It’s Rock and Roll…and I love it!: An Interview with Jim Suhler

George Thorogood with Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat
Florida Theatre
Thursday 10/6/16 8:00PM
Tickets available on Ticketmaster $39-$49
Photo Credit: Underground Records

Get ready Jacksonville!! Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat are bringing their love for Rock-N-Roll back to us October 6, 2016 as they take the stage at the Florida Theatre alongside George Thorogood. Promoting their live album, “Live at the Kessler” is not their only goal as they hope to create a musical atmosphere of warmth and love, great tunes, and a good time! I was given the incredible opportunity to talk shop with Jim about the new album, the vibes and energy of a live show, changes in the industry, and does what he can to help up and coming talent!

Jim expressed true pride and passion when talking about the creation of “Live at the Kessler.” “It’s been a long time coming but, I am really proud of it.” He also tells me that the process of condensing two hours worth of music into a 70 minute recording time was no easy task considering all of the material to filter through after years of playing and recording. When all was said and done, 13 of their best tracks that reflect being in the moment and some of the band’s favorites were chosen to create a brilliant album brought to fruition last November and released in stores in June.

Since I personally have never seen Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat or Jim performing with George Thorogood with The Destroyers before, I was curious about the atmosphere of their shows. Jim describes performing as “A challenge I embrace because I love it. It’s where the rubber meets the road. A live show should be really powerful. You can’t just play music, you have to entertain too.”

Jim and Monkey Beat began their musical journey together 22 years ago which is a long time of touring, selling albums, and playing shows. The music industry has changed throughout these years as “Music streaming has definitely hurt the industry itself. Making money is a lot harder you have to tour and sell merchandise at your shows. You have to look for new business models and be creative. You have to work hard, and it’s in no way easy. It never was but, you see all of these changes you have to be willing to change with it.”

Though the industry is fast paced and forever changing Jim still enjoys rubbing shoulders with his influences both past and present. He enjoys sharing his wisdom with up and coming artists but, is also learning from them. Whether it be a life lesson or a new guitar riff. “I like helping younger artists when I can. If I hear someone who is deserving and talented. I’ll do whatever I can to help whether it be advise or help with a gig. I always end up learning something from them too. It’s a reciprocal deal. You always have to keep learning.” Which is a valuable lesson both on and off the stage.

Be there with Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat when “The rubber meets the road!” You won’t want to miss the show powerful enough to breathe new life into classic rock, entertaining enough to help you to unwind from the stress of a workday, and memorable enough that the music and experience will stay with you for a lifetime!

Be sure to check out the live album before the show and for information about the tour at their website: http://www.jimsuhler.com/