“The best thing I ever did as a musician … was move to Hermosa Beach …”
A year and a half ago, the 32-year-old performer known as Jett Pink came to the South Bay, and it sounds like he’s staying. He’s been around a few blocks, but perhaps this will be the last of many stops along the career path of a budding musician.
While growing up in New Jersey, Pink says, “I was always very into music, having always been surrounded by it – with my brother shredding 80s guitar solos from a young age, my mom a singer and my dad a great piano player.”
But it wasn’t until he split for the great wide open that he found the music within. “I started playing guitar when I was a freshman in college at Colorado State. It came pretty quickly though, and I was playing open mics within the first few months of starting. Music remained a hobby until I was about 23, when I joined a band my brother was in. It was then that my passion for playing music was truly ignited and I decided to pursue music as my career and lifestyle.”
Local resident and musician, Kevin Sousa, once described southern California as the resting place where anything loose in the rest of the country winds up. A symbolic illustration which calls to mind massive, god-like hands shaking up the United States and tilting it over like a pinball machine; but it’s rather more the hands wrenching around one’s heart that is meant.
And so it goes, brothers Chris and Jett Pink followed the fire in their bellies to the same gilded land of opportunity that’s been tantalizing dreamers since the days when they rode in with pikes and pans instead of guitars.
“Chris and I moved to L.A. and played in several bands together, including a stint with a Capitol Records recording artist named Huck Johns; with whom we got to tour all over the country as the opening act for Ted Nugent. We also started a few bands together: a rock band named after our hometown in Jersey called Whitehouse Station and our blues-Americana outfit, The Pink Family Band.”
He’s toured our immense country, has performed major music festivals, opened in bands for Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and others and yet, he couldn’t be more contented than belonging to Hermosa Beach.
“I love our music scene here, and am continually inspired by the great players here and the wonderful and supportive venues that we get to play at. Just being able to walk a few blocks out of my front door and play at a killer place like Studio or the Lighthouse. I’ve lived in lots of other places and this is definitely the place to be. I feel so spoiled as a musician!”
For about a year now, Pink has maintained a regular gig playing every Tuesday at The Shore/Studio in Hermosa Beach.
“I first went there when my former band mate, Huck Johns, was performing and he called me up to play some tunes. I contacted them afterward and they just happened to be looking for a Tuesday happy hour act, so I was able to skate in there. It’s been great and now that they’ve remodeled and reopened as Studio, it’s possibly the best sounding room I’ve ever played in.”
While Pink typically performs solo, The Pink Family Band is comprised of himself (lead vocal, guitar, resonator guitar, pedal steel guitar, and harmonica); his longtime music partner and brother, Chris (lead guitar); Los Angeles native Justin Citron (guitar); Boston beat man Jerry Lyons (drums) and his girlfriend Michele Alexander (back up vocals).
“It can be tough to get gigs around here with the caliber of talent in the area, so I’m extremely thankful to them [Shore/Studio] for giving me this opportunity. It’s allowed me to truly hone my craft while nurturing all of my influences.”
Pink says he’s a blues man to the core, but with definite country influences shining through his music, all sitting atop a solid rock n’ roll foundation. He has only recently entered the recording frontier.
“I didn’t really put out a proper album until this year – when I released two. I recorded the debut album ‘Saved by Memories’ with The Pink Family Band around the end of last year at my brother’s home studio. I also put out an EP, of solo acoustic blues tunes, called ‘Loretta’ earlier this year. I recorded it at my home in Hermosa. I’m overflowing with new material, so there will be plenty more albums coming in the near future.”
“The future’s looking up, as I feel that I am just now really coming into my own as a musician. I’m heading out to play my first blues festival on August 10th. It’s the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth, Minnesota, and I’m super excited! I plan on playing many more blues festivals in the future and really carving out a place for myself in the blues scene. I really look up to and try to emulate local blues masters like Doug Macleod, who is also a friend. I see him touring all over; going to Europe and what not – that’s totally what I see myself doing down the road a bit.”
But for now, while the colorful path of Jett Pink’s musical career remains anchored in Hermosa Beach, between blues festivals and forays back into the great wide open, “Tuesdays at Studio are my only regular gig at the moment…I’ll usually be at The Lighthouse to play a few during Mel Harker’s set on Mondays, and then I’ll do the same at Joe Cipolla’s gig at Studio on Wednesdays.”
“I especially love my Tuesday gig because it’s all ages; so my girlfriend Michele can bring our three-year-old son Mason out and it’s like family music night. He’s a great dancer and probably has as many fans as I do! He’s gonna be owning the stage in a few years.”
Jett Pink is at Studio (formerly The Shore) in Hermosa Beach every Tuesday from 5:30-8:00 p.m. His music can be heard 24/7 on DirtyHippieRadio.com and is available for download there, on iTunes and at Jettpink.com.