Jimbo Valentine unveils Soul of the Phoenix @ the V Club tonite

Jimbo Valentine stands in front of his Hank III mural outside the V Club. Valentine, known for his flyers and photos and art, takes his ambient/doom electronic music project Soul of the Phoenix out live for the first time tonite as part of This Ain't No Disco at the V Club

Reposted from The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

Nobody has been more instrumental in promoting Huntington-area rock shows over the past four years than James Alden Valentine III.

The 32-year old Fairmont native and Huntington resident has, through his Amalgam Unlimited screenprinting and design outfit, been making flyers and designing art for Huntington shows over the past few years, specifically for the V Club.

Whether it’s a big mural of Unknown Hinson on the side of the V Club, art for Hank III or Karma To Burn, band photos he’s snapped at the V, CD art he designs, or flyers, Valentine’s edgy work has been an important part of the Huntington scene.

Now, Valentine will unveil his long-running electronic musical side project, Soul of the Phoenix, live for the first time at the V Club Thursday night. Welcomed and brought out by his friend Brett Fuller (aka DJ Franklin F---in’ Furnace) for the “This Ain’t No Disco” series at the V, whether you call him a musician or not, you, like his many friends, can call Valentine by his normal name: Jimbo.

“Both playing guitar and singing are terms that be can used loosely,” Valentine said over the phone, laughing hard at his own expense, describing the logistics of his first live show.

“Oh man, yeah I’m pretty nervous,” Valentine said of getting up on stage for the first time. “I’ve been stressing out pretty hard. I’ve never planned on playing this live, so now I’m trying to figure it out. I haven’t had as much time as I would’ve liked, but I’m excited about it at the same time.”

Valentine has been busy sorting and arranging the material he’ll play live, taking what he does at home with guitar, synth, drum machine and some samples, and playing it off his laptop, mixing in some live guitar and vocals.

“I’m going to incorporate some new stuff, which is called “Meditations.” It’s a little more ambient. Almost like a little movie soundtrack, with some movie samples sprinkled in.”


Valentine has already released six Soul of the Phoenix CDs online, and has enough unreleased material for a few more releases, he said, whether it’s “Meditations” or his other solo side project, This Drum Machine Kills Fascists.

Valentine, pointing out he’s “not a musician,” said he actually comes from a long line of musicians.

“I grew up in a family that played music,” Valentine said. “My grandfather is a great old school country steel guitar player, my cousin is a country singer, my mom played piano when I was growing up. I always wanted to make music, but just never got into doing it when I was younger.”

While the music may be different (this isn’t your grandparent’s mix of ambient and doom) Valentine faces the same challenge more traditional performers have always faced: keeping people’s attention on stage.

“I’m going to work in a couple of more upbeat tracks at the end, if everyone’s still awake,” Valentine said laughing.

“I just don’t want to bore everyone to death. But that’s where the second guessing comes in; ‘Oh this is going to drag everyone down, they’re going to be nodding off, or whatever.’”

Valentine said he wouldn’t be bringing his solo act out live if not for the support of Fuller.

“Oh it’s really cool,” Valentine said of “This Ain’t No Disco.” “Every week or so there’s been different bands, different styles, and he’ll cater his set to whoever’s playing. But it makes it comfortable for me. He cornered me and asked me ‘Hey man, would you want to do this stuff live?’ I’ve been wanting to but haven’t attempted to put it together. So if it would’ve been anything else I wouldn’t have been as comfortable with it. I’m excited to do it, I’m excited to do it at the V Club, those people are like family to me, so I’m excited.”

Regardless of whether or not casual show goers like his music, or if it’s a “disaster” of a show, Valentine knows he’s made a lot of great friends at the V Club in particular and around Huntington in general.

“I’ve actually made a lot of great friends down here. There are certainly some bad things about Huntington and people that complain about it all the time, but there are great people here who are so supportive of me, especially since I started doing the murals and the art, people come up to me and are like ‘Hey, I seen you at the V Club!’ That’s the diamond in the rough down here for me, is the people and my friends.”

Soul of the Phoenix, Franklin F---in’ Furnace
Where: The V Club, 741 6th Avenue, Huntington (304) 781-0680
When: Thursday, February 17, 10 p.m.
Cost: $3
Online: www.vclublive.com

--- To see Valentine’s artwork and hear his music, visit www.amalgamunlimited.tumblr.com/

Related: Jimbo Valentine Focus on the Flyers feature

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Video: Chuk Fowlord

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