Leading Average jazzes St. Joe

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The title super group is usually reserved for already famous musicians who come together to make music in addition to their own individual careers. As far as fame goes this title is a little premature for a local band “The Leading Average,” but in terms of talent the group is already there.

The four-person group, led by singer-songwriter Marcus Words, has been playing local venues for nearly 3 years. Accompanying Words are local musicians Jesse Boley on drums, Andy West on bass guitar, and Colby Walter on keyboards and lead guitar.

“It’s a real joy for me to get the opportunity to be the lead guitarist,” Walter said. Marcus has always had a way of bringing great player’s together.”
Marcus Words plays at locar bar Hammerjacks. Photo | Ryan Scorggins
Unlike many bands in St. Joseph, The Leading Average plays a wide range of music. While most groups focus on cover music these guys have a tendency to play originals. Most of the band’s covers are 90s’ hits with an occasional remake of a country or soul song.

The Leading Average has been steadily booked around town since Words returned from a trip to Pebble Beach last summer in an effort to gain exposure. Hammerjacks, The Acoustic Café, Magoon’s Delicatessen and Room 107 are just a few out of a handful of bars where you can catch these guys. The faithful crowd of fans that comes out to support them sometimes fills the seating before the first set begins.

Their upbeat tunes and meaningful lyrics, combined with raw talent and positive attitudes make it easy to see why they have such a following.

“It’s cool to see people coming back night after night,” Western music major West said. “I like it when I can look out and see people are enjoying what they are hearing.”
Words and “The Leading Average” together have something special. The way they bounce solos between one another gives their music a jazz band feel without overshadowing Words’ rich vocals and thoughtful lyrics.

“I think it is the responsibility of musicians to always influence for the positive,” Words said.
To check out The Leading Average online before you see them live you can visit: http://www.myspace.com/theleadingaverage.

For more on, bands, local bars and restaurants in St. Joe, see the PDF of our April 8 issue on the front page.

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