Jennifer McClure playing music in Huntsville and Madison, Alabama

Solo or band | Band name JKM Band | Leader singer songwriter Jennifer Kaye McClure | Influences Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Amos Lee, and Aretha Franklin., GENRES: Acoustic, Blues, Country, Pop, Rock, Soul

Jennifer McClure
Above: The Jennifer K. McClure Band delivers a heaping helping of entertainment at Tim's Cajun Kitchen on a Friday night. The audience was fully engaged, loudly clapping and shouting approval with each song. Annabelle and I both agreed that the entire band was great.  Band members from left to right: Bass player Bryan Hopkins (filling in that night for regular bassist Devon Stone), keyboardist Benson Lewis, leader Jennifer K. McClure, drummer Blake Andrews and Steven McClure lead guitar.

Annabelle’s Take:

We saw the Jennifer McClure Band at Tim’s Cajun Kitchen, and I have not stopped thinking about them since! Jennifer is the lead singer, thus the name of the band. While she is the star, the rest of the band is, in a word, outstanding.

There are many “cover bands” out there playing these days, but Jennifer McClure Band sets themselves apart for several reasons. #1) Jennifer has a fabulous voice; a reminiscent blend of Jewel, Carrie Underwood, and Karla Bonoff.  #2) Jennifer’s lead guitarist is her brother, Steven McClure. More about him later.  #3) The bass player: Bryan Hopkins is a seasoned player, who does what all excellent bass players do: perform the “under music” that broadens and deepens the sound of the band. (Bryan was filling in that night for regular bass guitarist Devon Stone) #4) The drummer: Blake Andrews keeps the beat without overshadowing any of the singing or other musicians. A rarity.  In my opinion, too many drummers think they are the stars. I love drum solos, and some of my best friends are drummers. Don’t get me wrong. But when drummers try to overplay the rest of the musicians, I have a real distaste for that. The keyboard player: Benson Lewis provided the right amount of underlying accompaniment to Jennifer’s voice.   Again, Mr. Lewis’s skilled playing never yelled for your attention, rather it called your ear to listen.

Steven McClure: The lead guitarist did what  my favorite professional lead- guitarists are able to accomplish. Steven’s stellar playing reminded me of Mark Goldenberg, David Lindley, and Danny Kortchmar. Steven had the ability to “answer” Jennifer’s phrases with his perfectly executed riffs. I loved the balance of harmonies between them. For someone so young to be so eloquent in his playing, I’d say he is gifted. Again, he seems unaware of his gift. He just loves to play.

Jennifer’s voice is powerful, with perfect pitch. She is capable of bringing a tear to your eye or making you clap your hands and stomp your feet. The entire audience was engaged with this band. Keep in mind, Tim’s Cajun Kitchen is a great eating establishment, and the night we caught the band there people were listening and letting their food go cold. We discovered Tim’s food is great, even cold.  My minor  concern for this band is that Jennifer has a very shy stage presence. One can see she would rather sing and play than speak to the crowd. Personally, I really appreciate it when a singer tells us the origin of an original song. I would encourage Jennifer to look at her adoring audience, and share a story or two. I had an idea, she could even banter with her brother on stage and use that  relationship to her advantage.   I doubt I am alone when I say we like those nuggets of fun when we can get them from a performer. Talking in between songs is a skill, certainly. One I know Jennifer McClure will master with time. She has every reason to boast and brag, but part of her charm is that she does not believe it.

 If you see the Jennifer McClure Band scheduled to play in town, RUN, don’t walk to hear them play.

Parker's Take:

We went to hear the Jennifer Kaye McClure band at Tim’s Cajun Kitchen after watching a few of her sample videos. Let me just say this to start: the sample videos are good, but hearing Jennifer and her band in person is a totally different experience. You can get a taste of her music style in the videos, but for a full experience listen to her and her band in person.
Let’s start with the lead guitarist, Steve McClure. Have you ever heard a band where a lead guitarist thinks he or she is the star of the show over the vocalist? When guitar riffs shout “listen to me”, demanding attention?

Well, Steve McClure’s playing is none of that. When Jennifer sings a part, Steve “answers” her back with just the right balance, melody and emotion though his obviously talented fingers.  He did this consistently the entire night and it really added to our enjoyment of the band.

The drummer, Blake Andrews, enhances the band’s sound with percussion much like Steve does with guitar.  His beats are strong yet not overdone, the snap of his snare precisely controlled to maximize the overall sound of the band and Jennifer’s vocals without shouting “me too”.  It never felt like the drummer was trying to call attention to himself, yet, he got our attention because of his steady and effective percussion support of the band.

Keyboardist Benson Lewis added the foundation to their overall sound. Like Steve and Blake, played just enough and never too much to support the vocalist.

As an amateur bass player myself, I enjoyed the 5 string bass guitar and Bryan Hopkin’s expressive use of “slap”.  Bryan was filling in for the regular bassist Devon Stone.

Finally, there is vocalist and (amplified) acoustic guitar player Jennifer Kaye McClure, the center of the band.  From the loudness of the audience clap and cheers, most if not all of the people there that night enjoyed her performance, as did Annabelle and I.  And just like the rest of the band, her performance added to the whole of the band.

Let me sum it up a different way.  If I saw the Jennifer Kaye McClure band on the live music schedule, I would make every attempt to hear them again. Annabelle and I had a wonderful first visit to Tim’s Cajun Kitchen, and the Jennifer Kaye McClure band really sealed the deal to a perfect night of entertainment and fun.

Jennifer McClure Upcoming Huntsville or Madison Music Gigs: