Jed Luckless @ Hotel Chelsea 1/23/23
I was at the Jed “Ten show winter tour” kick off at Hotel Chelsea. Hotel Chelsea is a cozy little venue modeled after the original Hotel built in the late 1800’s located in Manhattan New York. The original Hotel Chelsea was a home and inspiration to generations of artists and writers, from Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. While there Shyla, the performing Arts Director informed me that this venue is known for not only live music but also art galleries, poetry and dance. Jed began performing on SL back in 2009 and Hotel Chelsea was one of his very first shows where he did a Beatles Rooftop performance!
As we waited for the show to begin, I noticed the fun winter tour swag that Jed has available for purchase such as t-shirts and winter hats and also found the Jed luckless tour van parked outside! That is one thing you will notice about Jed. He always takes care of the details, and the audience ends up feeling that this is as close to being at a real life performance as it gets. All of his winter tour includes the Moondance Parx light show, complete with Moon Vision glasses to make the show seem 3D & as close to the real thing as possible, maybe even better! Moondance was not available this evening but trust me, you will want to check out the next show and put your free Moon glasses on! Moondance is a true artist and the way the music and lights work together are simply amazing!
Jed is a tough one to describe. His jams are similar to The Grateful Dead Style of music but he is so much more than that. From spectacular originals to covers from all genres there is truly something for everyone. This mostly original show started out with a good bit of trippy instrumental music, complete with rhythm & lead guitar, drums etc. It was music to get lost in. I would describe him as a generous musician. Each song is in no rush. It’s about the feeling. Jed takes his time and invites you in. It’s all about the experience. A song can last 10-20 minutes as one piece melds into the other. And he does invite you in literally as well, as there is usually a live Facebook feed with real time video of the show. The typical Jed show is two hours long and I am not sure who is having more fun, Jed or his loyal fans the Jed Heads! One thing is for sure, the time flies.
First song in the set was called “Victim of the Rhythm” a wonderful song about being in the moment and enjoying the sounds of the rain and a passing train. The song is relaxing and energizing all at once and Jed’s love of nature really came through. The next one, was a very entertaining instrumental piece “The Hairdresser” and it was part of a soundtrack he wrote for a documentary about a folk artist and her mom who was a hairdresser and this was the song written for that scene, followed by “Some Notes on Lying” a beautiful song about relationships, honesty, pain and love. One of my favorites of the evening was a song called “Cash Me In” a song about the gambles of life, and a quintessential Jed Luckless song, living up to his name, as in the song his luck has ended and it’s “time to cash in”. Another fun song was “The Need for Love” an upbeat song that made me want to dance. “Old Town Hall” was also a great party song about the small town dance that lasts all night long.
After the show when I sat down with Jed I found out about how his SL career started. He was rehearsing in RL to play in a Grateful Dead band so when he found out about SL he thought it would be a great place to test out his act on a crowd. After his start at the Merry Prankster he soon found the Dark Star Sim and ended up playing 200 shows there! But Jed told me the best thing about SL was that it turned out to be a really great place to cultivate his original music. And for Jed the coolest thing is that he loves how much his fans enjoy his original music and even know so many of his songs by name. I can’t say as I blame them, the more of Jed’s original music I hear the more I love his shows.
One of Jed’s favorite cover shows is the annual February Phish Bowl Show, (coming up Feb 10th), as he played with a Phish cover band in real life. The yearly Halloween shows are awesome as well and one year Jed played the entire “Dark Side of the Moon” album by Pink Floyd.
I also got a little performance history at this evening’s show. Jed talked about performing at some great hotspots in NYC as well as doing some small road trips along the east coast back in the 90’s with his band “GuRGLe”. Jed also formed another band called JLB in 2011 and they played shows at local bars til 2016. Although Jed still does a couple of Grateful Dead Tribute RL shows a year, mainly Jed plays on SL nowadays.
Jed has been writing and playing guitar since he was about 15. His brother played drums, they even formed a band together for a while and have even played on SL together. I was expecting Jed to tell me he got his musical motivation from some family member but when I asked him, he told me that his earliest inspiration was from the Partridge Family! He said he loved the idea of riding around the country in a multi-colored bus playing music and having adventures. Now I know the inspiration for the Jed Luckless tour van!
When I asked Jed if he had any advice for someone who wants to be a musician he said simply “Do it!”. He said he feels so blessed to have music in his life and when he is having a bad day, he can just pick up his guitar and be instantly transported. He loves the fact that he can do it alone, and just write a song in an instant. That really is a magical feeling like no other. Jed’s right. Just do it!
I told Jed I noticed his fans love that he is always changing things up with new originals, new covers and that no show or song is ever the exactly the same. Jed talked about how much he loves connecting with the energy of his audience and that every audience is different, every night has a different vibe and he loves channeling that energy into the show. His sets are different at every show and he has over 150 original songs that he can toss into the mix! Also, instead of doing a regular calendar of shows he does tours so it’s never predictable, which lead me to the next question, what’s up and coming? That’s when Jed shared he’s working on a new studio album, his first one in many years! It will include many fan favorites and some new songs as well.
I asked Jed if he could let his fans know one surprising thing about his life that they would find interesting, and he said that he used to work at Marvel Entertainment. “As a comic book lover and collector, it was a dream come true”, but one thing he shared with me that he learned from his father was the importance of balancing work with other interests. His Dad would come home from his job in NYC and rush off to perform in community theater productions. So, it always seemed very normal and natural for him to finish his day job, "change from a tie and into tie-dye" and rock the night away.
Jed we are so glad that you had a fabulous role model like that as a parent that encouraged your creativity so that you would hone your skill and come share it with all of your dedicated SL fans. Here’s looking forward to a fantastic Winter Tour and to all the other fabulous tours to come. Can’t wait to hear what’s next! Thanks for taking the time to talk to Toggle!