I'll admit, seeing the inside of the way music is promoted in our area can be frustrating. It seems like everyone is locked into their own little thing sometimes. I'm sure this is the nature of the business. But it can make you a little bit jaded. Juice first appeared on my radar back in 2010. I saw a bunch of privileged kids who had parents willing to pour money into their hobby. I thought "Well, that's nice." They kept popping up and I kept thinking the same thing, never giving these "kids" a listen.
Michael Harp, vocals and guitar, recently became active in BFP Music commenting and agreeing to do some sweat equity writing for us, just to help out the community and get some more experience. I had a few conversations with him. I asked if he could cover a few shows for me, forgetting his age, and then it clicked. I had forgotten how young Michael was while conversing. This guy is freaking serious about what he does.
I sat down with their very well produced offerings and had a listen. Sure, there is the slightest bit of compositional immaturity, and at times an evident puberty driven stage presence (note: this would be normal for their age. Less forgivable in some 40 year old musicians I've seen.) But, in truth, I only judge that on the scale of where I believe this band can go. I probably wouldn't adjust my ear to consider some music in terms of "compositional maturity." They are already playing world class music. It's like watching young lions at play. You don't need to forget the lion part.
The unfortunate truth is they might have too much opportunity in the future to stick to it. God love them if they get into a good college and drop the music. I know so many people would kill for that kind of life. But these guys are already making music that connects with people and demonstrates an appreciation for the complex jam. This is the thing I noticed, their style, currently is a bit Phish, somewhat Earthbound, kind of flowing jam with a jazz touch. Then they explode into classical virtuosity and it's obvious they have the training and skill to jump around genres at will. Musically they are on their own scale.
These "kids" are worth watching to see what happens. And they're already worth listening to hear what they've done so far.