Archive for Troy Jens

RECORDING | Southbound – “I’m Missing You” b/w “Southern Roads”

Posted in recordings with tags on June 28, 2017 by dukewisdom

Troy Jens, 1962 – 2014

Usually this type of post sees me going on and on in great detail about the minutiae of some self-indulgent project I’ve just unleashed. But this post is actually a tribute to my friend Troy Jens, who made his own choice to head off into the woods and not come back three years ago. Some of the below is adapted from a Facebook post I made when his body was discovered on this day in 2014.

did perform on this record, so it belongs here categorically. Way back in 1986-7 I played bass in a band called Southbound led by Troy, a fantastic singer and songwriter who became a good friend and mentor of sorts. We played mostly in the Omaha area, covering whatever bar patrons of that era wanted to hear. (I’m having strong memories of playing .38 Special, Bryan Adams, Bob Seger—very good memories, as a matter of fact, “Old Time Rock and Roll” notwithstanding.) Like many bar bands, we also mixed in a smattering of originals. Troy was steeped in everything from the above classic rock fare to gospel music and all points in between. I think he once told me his favorite singer was Barbara Streisand. At any rate, with this type of background Troy’s tunes were a cut above the type of original music you might hear in the Cabay Lounge in Papillion, NE—and a cut above lots of our cover fodder. Which is how it came to pass that we recorded a single most obscure.

In early ’87 we made a few trips to Topeka, KS (don’t ask me) to record a couple of tracks. The producer played a very smartly arranged bass line on the A-side, “I’m Missing You” (I was an 18-year-old guitar player—what the fuck did I know about it?). And my bass playing can be heard on the B-side, “Southern Roads.” I think it’s actually my only appearance on a vinyl record.

I’m pretty certain this one single is the total recorded output of the band, though Troy did release at least one more 45. I’d fallen out of contact with my old friend for most of the ’90s and ’00s, but we were able to digitally reconnect and share a few laughs and memories later on. I’m thankful for that.

RIP, Troy. Glad I got to know you and make music with you.