Jerry Eubanks's interview
by Craig Cumberland
(courtesy of
Gritz magazine )

MTB founding member Jerry Eubanks retired from the band after 25 years in 1996. Life on the road had taken it's toll and he decided he wanted to spend time at home with his family. But old habits die hard and he's once again a full-fledged member of a band - this one, like MTB, from Spartanburg, SC. SevenMoore has been at it for about a year now - and smaller versions perform acoustic shows as Jackson Crossing. While he has his finger in the pie, he seems to be happy with just a taste, not necessarily wanting to make making music a full-time job as he once did. As you can tell in our interview he is very content where he is at in life and with the music:

After 25 years on the road with MTB you decided to stay at home. How was that adjustment? was an adjustment, for sure. But to be honest, it was more of an adjustment for the people around me than it was for me. I was ready. The last couple of years with Tucker were not fun. The musicianship and songwriting were not up to the level that I wanted, and for business reasons I wasn't free to change all of that. I finally reached a stage of total burn-out. I put my horns in the closet and didn't touch them for four years. I was convinced that I never wanted to play music again....but a funny thing happened on the way to Medicare. I found that I truly missed making music. Not the touring aspect of it, but the pure joy of creating something beautiful out of nothing.

You've played in a few local bands - the Throbber and Lippnikkies. What was that experience like?
The Throbbers and the Lippnikies were fun experiences. Although neither band played the kind of music that was exactly to my tastes, it was a great learning experience. Because the music was so different, it forced me to rethink my way of playing. The same old MTB licks just didn't work. The time spent with those bands broadened my musical technique. I'm glad that I did it. It made me a better horn player.

You're now in a band, SevenMoore, with Paul Riddle and some other local musicians. How did that band evolve? I know you worked with some of the other players before (besides Paul).
SevenMoore evolved out of conversations between Rick, Paul, Mike, Tim and myself over a few years. Rick and Paul were in the Throbbers. Mike and Tim were in the Lipps. As musicians commonly do, we spent a lot of time discussing our different musical tastes, exploring the common ground between us. Music is unique in that, to function on the level that I like to play, the members must understand each other mentally, emotionally, and personally. It simply doesn't click any other way. Out of those conversations grew the idea of putting together a band that was devoted to nothing but the egos, no desire to be Bar Stars, no pressure to conform to what anyone else wanted us to be...a band totally dedicated to making the best music that we knew how...and letting the chips fall where they regrets either way. And thus, SevenMoore was born.

Tell us about the players.
SevenMoore is: Mike Rogers on acoustic guitar & vocals, Rick Willis on Les Paul & vocals, Tim Clements on six-string bass, Bobby Gaines on Fender & slide, Steve Keeter on piano, Paul Riddle on drums and myself (on Hammond B3, sax, & flute). Simply put...the best that we knew. All great players...all totally without ego problems...all seasoned musicians with the vision and dedication required to pull off what we had in mind. I won't bore you by saying how good they all are. Wait until we finish the CD and everyone can decide for themselves if I'm right or wrong.

Tim Clements, Jerry Eybanks, Bobby Gaines

It seems like you're taking this band a little more seriously than your other post-MTB bands... You're recording a CD and playing major venues. What's the goal and how far would you like this thing to go ?
I just don't know about this one. Recording the CD was for the band, and the band alone. It was a personal thing. It's part of the creation process. It's been a totally relaxed and exhilarating experience...actually rather mind-bending and awe-inspiring to watch this bunch create together. I know people won't believe this, but I really don't care if it goes any further than this. The goal was to create the music, not sell it. We're all doing just fine without going on the road, or getting a big record contract, or any of those things that most bands aspire to. To quote a much abused phrase: "Been there, done that, forgot most of it!". Which isn't to say that I wouldn't like to share this music with other folks. I would. I miss playing the outdoor ampitheaters in the summer...I miss the on-the-road camaraderie with other bands...I miss waking up in a new city each morning...I miss seeing the look on people's faces when they truly enjoy what they are hearing. But I refuse to give up the magic of SevenMoore for any of those things. If it works out that we can keep it fun and have all of that also, great! But I'm not going back to the place where some record company exec or some manager is dictating my life or my music. This one will be on our terms or not at all.

What was the first live gig like with SevenMoore ?
It was absolutely the most incredible musical experience that I've ever been a part of. It was the culmination of almost a years worth of work. The band was so prepared that everyone just relaxed and had fun with it.... Paul played some stuff that was mind-bending. It was a night to's been a long time....sure felt good.

Fans are bound to want to know... compare and contrast SevenMoore and MTB ?
This is a hard one. I expect the subject to come up, but I wish it didn't have to. With Paul & myself playing in SevenMoore, there will obviously be similarities. But make no mistake, SevenMoore is NOT a Tucker clone. This band stands on its own. I am thankful for my time with Marshall Tucker. It was a gigantic part of my life. I'll never dishonor or disrespect that band in any way. It was a pivotal experience in my life, both musically and personally. Let's just leave it this way, OK?.......MTB was then, SevenMoore is now.

SevenMoore allows fans to tape the shows. I think that's awesome, especially for fans who can't make it to your neck of the woods... Why did the band make this decision ?
Why not? Music is emotion. It's happiness & sadness...excitement & depression. Why shouldn't it be shared in any way possible? We want our fans to enjoy this music as much as we do. If they can take home a copy of one of our live shows and it makes them feel good, then that's EXACTLY what we want to happen. That's not to say we want some sleaze-ball bootlegging copies to the local truck stop, but if that happens, so be it. We'll deal with that when it happens. But in the meantime, we encourage folks to tape the live shows and trade them with their friends. To us, that's one of the most sincere forms of flattery. Have at it, folks....enjoy yourselves...we will!

Any final final thoughts ?
I hope everyone enjoys the music of SevenMoore. I don't have a clue where this all might lead, but it's been a hell of a ride so far. Musically, I'm happier now than at any time in my life. Thanks for your interest. Take care all!

Thanks, as always, Jerry! You're a class act!


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