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Pfc. Amanda Tucker, 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – 06.18.2009
Spc. David L. Jarvis, a communications specialist attached to the Joint Airborne Battle Staff, assigned to Bravo Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion,16th Sustainment Brigade, from Bamberg, Germany, furthers his personal growth by improving his musical career during his spare time.
Jarvis, a Witherbee, N.Y., native, and Music Business Institute graduate, is working to develop his own independent label, ZEN BABY, and has what he likes to call a "combat studio" set up in his containerized housing unit to record music during his off time.
"That is what I've always wanted to do," Jarvis said. "Not only promote myself but get other new musicians out there."
Jarvis was inspired to make his own studio after reading the book "Ray Charles: Man and Music." He has helped friends record and promote their demos in his studio.
"Here is a guy that went blind and could have gone any number of ways but persevered, was tough, was his own businessman and built a multi-million dollar recording studio and record label," Jarvis said. "I model what I'm doing now after what he did."
Jarvis uses internet social networking to post his music so anyone can listen. He also likes to get feedback from his fans so he can see what they like or don't like about his songs. He has more than 2400 fans and friends on his site.
Jarvis has recorded for smaller independent labels and internet labels. One of his songs, Paper Train, was picked up by MTV for their show "Road Rules." Through the large promotion of his music, he was invited to join the Recording Academy which allows him to be a voting member of the Grammy awards and automatically gives him a seat to watch.
Jarvis bases his style of music to what he calls "the root of American music." He includes delta blues, old style country and some pop including the Beatles, the Doors and R.E.M.
Jarvis attributes his love of music to his grandfather, who was multi-talented and played many stringed instruments to include the banjo, piano and guitar. Jarvis' grandfather passed away when he was five, leaving behind a closet full of musical instruments. When Jarvis picked up one of the six string guitars in his junior high school year, he didn't know he was learning a craft that he would continue for the next 29 years.
"There wasn't much else to do in a little dinky mining town," Jarvis joked. "I was too young to drink beer and ride around as (that) was popular back then."
Jarvis played concerts in his hometown from his junior high school year until he reached his mid-twenties. During that time, Jarvis started working with a high school friend, Todd Jones, who had a band with three of his brothers. Jarvis still keeps in touch with Jones and continues to bounce musical ideas off him.
Now, Jarvis plays during open mic night at Sami's Café here. Every first and third Tuesday of the month, he sings and plays his guitar to get back into his music and "blow the rust off" his guitar.
Jarvis is currently working on a demo and hopes to have it done by the time he redeploys. His goals are to help younger people with their music through his label and play some shows before he leaves.
"I play for the troops," Jarvis said. "I'm always looking for something new to express in a different way."