By DJ Dave Hoffenberg
Oorah! After spending the last four years in the Marines, Jordan Snow finds himself back doing what he loves best: playing music in Killington with his band, K-Town’s Finest. There are many opportunities to see him play — and they’re all at The Foundry. Friday night, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. he plays drums with Jeff Poremski on guitar and Chris Johnson on bass. Then Saturday, Jan. 20 at 4:30 p.m., he does a solo acoustic show; and lastly, Sunday, Jan. 21 at 11 a.m., enjoy brunch while he serenades the audience with some jazz and other cool tunes. I always enjoy seeing Jordan play
and I had the pleasure of speaking with him and catching up on his life.
Snow currently resides with his wife in Attleboro, Mass. It’s there that he gets to perfect his craft, practice his shows and work on his upcoming album, which is due to drop in February. Being a full-time musician is demanding especially since he works in two different states. He used to live in Germany with his dad, Myk Sno. It was there that he wrote a bunch of songs that he and his dad are now remixing for his next album. Snow said, “When I was living in Germany, I wrote a lot of stuff and recorded it already, but then I joined the Marine Corps and forgot I had done it. My dad called me the other day and told me he was working on my album. He said he was looking on the computer and discovered that I had a bunch done and he just had to tweak this and that. He put a couple background vocals on some but he was surprised that I almost had a full album of originals.” Myk Sno used to play in Killington and was an early article subject of mine. He currently plays in Germany, but also has a home studio where he is able to help Jordan.
Snow’s last album had a couple covers on it, one of which is “Hallelujah,” and I absolutely love his version of it. There was a time when that CD never left my car stereo, so to say I’m really looking
forward to his second album would be an understatement. This one will be all originals. Snow said, “I’ve been keeping that pretty close to the chest. Not a lot of people know that, and until three weeks ago I didn’t even know that. I can’t tell you the exact date in February, but as soon as I know, I’ll post some details and have a CD release party.”
Snow has stepped right into his dad’s footsteps here in Killington. K-town’s Finest was his dad’s band at the Santa Fe Restaurant in Killington. Myk was the lead guitar and vocalist, Jordan on drums with Poremski and Johnson. It’s now the same band minus Myk, with a different location. That show is a rockin’ R&B show with all the great standards and is very high energy. Snow spoke of that: “When the opportunity came up to do it again at the Foundry, we as the band decided to keep it primarily what we used to do with soul and R&B. The second set is more danceable and the third set is what we call the ‘Shocker Set.’ You don’t know what we’re going to play. We know what we’re supposed to play but we just look at the crowd and may decide to throw ‘The Weight’ by The Band at them, which is so far from R&B — but we put our own spin on it. We’re supposed to play soul music, but let’s play ‘Long Train Running’ by the Doobie Brothers.” Saturday’s show is a full range of soul, R&B and classic rock tunes. Snow said, “It’s higher paced because it’s happy hour. Keep people happy, keep people drinking. Make the party.” Sunday’s show is acoustic and could be compared to Ray LaMontagne’s Sirius radio station.
Snow, 27, was born in Germany. He lived there for 10 years and then moved to Vermont and grew up in Proctor. From third grade to high school and college, Vermont was home base for Snow. Living in Proctor was great for him because he went to school there and met Aaron Audet, who was his music teacher. He then started playing with Audet in the Proctor Connection. It was Audet who first got him playing on the mountain, doing happy hours at Outback Pizza in 2006-2007. He still plays with Audet, occasionally.
Snow first started out on the drums. He said it’s important to note that even though he sings and plays guitar, it’s the drums that is his passion through it all. He said, “I played drums for Audet; I went to college for drums; and that’s what I did in the Marine Corps. From as long as I can remember, it was the drums. Practically from birth I always wanted to play the drums.” Snow would go to his dad’s shows and he would watch the live band. “It was just something about the drums that attracted me more than anything. My dad would be singing and it didn’t matter, because I just always wanted to watch the drummer and do what he was doing.” His parents bought him a little kit when he was five years old and it was on from there.
