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Jefferson Colby
The cover of Jefferson Colby's new album is of frontman Daniel Mabe when he first experienced the exigencies of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. (Note the black eye. And the Smurf guitar.)

Hard-rockers Jefferson Colby neither burned out nor faded away.

True, the trio of frontman/lyricist Daniel Mabe, drummer (and older brother) Matt Mabe (Quaker City Night Hawks), and bassist Anthony Sosa (The Raven Charter) put out seven albums in as many years starting in 2006. But that seemingly never-ending pace of writing, playing, and recording wasn’t what caused Daniel to pull the plug in 2013. No, dude had a lot of shit going on.

“In 2012, a part of me died,” he said. “We kept playing for a year after that, but I had driven my [romantic] relationship into the ground, my car into the ground, I developed the addiction of being in a band. I didn’t even want to look at myself or have to deal with … ego things. Musicians think they’re something other people aren’t, and I just wanted to drop it.”

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Part of his non-dealing dealing included a.) sobering up and b.) hanging up his guitar. Actually, he sold his favorite six-string not too long ago to make a down payment on a car.

“I slowly started getting back into business,” he said. “I slowly started getting back into things.”

Daniel, let it be known, was also a little peeved at his brother, whose Night Hawks were really taking off.

“Quaker City’s schedule was so hectic, we had to cancel a lot of shows,” Daniel said. “After the last time it happened, I said, ‘Let’s not mess with this anymore. If you’re gonna do it, go do it.’ ”

In June, as part of “getting back into business,” Daniel brought a bunch of songs to Sessionworks Studios, where he’s done every JC album, to record what he thought would be a solo work (still as “Jefferson Colby”). Sneaky Matt heard some of the tracks around Thanksgiving, though.

“He said, ‘If you need drums, I’d love to play,’ ” Daniel recalled.

After several rehearsals, the Mabes realized they needed a bass player. Daniel said he did some soul searching. His quest took him back nearly a decade, to his band’s original bass player. Daniel messaged Jeff Moore.

“I said, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ ” Daniel remembered. “He wrote me back and said, ‘If you ever want to jam, let me know.’ I said, ‘Actuallyyy … .’ ”

But by the time Moore came around, the album –– called Dr. M (after Daniel’s initials) –– was already done. Patrick Smith, who plays in Dallas blues-rock giant Lance Lopez’ band, and Sessionworks owner/producer Jeff Mount handled the low end in the studio.

Though Moore missed the recording process, he is onboard for Jefferson Colby’s return to the stage: Friday at The Grotto (517 University Dr., 817-882-9331) with The Longshots, Panic Volcanic, and Moon Waves.

Daniel feels his return to music is partly informed by Fort Worth.

“When I see all these young bands that are actually good and have good crowds, man, that was not here 10 years ago,” he said. “When I really started thinking about it, one way or another, we had something to do with that.”

He said not worrying about making money, ever, offered him creative freedom.

“And that probably rubbed off on people,” he said. “It appears that it did. There’s a lot going on, and I think it’s super-fucking awesome. There are enough people who care now. It’s wonderful.”

 

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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