Tech talent has gone nationwide, but returned to Ruston for a homecoming.
Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson, former Tech students, performed with their band, Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, on April 9, at the Lincoln Parish Library.
“It’s awesome to be able to come back and perform for people we’ve grown up with,” Davis said. “The campus has changed a bit since we were here, but it’s still so beautiful and Ruston is a town we will always dearly love.”
The band was originally named ‘Howard Shaft,’ due to something funny that happened to them at Tech, Davis said.
“We did the Tech talent show in Howard Auditorium and we were the first act of the night, and received a standing ovation,” Davis said. “The night went on and no one else received a standing ovation, so we thought for sure we had won it.”
When the award recipients were announced the band had failed to receive any winning placement at the show, Davis said.
“After the talent show Clay’s dad told us we got the shaft,” Davis said. “We got the shaft in Howard Auditorium, so the band was then named, ‘Howard Shaft’, and that’s how it all started.”
That band did over 200 shows for five years that allowed them to see most of the country, he added.
The present band performs mainly music from the 30s, 40s and 50s, Davis said.
“There’s something about a song with a beautiful melody and compelling lyrics that will never go out of style,” Davis said.
He said the songs they perform are solid and sturdy to the core, which means they will last forever.
“Music of today has somewhat declined in sincerity,” Davis said. “Music of today is a substitute of musicianship and musicality for energy.”
Sabrina and Buckner Smith, a married couple in attendance, said they were thoroughly impressed by the performance they witnessed.
“The band was able to really bring to life the old-time greats such as, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mercer,” Sabrina said. “The vocalist really impressed me with his range of inflection as he sang.”
Buckner said he was not only impressed with the vocalist, but the overall band because of the multiple talents each member possessed with the ability to play numerous instruments.
Johnson said Davis is in charge of managing and selling their talent while he coordinates most of the show.
“He does what I can’t in the marketing world while I do what he can’t, and that’s sing,” Johnson said.
Davis and Johnson said they have been best friends since the seventh grade.
“If you could imagine getting the opportunity to do in life what you would for free and making a living at it, and then doing it with your best friend, it really is unbelievable,” Davis said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t count my blessings for it.”
The band will return to Tech for the first time since they departed after their studies on Friday, in the Quad, Johnson said.
“We are beyond excited to have the opportunity to return to a place we both share such valued memories of and perform side-by-side just as we did years ago,” Johnson said. “We thoroughly enjoyed tonight and are looking forward to returning to Tech on Friday.”
Email comments to phh...@latech.edu.