He also plays guitar and bass. When he started gigging with Audet and saw him and Poremski and others playing guitar, he wanted to try it. He said, “I always love the drums, but when you’re around musicians like that … I mean, you don’t always have a drum set in your back pocket, but I know many guitar players who have more than one guitar. One summer, I went to Germany to visit my dad and he had guitars laying around, so I would noodle around on his. I think like anything else I just started up with it. I was singing, playing guitar and writing my own music. That was from ninth grade through high school. One summer, my mom said I needed to get a job, so I went to the Price Chopper to get an application. This is to say nothing bad about the Price Chopper and I’m sure it’s a great place to work, but I walked in and realized that wasn’t for me. I walked out, bought a sound system and started gigging playing guitar and singing.”
Snow’s first solo gig was up at the mall at the American Sport Bar and Grill in the summer of 2009. He taught himself guitar and bass and like everyone else, also learned by watching YouTube. He added, “You don’t play with guys like Jeff Poresmski and Aaron Audet and not learn a thing or two. The songs that Aaron picks are amazing. I also used to sit in with Duane Carleton, who is a fantastic player. When I was growing up, these guys on the mountain are who I wanted to be. Killington and Rutland are chock full of guys like this. It’s a great place to learn. Whether you’re watching or playing, you always leave musically satisfied. It feels good.”
Snow graduated Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2012. After graduation, he moved back to Germany for a year. In 2013, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He said, “My cousin Justin was a Marine, dad was in the army and grandfather was in the Army. I don’t want to say the military was a major part of my life, but it was always there, always an option. It wasn’t frowned upon. When I told my dad I wanted to join, he said I would get some discipline. My mom was a different story — she was not too fond of it. [But] she saw it was something I wanted to do and she got on board and supported me all the way.” Snow did the full four years and just recently got out in October 2017.
The main focus of Snow’s writing is songs about people. He explained. “I try and immerse myself in someone else’s feelings or situation. One of my favorite things to do growing up is people watch. I would go to the park with my iPod and just watch relations, watch people walking, talking. Watch relationships fight and makeup. I would then write down and try and see what that person is feeling. Sometime it’s as simple as driving down the road, getting an idea for a song, and pen to paper — the song is done. Sometime it’s a little more than that, and you have to think a lot about it, and you have to feel what that person is feeling even though you may have never been in that situation.”
Snow has some musical influences like Sam Cooke, James Brown and Freddie King. He speaks very highly of Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” album and said it shaped his whole 2016 — and if you buy the album, it will be the best $12.99 you spend. “I love that album.” He also is a big fan of John Mayer and he grew up listening to all his music. “Continuum” is one of his favorite albums of all time.
Snow encourages people to support the arts. He said, “No offense to DJs, but live music is live music. [No offense taken, Jordan]. We should always remember to support the arts in schools. Don’t cut programs for music or art. Without the music program I had in high school, I don’t know where my life would’ve gone. Having a strong program built by Audet that was supported by the community and never messed with, it was always understood that music and the arts in Proctor was always going to be a thing. Budget be damned, because there are a lot of schools in the country that don’t roll with that policy.”
Snow loves doing what he does because he loves the interactions with the guys he plays with. He added, “When you play live it is about the crowd and you’re trying to be the entertainment and give those people a good time. Whether they paid to come see you or they’re just there, you want to get them dancing. That’s important, but really for me it’s playing for your guys. Playing for the guys that stand to your left and to your right. Trying to impress them while keeping the party going. Not make a mistake and not forget lyrics. Keep it interesting for your band mates. There’s a fine line between pleasing the crowd and pleasing your band mates. Every band leader has to juggle that line. When I play with Jeff and Chris, I’m always trying to keep them interested in what I’m doing musically on the drum set or even from the songs that I pick. Every once in a while you have to play a song that maybe the crowd won’t like, but you as a collective group love. That’s the nature of the beast. Sometimes you play a wedding where you don’t play a song you like all night, but you try and keep those songs interesting for your guys. That’s what I love — interaction on stage. Jeff Poremski can take a solo that you don’t know where it comes from, but you’re glad that it came.”
I asked Snow if he was deserted on an island and could only bring one instrument, would it be the drums? He said, “Ya, without question, it would be the drums.”