MEET THE BAND: Kristine Jackson (vocals, guitars, bass, beat-box)
STRAIGHT OUTTA ELYRIA: Well-known on the local blues circuit for years as a trumpet player, Jackson switched to guitar and vocals in 2004. "I had been writing some music and I wanted to play my own music instead of just playing trumpet in some of the blues bands around town," she says. "I was inspired by everything. You name it. I like Latin stuff and straight blues and rock and hip-hop. Cleveland has a fantastic live music community. I really honed my craft on jam nights on the local stages."
TAKING HER TIME: Jackson says her latest album, By Your Side, has been a work in progress. The finished product shows off her musical range. "I decided to take my time and make the album that has been in my head all these years," she says. "I never had the time or the funds to do that. Some of the songs were written just for the album and some of it was a collaboration of songs from the past that I never had the time to record the way I wanted to." Local hero Pete Tokar engineered the disc. He also played keyboards on the album and co-produced it.
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HER: The album includes a bit of everything. "Always There" is a hard-driving rocker, and "Change My World," a tune that features a cameo by Hardstone, embraces roots reggae. "Those are just my influences," says Jackson. "Most of the songs were created in my basement. I had a microphone hooked up to a loop machine and I would beatbox different rhythms. That's how many of the songs started. I would put the rest of the song together with a guitar." The album includes contributions from local musicians such as Austin Walkin' Cane, Mike Petrone and Colin Dussault. By Your Side came out last fall. Jackson says she's regularly in the studio working on new stuff too, though she says she won't release any new material in the immediate future. For her upcoming show at the Music Box, she promises to have "all the bells and whistles" you hear on the album.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR HER: musicbykj.com
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HER: The Kristine Jackson Band performs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Music Box Supper Club.