MP3 Flame Shark - Midnight On Pearl Beach
A perfectly imperfect, swirling, harmony-drenched combination of rock/pop/soul/and folk; if Tom Petty lost his way in the desert, fell asleep under a billion stars, and was rescued at dawn by Blind Melon, The Stones, The Shins, and The Band.
14 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Folk Rock, ROCK: Psychedelic
“A ROCK AND ROLL MASTERPIECE…AN INSTANT DESERT ISLAND PICK!”
-Jeff Archer Black, TRIPLE M 105.5 Madison and Host of The BZT Weekly
“TIMELESS AND ENGAGING, JUST DRIFTING ALONG, BEAUTIFUL…PRETTY WITH A HINT OF GRITTY.”
-Bat Guano Music Reviews, UK
“THANK GOD! HONEST MUSICIANS WHO GIVE A DAMN! THESE GUYS ACTUALLY HAVE SOMETHING NEW TO SAY AND THEY SAY IT WELL.”-Scott Patton, Little Lighthouse Magazine
“FLAME SHARK IS PERFECTLY IMPERFECT!”-Renee Broussard, KLSU 91.1 FM
FLAME SHARK BIO
Imagine how powerful, yet captivating a shark can be...Now imagine how powerful, captivating, and amazing a flaming shark that played musical notes would be. Good, that''s a fine place to start.
Picture your flaming musical shark driving a 1967 Ford Mustang toward an unknown and ending destination; the top down, the crisp, clean air blowing through his gills, listening to his mix tape with great bands and songwriters like Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Blind Melon, Clem Snide, The Byrds, My Morning Jacket, The Black Crowes, Wilco, Ween, The Flaming Lips, The Rolling Stones, Wilco, Neil Young, The Jayhawks, The Shins, M Ward, Elliott Smith and The Band.
Flame Shark''s music like these great bands is a blend of influence and pure originality, the old and time-tested meets the brand spankin’ new. Their songs are like listening to your own private memories or, to put an image with a sound and wax poetic, Flame Shark''s music is like driving through the desert late at night, reflecting on the past, dreaming of the future, waiting for the sun to come up, being filled with a reluctant peace watching the first rays of the new rising morning; blissful and wistful, a swirling sound where dark meets light.
The idea of Flame Shark began when singer/songwriter/guitarist Justin Jahnke said the hell with graduate school in the winter of 2005. Evidenced by failing grades, it was clear to everyone Justin''s love of creating original music was far greater than learnin'' books and fancy school smarts.
In Justin’s own words, “It always comes back to music. Every major decision I’ve made has been influenced by my desire to keep making music.”
He dropped out of school, sold all his crap, and moved 1,100 miles north from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Madison, Wisconsin. He heard through the musicians’ grapevine Madison was teeming with eager musicians.
In the Great White North Justin met bassist Mike “Goldenwings” Meske and keyboardist Rusty “LaRue” Lee. Goldenwings Meske, a songwriter at heart, was playing bass in the rock/blues outfit Twilight Voices, but was looking for something more fulfilling:
“I wanted a project that embraced songwriting, focused heavily on harmony and melody, and really played with unique, unusual dynamics. When I met Justin and Rusty and we talked about starting Flame Shark I was tired of playing the same old stuff. We all agreed we wanted to start something fresh and our influences were amazingly similar. I mentioned how much I liked The Faces and Beachwood Sparks and Justin about went ballistic.”
Rusty “LaRue” Lee, at only 20 years old, was able to bring some relative youthful exuberance to the Flame Shark table.
Mike had this to say, “Rusty was a regular on the folk scene around Northern Wisconsin and was starting to get a lot of attention for his growing collection of vintage keyboards. He was also getting a lot of phone calls because he’s able to sit in with different kind of bands. He loves jazz and players like Jimmy Smith and Billy Preston. Let’s just say he’s a badass.”
The potent Flame Shark brew was completed when drummer and sound engineer Alex Boyes joined a few weeks later. Alex at age 25 has already racked up an impressive resume including owning and operating his own recording studio Transit Recording, working as an engineer at the famed Chicago Recording Company, and working as a multi-instrumentalist in several successful Milwaukee-area bands.
Justin says of Alex, “Alex is beyond talented. He can really do anything he wants with music. I’m jealous of his skills, but he’s so level-headed and down-to-earth he’ll never let his abilities go to his head. Plus he loves jazz drumming. Basically, he’s like winning the band lottery.”
During the brutal Midwestern winter the four started writing and recording the songs that would become the album Midnight On Pearl Beach. Despite the snow covered landscape they discovered the sounds they were creating had more in common with hazy California sunsets, star-sprinkled desert skies, and the blinking lights of a lonely airport runway than Wisconsin in full-swing winter. This new sound was no accident. All of them had been striving to make this rich and vibrant sound for years. The four musicians unified their visions and created songs that fulfilled their ambitious goals and surpassed their original expectations.
”Once we really started digging into the songs and working on the harmonies, everything seemed very natural, almost like we just knew what to do and how to sound with each other. I guess it’s called chemistry, which is very hard to come by and is something we felt like we had to protect once it was established,” says Rusty.
Justin adds, “It was like assembling the A-Team. Each member brings their own unique set of skills and I would like to say, if defusing bombs were part of our duties, Rusty would definitely be the man for that job. Mike would probably have a pack of trained dogs to do his bidding and Alex would launch remote control car attacks from an unmarked van…I don’t know what I’m talking about…you get the point.”
When winter broke and spring finally arrived in the Midwest the band had recorded enough material to fill two records. So they did just that, whittling down the songs and dividing them up to make two cohesive albums: The full length Midnight On Pearl Beach and an EP called Release This, You Bloodsuckers!
The focus then shifted to recreating the studio material in a live setting which pretty much brings us up to speed. The fellas of Flame Shark spent most of the spring and summer 0f 2006 testing out the material in Madison, Milwaukee, and North Wisconsin and are prepping themselves for a tour outside the state.
”We feel like each rehearsal and each show we are getting better. The harmonies are getting tighter and more powerful. The dynamics are getting more dramatic and, well, dynamic. We want the live show to drop jaws, which hasn’t really happened yet, but it will. It’s just a matter of the band going for broke, embracing what we know, and letting it rip,” says Justin.
The band is poised to make their move. They’ve done the legwork, the lead ball is rolling and the time has come to take their medicine show on the road. They hope to bring their harmony drenched swirling sound of light and dark to a city near you…sooner than later.
All four members of Flame Shark echo this statement: “Our success is pretty much up to us now.”