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Son of a Bad Man to release its first album

By: Dargan Thompson, Assistant Features Editor


From left: Jordan Allen Davis, Brad Moxey, Shawn Fisher and Brett Barley make up Son of a Bad Man. Photo Courtesy of Lee Sun Hee Ruiz.


The members of the Jacksonville-based band Son of a Bad Man are not looking for the kind of fame that most musicians crave.

“We’re not asking to have the next big Ke$ha-sized hit single,” said Shawn Fisher, lead singer and guitarist for the four piece band. “We just want people to be able to find out about us, see if they like it, come out to shows. Just very organic.”

The Southern pop band has been building up a grassroots following in Jacksonville for the past five years, using social networking to connect and talk with fans. Fisher, a former UNF student, stressed the importance of showing respect to fans. The point of using social networking, he said, is not just for self-promotion but also for interaction with supporters.

“The point is to start a conversation and show you that we’re real and not just four dudes standing on a stage playing instruments just trying to get your money,” he said.

Bassist Brett Barley said it’s not always about reaching people who haven’t heard of the band.

“Sometimes, it’s about that kid that’s going to check your Facebook, those are the kids that are going to come see you when you’re on tour,” he said. “We’re down to go home and hang out and hear from people online. We always want to hear opinions.”

The band’s dedication to its followers has paid off. Literally. Son of a Bad Man raised money for its new album from fans through fundraising website Kickstarter. It set a fundraising goal of $2,000, just enough to record the songs in a studio and mix and master the CD.

“We set our goal really low,” Fisher said. “We shortchange ourselves a lot in this band. We want to make sure people who are going through rough times right now can afford it. You have to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes sometimes.”

But the band ended up meeting its goal in a day, ultimately raising more than $4,000. Fisher said the support the band received amused and humbled him.

This weekend, Son of a Bad Man will be playing two sold out shows for the Jan. 28 release of its new album “Here’s to the Falling In…”

Fisher said he can hardly believe it. The band has never sold out a show before, let alone two. Fisher and Barley are anticipating the shows to be some of their best ever.

“I feel like a giddy 13-year-old girl,” Fisher said.

But things haven’t always been easy for the band. Son of a Bad Man signed with Universal Republic Records in 2009 and recorded an EP with the label. But the band had a hard time getting Universal Republic to release the record, which came out on iTunes but never physically in stores. So, it split with the label in 2010.

“Looking back on it, we learned the most during that year,” Fisher said, “but also it was the most depressing time because we were so green, and we were realizing the bad side of the industry.”

Now the band is on its own, and Fisher said the members love being able to make their own decisions and not having to answer to anyone.

“If you can do it on your own and make money, why would you want someone else’s hand coming into your candy jar and taking stuff?” he said.

Every member of the four-piece band loves a different style of music, Barley said, and collectively, their influences create the Son of a Bad Man sound. Fisher usually writes the songs, then guitarist Jordan Davis, drummer Brad Moxey and Barley add to them to make them into Son of a Bad Man songs.

“I just take them the baby, and they put it through puberty and raise it,” Fisher said.

As far as the future, Fisher and Barley said they hope to keep drawing in crowds so they can keep touring and making music. They want to connect with fans in other cities like they have in Jacksonville, where they feel they have a family of fans.

“We’re not carrying some big message,” Barley said. “We try our best to treat people that are nice enough to listen to our music or come to our shows like family, and if anyone wants to be a part of that, it’s [an] open invite.”



Email Dargan at [email protected].

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