Some people were born to perform. They have that spark, that certain extra something that keeps them motivated and moving forward with their dreams no matter what. They can perform anywhere, in front of any crowd. Even when the circumstances aren’t the best, they get up in front of the microphone and do everything they can to keep the fans happy.
Local singer/songwriter Jody Whitesides was put in a less than optimal situation Thursday night while performing at the Left Coast Wine Bar in Glendale.
Despite being forced to delay his performance more than an hour, Whitesides was still in high spirits as he checked his levels and joked around with the crowd in the bar’s cramped, upstairs room. He was several songs into his first set when the bar finally turned off the house speakers playing a local radio station, but Whitesides kept playing, and the crowd wasn’t disappointed.
Opening with an acoustic version of his song “All the Things,” Whitesides created an evening and atmosphere all his own from the very first note. His sound is a mix of folk, blues, rock and soul, with even a twang of country at times, and he wound deftly through original songs and covers. He even had the chance to sing “Happy Birthday” when the manager of the Left Coast Wine Bar interrupted him mid-song to make the request.
“I’ve never had that happen before,” Whitesides joked after the candles were blown out. Not 20 minutes later, however, he was interrupted again, for the same reason.
Despite the distractions, he went right back into his song “Tabloid Affair,” one of the many originals that could easily be heard on pop, rock or alternative radio stations tomorrow. Most of the songs played were off of his latest album “Practical Insanity.” Even through all of the setbacks — and despite the fact that there was no advertising for the performance on the Left Coast Wine Bar’s street-side chalkboard — Whitesides drew in more and more fans as the set went on.
His John Mayer/Lenny Kravitz vibe had everyone in the room nodding or clapping along, especially when he played his newest single, “Hero Unexpected,” and “Thump, Thump, Thump,” another new song.
After capping off the evening with the rhythmically dynamic “Day of Our Lives,” possibly the best song of the night, Whitesides stuck around to mingle with the crowd.
“I like to write music, and hopefully other people like to listen to it,” he said.
With such a wide range of sounds and a large number of quality original songs, it’s hard not to find something to like about Jody Whitesides. If you’re interested in hearing him for yourself, check out his website at www. jodywhitesides.com or buy one of his albums off iTunes or Amazon.com.
BRIAN MCGACKIN is a graduate student attending USC’s Master of Professional Writing program.