The Music of Jeb Havens and Bobby Jo Valentine


Last night while attending the Tom Goss concert here in San Francisco, I was deeply moved by the two local artists who performed with him.  One I knew already and I love  his music. His name is  Jeb Havens.  The other was Bobby Jo Valentine.  Both are gay men. Both are wonderful music artists.

I have to thank Tom for showcasing local talent during his national tours.  It offers us the chance to enjoy the privilege to listen to and watch true artists perform their work.  There is something great about the discovery and the access to such rich talent.

Jeb Havens performing at The Lost Church in San Francisco, CA on May 16, 2012 Photo by J.P. Leddy

Jeb Havens performs  at different places in San Francisco but has a regular gig every third Saturday at Martuni’s , a popular piano bar, on Market and Valencia.  The show is called Homophonic and is a showcase for queer songwriters.  The music is live and provides those attending with the some of the best talent there is currently.

One of the songs that I really like that Jeff  performed last night is called Close Love.  He wants to make it into a dance song.  There is humor, angst and such feeling layered into the song.  Reminds me of many of my friends and my own personal journey mixed with the spirit of this city.

Jeb has real sense of humor but he gets lost in his song and reveals his inner self unabashedly through his voice and lyrics.  His baritone-tenorish  sounding voice pushes up the register and there is where you are really with him.

He is so pure sounding, that listening to this male voice deliver emotionally charged pieces makes the performance believable.   He is on facebook and he has a website:

http://www.jebhavens.com/

index.php?p=1_3_Vids-Pics

Last night when I heard and saw Bobby Jo Valentine performed,  the words “poet singer”  came to mind. His songs  are so beautifully written and profound.  He speaks of love emerging from such dark places and celebrates the one that he has with his partner of two years.  He recently came out as a gay man a few years ago so his songs are poignant and filled with the emotion of that experience.

Bobby Jo Valentine performing at The Lost Church in San Francisco, CA May 16, 2012 Photo by J.P. Leddy

You can check out all his latest news at his website: http://www.bobbyjovalentine.com/

From his Bio on his website:

“Bobby Jo Valentine is an award-winning singer/songwriter currently residing and touring around the coast of CA. His new album, ‘A Place to Belong’ released to favorable reviews and his single “Be Mine” had radio airplay even before the album’s release. His warm, accessible melodies and often-profound lyrics have developed a following around the nation. In August of 2011, a song from the album, “Fly” won Song of the Year at West Coast Songwriter’s Association.
Bobby is comfortable on stage in front of large crowds, having played at locations like Hard Rock Cafe, The Fillmore Poster Room, and Pride festivals, but his favorite performances are the intimate theaters and house concerts that enable him a strong connection to the audience. Bursting with energy at times and filled with uplifting, honest messages about hope and life’s struggles, Bobby continues to gather new listeners with every show. “Armed with just a guitar and ukulele, Bobby aims straight for the heart.” -Bruce Kaplan, Folk Unlimited
Recognitions:
-Winner of several awards, including 2011 Songwriter of the Year by West Coast Songwriter’s Association
-Appearances on Radio Stations like KGO, KSVY, and KRSH
-Appearances on TV shows like ABC’s Morning Shows and NBC’s Outlook Video.
Quotes:
“Witty lyrics and catchy melodies…the nicest guy ever to pick up an acoustic guitar!” –LA Weekly
“5 out of 5 stars. Bobby Jo writes with a sweetness and honesty seldom heard in acoustic pop music.” –Brian Lucey, mastering engineer for The Black Keys
“It’s really lovely.” –Judah Dadone, Freelance Whales

Both music artists reside here in the bay area.  Check them out. Their music is available on their websites and also on iTunes.

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