The core group of The Flipoff Pirates joined to mob a high school talent show armed with prop costumes and budding musical skills cultivated by their families. Over a quick few years, and a journey filled with everything life can throw, the group had coalesced into a tightly woven unit bound by their mutual love of music and dedication to performance.
Barry Moore hails from the backwoods of Northwest Arkansas and has a feel to fit. A bass player since his early teens, he evokes moods ranging from Laswell’s dub to the funky driving insistence of Claypool. Barry’s chief focus is percussion, has played with Afro-Cuban outfit Segundo, and is currently with the African percussion group Kaboom!!! Barry is frequently featured on demand by many acts in the area.
Jeff Kearney has long been a fantastic guitarist but you’ll leave remembering the voice he has honed through his solo act. Longing to teach music as well as play it, Jeff now approaches the end of his university career. As well as fronting the hugely popular One Ounce Jig, Jeff can be found playing African percussion with Kaboom!!! or presenting artists through his Infinity Productions.
Drummer Marlon Davis brings the most contrasting yet fundamentally perfect sound to the Flipoff Pirates. Trained as a Gospel drummer from a very young age, Marlon has become a musical surgeon in R&B and Gospel styles, playing with hundreds of bands over the years and traveling far and wide. He loves the freedom and improvisational space he now has in the Pirates, and has become a key part of the sound and songwriting force
Jake Weeden brings the counterpoint to Jeff’s silky vocals – rough, insistent, and vexing lyrics ride atop the rhythms of his six string bass. Jake and guitarist Matt Smith trained in Nevada with jazz virtuoso Clint Strong for two years returning with an incredible and irresistible command of their respective instruments. Jake writes his poetry to the rhythm of hard labor and creates the vocal chain-gang rhythms that bind the groove together.
Matt Smith is one of the most talented guitarists currently in the area, fronting his beloved Matt Smith Group (MSG). He has recently released a new album featuring stars Reed Mathis and Jeff Sipe. Matt’s songwriting skill, incredible virtuosity, and keen sense for improvisation combine with his perfectionist attitude towards music to seal the Pirates as an act unmatched in musical discipline and skill.
When the Pirates play together, the melding of minds in music is hard to classify, and no single genre in a drop down list will do the job for long. Putting labels aside, there is a consensus among new listeners, fans and booking agents: The Pirates drive the party forward at an incredible and joyous pace.