so prepared that everyone just relaxed and had fun with
it.... Paul played some stuff that was mind-bending. It was a night
to remember....it's been a long time....sure felt good.
Fans are bound to want to know... compare and contrast SevenMoore
and MTB ?
This is a hard one. I expect the subject to come up, but I wish it didn't
have to. With Paul & myself playing in SevenMoore, there will obviously
be similarities. But make no mistake, SevenMoore is NOT a Tucker clone.
This band stands on its own. I am thankful for my time with Marshall
Tucker. It was a gigantic part of my life. I'll never dishonor or disrespect
that band in any way. It was a pivotal experience in my life, both musically
and personally. Let's just leave it this way, OK?.......MTB was then,
SevenMoore is now.
SevenMoore allows fans to tape the shows. I think that's awesome,
especially for fans who can't make it to your neck of the woods... Why
did the band make this decision ?
Why not? Music is emotion. It's happiness & sadness...excitement & depression.
Why shouldn't it be shared in any way possible? We want our fans to
enjoy this music as much as we do. If they can take home a copy of one
of our live shows and it makes them feel good, then that's EXACTLY what
we want to happen. That's not to say we want some sleaze-ball bootlegging
copies to the local truck stop, but if that happens, so be it. We'll
deal with that when it happens. But in the meantime, we encourage folks
to tape the live shows and trade them with their friends. To us, that's
one of the most sincere forms of flattery. Have at it, folks....enjoy
Any final final thoughts ?
I hope everyone enjoys the music of SevenMoore. I don't have a clue
where this all might lead, but it's been a hell of a ride so far. Musically,
I'm happier now than at any time in my life. Thanks for your interest.
Take care all!
Thanks, as always, Jerry! You're a class act!