A Linfield iconic band, Jack Ruby Presents, has built itself quite a reputation on campus, but once Spring Semester finishes, the band will depart from Linfield, leaving an unparalleled musical legacy in its wake.
The group formed when seniors Jesse Hughey, Chris Hernandez and Melissa Davaz began playing music together as freshmen. Drummer Aaron Owens, no longer a student at Linfield, joined later to complete the band’s current lineup.
For the past two years, the band has been developing and refining its sound. Its effort culminated in a three-month-long project and full length, debut album, “Over Wires and White Plains,” which was released May 15 through Alaska’s Home Skillet Records.
The album captures the band’s endeavors and perfected sound and establishes their unique genre, reflecting the diverse musical backgrounds of the members.
Owens explained that he grew out of his punk influences to play new styles with the band and learned more about music at Portland State University.
“I was a big punk rocker/ska guy. I liked to play fast,” he said. “I used to play shows, and I would be drenched in sweat after like 20 minutes, and now we can play a two-hour set and there won’t be a drop of sweat on my forehead.”
Owens’ particular style is prominent in the new album’s clean, swinging dance beats.
“I feel like I’ve really taken all that energy and condensed it into a much neater package,” he said.
The band was proud of the album, referring to it as a more accurate portrayal of how they sound compared with EPs released in the past.
“And you don’t feel bad when you’re selling it,” Owens added.
“We put out a five-track EP two years ago around this time, and we rushed through it. And then two months later, we sounded completely different than what we recorded,” Hernandez said. “[Now] we have something that we’re proud of, and we’re proud to sell to people.”
Jack Ruby Presents performed its final Cat Cab om May 20 to commemorate its time at Linfield. The show lasted more than an hour with many students singing along or dancing.
Hughey said he was humbled and often surprised to see people singing along. Davaz mentioned the band’s gratitude for its fans’ support not only of them as a band but also as people.
Freshman Alyssa Hood said she thought the show was awesome and always enjoys seeing the band perform.
“I love it when Jesse [literally] gets up on the drums; I think it’s great, and everybody just goes wild,” she said.
Many students bought CDs and praised the band after the performance, solidifying Linfield’s support for the group.
The band, although it will miss Linfield territory, is looking forward to continuing its musical pursuits, beginning with a series of concerts in the Portland area during the summer.
They leave behind a legacy, and will be missed by much of the Linfield population.
“We’re very much humbled by the group of people who have supported us for the last two years,” Hughey said. “Thank you.”
By Braden Smith/Managing editor