Jeremiah Freed

Four years in the dusty halls of higher education were looming on the horizon for members of the Maine band Jeremiah Freed. Way before their high school graduation ceremony in 2000, the bandmates had subjected themselves to the dreaded SAT test. They'd checked out a few colleges, spent money on admission applications, and waited for their acceptance letters to come in the mail. After all of them had found admittance to the schools of their choice, imagine their parents' reaction when all five group members chucked their carefully laid college plans to make music their career instead. Luckily, they weren't just taking a shot in the dark, or a stab at a career in which they had no experience. They made the leap after receiving an offer of representation from Ripchord Artist Management. After years of immersing themselves in the classics — not Shakespeare or Milton, but the Who and Led Zeppelin — their hard work was paying off in a dream come to life. An eponymous, self-released CD followed. Beau Hill, producer for such artists as Ratt, Bad Brains, and Alice Cooper, came on board for a couple of the debut's songs, "How They All Got Here" and "Again." Local radio airplay was heavy and the response was enthusiastic. It wasn't long before the band appeared alongside Saliva and Nickelback in a regional holiday concert hosted by radio station WCYY. The recent high school graduates of Jeremiah Freed were approaching the big time, playing to an audience that numbered 8,000. Four weeks after their debut was issued, not two years after leaving York High School, the band's music sparked significant interest from both Island Records and Republic/Universal Records. The two labels went head to head, bidding over Jeremiah Freed. In the end, Republic/Universal was the victor. The band started working on another album with producer Hill.

Vocalist Joe Smith and guitarist Nick Goodale have known each other since childhood. The two boys used to occupy their time with a daily round of shooting hoops. Things changed, however, when Goodale's father started to teach him guitar. Rather than lose a basketball buddy, Smith decided to become a singer. He and Goodale also began crafting songs. Over the following months, their musical partnership grew to include drummer Kerry Ryan, bassist Matt Cosby, and rhythm guitarist Jake Roche, in that order. The song "Out of Trust" is a tribute to Charlie Smith, the singer's father, who succumbed to cancer. Bandmembers dedicated their CD to the elder Smith, who, despite firmly believing in a college education, told his son to instead pursue his dream of a career in music.

    Portland, ME

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