Growing up in New Orleans certainly has its benefits. There's the food, the culture, the laid back way of life, and of course, always, the music. So its not a surprise that the music bug bit me at an early age. The sounds of New Orleans were constantly available to me on the radio and the family record player when I was a young child. In a myriad of different styles, Blues, RandB, Funk, Rock, Mardi Gras Music,even Country and Bluegrass, the songs of Professor Longhair, The Wild Magnolias, The Meters,The Neville Brothers, Dr John and others made a strong impression on me as a kid. I remember the first two albums I ever played. Given to me by my parents, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, as well as The Beatles, Revolver, became staples for me as early as six or seven.
I started out with piano lessons at the age of ten. My lessons were at Loyola University where there was a class for children at the time. When I turned thirteen, I developed an interest in the guitar, and it was then that I began guitar lessons with the popular guitar teacher Ellen Simon, who taught me chord progressions and melody, the rudiments of songwriting. I was then introduced to Classic Rock guitarists such as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix, and later, the Blues greats, Albert and BB King, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, and so many others.
I began to play the New Orleans club scene when I was 17. The first club I played at was Jimmy's, in Uptown New Orleans. The band was Speakeasy, and we played mainly cover tunes, though we added some originals as we went. I ended up playing many of the clubs back in those days, Tipitina's, Muddy Waters, and also several school fairs and High School Dances.
At 25 I formed The Jeb Rault Band. It was the summer of 1996 in New Orleans LA. We gained some name recognition in New Orleans from '96-2001, building a fan base and playing such clubs as Tipitina's, The Howlin' Wolf, Carrollton Station, and House of Blues, where the band opened for major artists such as Jeff Healey, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Ted Nugent. Our debut CD, 'Yin Yang From The Mire', was released in late 1997. Besides much radio airplay in New Orleans, the CD gained airplay on the West Coast, as well as in Europe, most notably in Sweden. In a 1998 press review of the CD, Offbeat magazine compared my singing to one of my musical mentors, Eric Clapton, which I thought was funny because I never had considered myself a singer as such. More a guitar player/songwriter who happened to sing.
It was at this time that I got a chance to play in China. It was at Blues and Jazz Club in Shanghai China, and I played there several times during the month of January, 1998. It was a memorable experience because the Chinese people actually knew songs I had grown up with in New Orleans, such as Goodnight Irene, and Let The Good Times Roll. It was a great thing to be able to play these and more for them at the time.
I went on to release 'Live From The Mire', a live CD from the period, of which a limited amount of copies were distributed.
In 2000, I recorded Electric Blue, Volumes, 1, and 2 in my home studio. These did very well on MP3.com, at one time holding six of the top 20 spots on the MP3.com Electric Blues charts out of over 6000 songs.
In 2001, I decided I wanted to expand my experience and I moved for a while to California, where I soon began to be a regular in the San Francisco acoustic singer/songwriter circuit. This was a great experience because the musicians were not only great players and songwriters, but also knew a vast repertoire of older folk songs to which I was then exposed. In 2004, I formed the Blues/Funk/Roots band Swampsoul. Swampsoul toured the West Coast in 2004 and 2005, releasing one album, entitled Sizzler.
In 2005, I began to feel the pull of New Orleans once again. I missed the culture, the people, the music, the city. I was planning on returning home in the summer of 2005, when Katrina hit. I knew I had to return. I felt a duty towards my hometown, I had to help to re-build the city that made me who I am, the city I love. Like a magnet, it pulled me back.
Since moving back to New Orleans in November 2005, I have released Three For The City, a three song EP(available for free download at www.jebrault.com) dedicated to the re-building of New Orleans. I have performed in New Orleans Funk band Dr. Funk as well as playing guitar as a member of JD Hill's Jammers., with whom I was honored to play the 2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest. Playing with the Jammers also led to sitting in with several musicians who have always been musical mentors for me over the years, including Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson, and the legendary Dr John(see pic below). I also continued to play live in my own band as well.
By happenstance, I met Grammy winning producer, John Snyder, in 2011. We made plans to record an album together, and thus, Sweet Dancer was born. Released in March 2012, recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, and mixed at Dockside Studios in Maurice LA., the CD has gained airplay on WWOZ in New Orleans, and has also found its way onto Radio France and Alaska radio as well. It has been accepted into Pandora, and is also up for consideration this year in NARAS for a possible Grammy nomination. It was also at this time that I decided to change the spelling of the band name in order for new fans and industry people such as radio djs to pronounce it correctly. It had been Geb Rault Band, and with the release of Sweet Dancer, the band name is now spelled Jeb Rault Band.
In 2013 I was honored to play at a local Mardi Gras party with none other than Pappa Funk himself, Art Neville. Only in New Orleans!
In the summer 2013, I joined New Orleans based Honky Tonk singer songwriter, Kim Carson, on her 45 date tour of Europe, where we played for large crowds in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and France. I continued to play regularly with Kim into 2014- 2015, not only in Europe and in the US, but also in Costa Rica as well!
Now, with seven tours (5 of these with my own band) of Europe under my belt , and one now booking for Summer 2018, I feel I am well on my way to establishing myself as a regular player on the music scene in Europe , as well as the USA, what a great gift!
Also, the music writing bug has been working its magic on me again, and fans can expect a new all original full length album from Jeb Rault Band in 2018...