Posts Tagged ‘Jim Spencer’

Jim Spencer, St. Louis Business Owner, Winds Down with Music

In Music on November 19, 2011 at 6:30 am
Jim Spencer on Forsyth Street

Jim Spencer on Forsyth Street

Under the black and gray awning of the Busch Guitar Studio on Forsyth Street, Jim Spencer holds a Dobro in one hand and a cell phone in the other. The cell phone, says Spencer, is getting set to silent.

As this St. Louis entrepreneur and busy dad enters the studio, Jim Spencer’s demeanor seems to switch from executive to introspective. He explains that he plays the guitar for fun, and as a way to keep himself focused. As the owner of a successful marketing firm, Jim Spencer knows that having a versatile range of daily activities helps to keep the feeling of burn at bay. After thirty years of running his own company, Jim Spencer knows just how important that is.

Jim Spencer’s musical interests range from Pink Floyd to old school jazz sounds. St. Louis is a city ripe with budding musicians, says Spencer, and it’s a great town to meet other players. There are times when Spencer likes to sit back and just listen to other artists play; St. Louis is full of music venues, like the Old Rock House on 7th Street.

According to Jim Spencer, there is something about the sound of a guitar sending its melodic harmonies through the air. Playing music is a form of therapy that allows people to really get in touch with what they are thinking and feeling, he says. Psychologist use Music Therapy to help patients in their practice. Even garden centers in the area, chuckles Spencer, play music to help their plants get fuller and more beautiful. He isn’t sure if it works, but says it couldn’t hurt.

Aside from being good for the soul, Jim Spencer says that playing the guitar is just plain fun. Plucking away, finding new sounds, hitting the steel strings with a metal slide and letting the sounds trail off in different directions can make even a grown man feel like a boy again.  And while Jim Spencer is not a boy any more, music does help him stay young at heart.

Rock of Ages: Musical Influences of Guitar Hobbyist Jim Spencer

In Music on October 30, 2011 at 6:30 am
Jim Spencer St. Louis

Jim Spencer St. Louis

Sitting comfortably on an old wooden chair at the Busch Guitar Studio in St. Louis, Jim Spencer gently strums the steel strings of his Spruce top acoustic. The notes are unmistakable: Here Comes the Sun.  The Beatles, says Spencer, are an influence on his playing style left from childhood. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, Spencer found music a part of everyday life, and it has followed him well into adulthood.

Jim Spencer credits groups like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and more contemporarily, Nirvana as having a major impact on him.  There is something about music, says Spencer, that sets the soul free and allows the mind to clear. St. Louis is a town full of musical history, and he is proud to call the Gateway City home. Many talented musicians hail from St. Louis, including Cheryl Crow.

Playing for fun, muses Spencer, is just that. Fun. He is learning the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here” and from the look in his eyes, he’ll get it quickly. Spencer is lost in the melody; anyone familiar with the tune is sure to understand why.

The 90s brought the alternative group Nirvana into Jim Spencer’s play list. The nervous sound of Kurt Cobain’s voice belting out confused yet beautiful lyrics intrigued him. Jazz music, says Spencer, is another genre that has a direct impact on his guitar playing style, and as luck would have it, St. Louis is a fantastic city for catching Jazz festivals underneath a clear summer sky. A favorite of this St. Louis native is Al Di Meola, a talented Jazz guitarist and an artist that Spencer often tries to emulate in his guitar play. In fact, Jim Spencer has many musical influences and, as he grows as a musician, their predominance will no doubt begin to fade, allowing his own personal style takes shape.