Music

South of the Border

Although they hail from the Great White North, The Jimmyriggers have got a Southern sound.

Their alt-country-meets-R.E.M. feel is highlighted by crisp harmonies and slick guitar licks, enough to have the band branching out from their Montreal roots. They’ll visit Shifty’s on Sunday, Oct. 6.

The band got going six years ago when guitarist Andre Kirchoff and bassist David Pearce started laying down ideas in the roots-rock scene. Three years later, they were joined by young guitar-slinger Kevin Moquin, who Pearce discovered while he was playing with another outfit.

“I just got off stage and {Pearce} was like, ‘I want you to join my band,’” Moquin says while laughing. “I was 21 or something, had an ego, and this guy wants me to join his band? I used that to make David buy me a beer.

The Jimmyriggers

The Jimmyriggers. Regine Hervy Photography

“Once I was in,” Moquin continues, “we had to start working really hard to get album songs together for shows soon after. It was a really fun learning process. I learned a lot about my own musicality while learning these songs and playing with these guys.”

Moquin, originally from Virginia, also has Syracuse connections: His father lives here, and another band he works with just recorded in the Salt City at a home studio. He ended up in Montreal by chance.

“I had this thought pop into my head that I should move somewhere far away,” he says. “I wanted to see how I would handle it. I knew I needed that type of adventure, that type of being away from home for me as a person. I Googled schools in Montreal, found one, auditioned and went for it. It was a great experience, and I’m glad I did it.”

So is Jimmyriggers. “After I saw him playing steel guitar with another band, I had to steal him,” Pearce says.

The group’s personality-filled sound reflects the city they’re based in, one of diversity and vibrancy. “No musician is ever tied down to any one band,” Pearce says. The split mentality helps keep all the music fresh, with new ideas getting funneled in thanks to the different directions of projects. “There’s a big roots scene, heavy metal scene, jazz, hip-hop, club,” Pearce says.

“There are a lot of solid music-loving fans,” Moquin adds.

Alhough the Montreal music scene is healthy, the band is looking forward to trickling down south to Syracuse. “I can’t believe the nerve, the courage, the fortitude to drive all the way across {Canada} and back,” Pearce says. “So to be able to find a new market so close to home is good. I’m happy we’re doing it.”

They’re already warm to the idea of a music-loving spot like Shifty’s, especially since it’s reminiscent of the bar captured in their “Sleepwalking” music video featured on their website, thejimmyriggers.com.

“Yeah, we did that at 9 a.m. on a Sunday,” Pearce says. “Let’s all show up to the bar together and be drunk by 11!” With a mentality like that, this party band is bound to fit right in.

 

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