Every band needs a sex symbol

Every band needs a sex symbol

With 10 days of solid music, 1,000 artists, 10 venues, and over 300 shows to choose from it’s really tough to decide what to see and when at this year’s Festival d’Été de Québec. The 2014 line up will take some beating. So much music, so little time.

Jeff Jensen Band playing live at the Petit Impérial de Québec during the Festival d'Été 2014. Photo credit: Sébastien Dion

Jeff Jensen Band playing live at the Petit Impérial de Québec during the Festival d’Été 2014. Photo credit: Sébastien Dion

I’ve been to see some of the big shows on the Plains over the years and I’ve never left disappointed, I also go to see bands at local venues throughout the year when I can.

I’d just never been to see one of the smaller shows during the Festival d’Été de Québec before tonight. And I’m now wondering why on earth not?

On Thursday 10th July 2014 I went along to the Petit Impérial de Québec to see The Jeff Jensen Band – a 3-piece blues band from Memphis, Tennessee.

I got there around 45 minutes before the 8.30pm scheduled start and it was already packed.
I managed to get seated, just. And then it really filled up.

As show time approached, and as the lights dimmed, I noted that the place was jammed solid. Easily 120-150 people in there.
By the time lead singer and guitarist Jeff Jensen, bass guitarist Bill Ruffino, and drummer Robinson Bridgeforth took to the stage it was standing room only.

Jensen’s opening line ‘Hey fellas, let’s play some blues!’

You could sense we were all in for a treat.

And they let ‘er rip. For an hour. Non stop.
Foot stomping, toe tapping, head bobbing, clapping. You couldn’t help yourself. I found myself doing all of the above involuntarily and almost constantly.

They had a 20 minute break where fans could meet the band, get pics signed, and have a chat.

They were really engaging and seemed genuinely grateful that so many people had turned out.

And then it was time to get back at it. For another hour.

‘Y’all feelin’ good?’
‘Can we play a blues song for you?’

Erm, very much so. If the next bit is anywhere near as good as the first, please be our guests.

$15 on the door, or you could get in with your festival pass. That’s an utter bargain.
The passes go for $68 upwards and I’d have happily paid that to see these guys.

All three of them really know their craft.

And the great thing about being in a small venue is that you got to see and feel just how much they (and the crowd were enjoying themselves).

It’s a beautiful thing to witness anyone who loves what they do, doing their thing. It’s a real privilege to see those who are actually good at it.

During the show Jeff Jensen introduced us to the band. There was Bill Ruffino, a skilled bass player who has been touring with Jensen for the past ten years. Yes, you read that right, TEN YEARS. Here is a man at the top of his game.

Bill Ruffino of the Jeff Jensen Band playing live at the Petit Impérial de Québec during the Festival d'Été 2014.  Photo credit: Sébastien Dion

Bill Ruffino of the Jeff Jensen Band playing live at the Petit Impérial de Québec during the Festival d’Été 2014.
Photo credit: Sébastien Dion

The lead singer imparted a bit of wisdom, he confided in us that he’d been watching the top pop stars of today and looking at how they did it, how they got noticed. And he let us all know that every band should have a sex symbol.

And on to the drummer…

Robinson Bridgeforth of the Jeff Jensen Band playing live at the Petit Impérial de Québec during the Festival d'Été 2014. Photo credit: Sébastien Dion

Robinson Bridgeforth of the Jeff Jensen Band playing live at the Petit Impérial de Québec during the Festival d’Été 2014. Photo credit: Sébastien Dion

Jeff_Jensen_PosterRobinson Bridgeforth – alleged sex symbol (you be the judge), accomplished drummer (definitely), and I’d imagine a lot of other notable things too (probably).
Ladies – take him home to meet your mum – I bet he’s a good cook too.

The three of them together were a joy to listen to. Ruffino, cool as you like, on the bass, Bridgeforth with the rhythm, and Jensen all flailing hair and guitar chords. It all just works.

Towards the end of the set, every song got a standing ovation.

‘My name is Jeff Jensen and we are the Jeff Jensen Band. Thank you!’

I have a message for the organisers of the Festival d’Été de Québec:

If you do anything for the 2015 festival, invite these guys back and get them on a bigger stage. Their talent deserves it and the public deserve to be given the chance to see them.

Categories: Arts & Culture, News

About Author

Andrew Greenfield

Andrew Greenfield moved to Quebec in 2009. He is part of the team responsible for the publishing company behind LifeinQuebec.com and Life in Québec Magazine. He has been involved with online and print media since 2001. He is passionate about cricket, is a qualified coach, and his real ambition is to start a cricket team in Quebec City – something he freely admits is probably beyond him. Follow him on Twitter @GreenfieldAndy

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