By | Teri Briggs
Portland’s Playlist welcomed Scott Gilmore and Peter Marcott from the band, Just People, into the Portland Radio Project studio Wednesday night for a DropInSession that was full of laughs, behind the scenes stories, and of course, some terrific Live performances. Just People has been a staple of the Northwest music scene for nearly a decade. “Hailed as the exuberant love children of Cat Stevens and Led Zeppelin, their sound has stretched from Soul, to Folk, to Rock with undertones of rampant psychedelia.”
The first hour we listened to their musical influences which made for a great playlist if you’re looking for one. It included one of McCartney’s personal favorites, “Here, There, and Everywhere,” off The Beatles, Revolver, album. Influencing his songwriting style, this album is one that Scott said “changed his life” during a time spent in Germany when he was in high school and couldn’t speak the language. Music is often said to be the great communicator, and has the ability to break down any language barrier, and it was through music that Scott was able to connect with people while overseas. The Beatles and The Allman Brothers were two of Peter and Scott’s influences, but were ones that were also the band’s influences. We heard, “Ramblin’ Man,” by The Allman Brothers, which is one of Peter’s influences because this band, like Just People, has two electric guitars in the band. Peter looked to the Allman Bros. to see how they handle that with songwriting, because it can be an added challenge when writing music. Also included were; Yeasayer, alt-j, Umphrey’s McGee, Brett Dennen, Gary Clark, Jr., Rival Sons, and Leon Bridges. Bridges’ music provides that classic soul influence that is also a favorite of Peter’s puppy, who was reported to be dancing when we played “Coming Home.” There were two local influences in their playlist, Worth, and Marv Ellis, whom the band has a long history with, and admires greatly, from Worth’s golden voice to the performance style of Ellis. (Both these artists and their bands will play at Just People’s album release show on Friday).
The second hour is everyone’s favorite time because that’s when we hear their original music, and get treated to a couple songs performed Live. The band is releasing a new album, “Monolith,” which has been in the works for almost three years. It is described as their “most concrete and complete volume of work to date,” and “takes you on a journey through past and contemporary soundscapes, creating something deep and uniquely diverse.” This is an album that you will most definitely want to add to your local music collection, it’s songs are diverse, and will fit most any mood: bluesy, funk, soul, and rock, with many that will get you on your dancing feet. Produced by the acclaimed, Justin Phelps, it is a fabulously mastered body of work, and one to be proud of.
Vortex Music Magazine premiered two of the songs off Monolith, “Glass Wire” and the title track, “Monolith.” “Glass Wire” is the song that came out of Scott’s long break from music. First written as a piano piece until Peter added his amazing guitar parts, it is a “rally cry of sorts, calling to those who have felt disconnected from the world and the shape that it has been taking,” http://www.vrtxmag.com/…/just-people-glass-wire-song-premi…/. “Monolith,” “focuses on the innate weight that comes with being human and the choice that we have to carry that weight or to let it go,” http://www.vrtxmag.com/…/just-people-monolith-song-premiere/.
They performed two songs live, Teri’s favorite, the bluesy, “Before You Love Again,” and “Pin Up.” Listening to Scott’s voice, accompanied by Peter’s stellar guitar, was like a choir of angels in our small studio space. He says Christopher Worth has a “golden voice” but I’d have to say Scott does as well. From the moment he opens his mouth, music bursts forth from the depths of his being, into a symphony that seeps into every crevice of its listener. Watching and listening to Scott, it is as if he is possessed by the music, transcended to a higher place, a place you long to visit.
Scott and Peter have been performing as the “JP Duo” for some time now. They perform songs in the style of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Leon Bridges, and some covers. Their current standing gig has been at The Heathman. With the impending closure of the hotel’s restaurant and bar, their final show there will be Wednesday, March 23rd, from 7-10 p.m. Scott has also started a project with Sarah Vitort called “Fox & Bones”. They will play a show at Jade Lounge on March 11th, 6-8 p.m.
You can find Just People at: