Showin' Tell

Don't Bring This Band With You To School

Showin' Tell has crafted dark, yet catchy songs, used to deliver its lyrical message about staying strong in life and relationships to its listener. On its latest release, "Tuesday Afternoon," the band performs its vibrant, powerful songs with conviction.

"I think we capture the energy of 'modern rock' bands, but we do it with the raw heartfelt emotion of what 'rock-n-roll' was meant to be," said Jeska, the band's lead vocalist/guitarist.

With Jeska's emotionally vibrant voice leading the way, the band's music can clearly evoke a number of emotions from its listener.

Its style can make the listener recall many bands of the present and past.

"Each one of us is influenced by different styles of music," Jeska said. "I am heavily influenced by Janis Joplin. She was a passionate woman; you can feel her pain when you listen to her music."

"Every band can learn something from Kiss," said Nicolino, Showin' Tell's drummer. "They are marketing geniuses and put on an amazing live show."

Showin' Tell performed at the SXSW festival in March. The band has showcases lined up with Indiegrrls, GoGirls, and Texas Independent Artists, along with a number of other shows set on the East and West coasts.

Jeska has been no stranger to the entertainment business since she was a teenager. She played a young Mariah Carey in that artist's video for "Always Be My Baby" and represented New Jersey in the nationally televised Miss Teen USA Pageant in 1996. Jeska has also appeared on the Conan O' Brien show, along with many commercial and industrial films.

Jeska and Nicolono started Showin' Tell in the summer of 2002. Jeska said that both members instantly had a musical connection after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance.

"We've made a few changes to the rest of the band lineup over the past few years, trying to find that perfect fit," Jeska said.

After a few line-up changes, the band added Kate on guitar/vocals and Derek on bass, a move which Nicolino said had a positive effect on Showin' Tell's musical growth.

"We are very serious about the band," Nicolino said. "We treat it as a business, so we had to replace our bassist in 2005. Not only are [Kate and Derek] like minded about the business, we all collectively write new material and bounce ideas off one another. We aren't just band mates, we are friends."

Determination has been the key factor towards the band's staying power, Jeska said. The band's members know what they want and aren't afraid to sacrifice and work for it, she said.

"Just like any other band, we've been through some ups and downs along the way," Jeska said. "All the bumps mean nothing when compared to all the small steps towards success. We are proudly sponsored by Jagermeister, Sam Ash, Daisy Rock Guitars, Dirtbag Clothing and Philadelphia Brewery Dock Street Beer. Sometimes it is difficult for us to manage practice, promoting, and performing along with working our day jobs and attempting to spend some time with family and friends."

The Internet is an effective tool for bands to promote and network, Nicolino said.

"It's unbelievable how many websites are geared towards indie artists," he said. "You can promote on MySpace to people 1,000 miles away or right down the street. There are also many indie professionals who are readily available to help you mange to business of your band."

MP3s and digital media make "near-free" and international distribution of music possible, Derek said. "It's just up to the artists to create the buzz and generate the demand," he said.

But there is always that common frustration felt by an independent band trying to break into the mainstream, only to learn that radio execs only pay attention to signed artists.

"Most mainstream radio stations will not play a band unless they are signed, but you won't ever get signed unless people know you and your music," Jeska said. "Definitely a catch 22!"

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Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.