It begins here. Right now. Ready? GO! You are now embarking on a whirlwind, 180-word novella on the history of Jason “JBlynn” Blynn, and Peter “Pete” Harper. The paths of “Pete” and “J” (who will henceforth be referred to without “quotations”) crossed when the outdoorsy, semi-crunchy, straight-out-of-a-Phish-rip-off-jam-band J, a collegiate sophomore at Amherst college, led Pete and a group of his fellow wide-eyed freshmen into the White Mountains of New Hampshire for a 1st year orientation trip. Upon arrival at the second campsite, the group, after a rousing but slightly awkward session of “never-have-I-ever” with a pot of leftover refried beans, discovered that the site’s keeper had not showered in over 3 months. She also possessed one golden retriever, and one banjo. Pete immediately asked to play the banjo and subsequently entertained the group all night singing songs around the campfire. J’s love for dogs prevented him from enjoying even one minute of Pete’s music, but was later told by his trip co-leader that Pete “was pretty good.” And thus it began. J tried to convince Pete to audition for the all-male a cappella group he was directing that year, the world-renowned “Zumbyes.” Pete was quite uncomfortable with the idea. But, J seemed alright and Pete showed up for the audition. Pete ended up joining the Amherst College Zumbyes, even though it was and still is well understood that college a cappella is super lame. After joining the group, they had to be friends. Again, Pete was quite uncomfortable with the idea.
Aside from Zumbye World Domination, Pete and J began strumming guitars and singing “Kumbaya” together. How cute! Craving a band but not finding the necessary counterparts led Pete and J to begin writing and performing acoustically at the Marsh Coffeehouse Open Mic. The two continued jamming and performing together, when finally the end of the year arrived and Pete proposed that J come and live in Chicago to play with his former band mates in a new summer flavor, The Cartwheel Kids. Despite the Sesame Street-like band name, and a super-awkward first show in Winnetka, IL, the band decided to focus on recording, and subsequently turned out A Few of Our Favorites, to a smattering of sales and light applause.
Over the the next few years, Pete and J wrote and performed as much as they could given their busy college schedule of parties, gigs, girlfriends, and procrastination. During the summers they recorded stripped-down acoustic versions of the tunes they were working on, all of which would eventually be released on Without a Band in 2005.
By J’s senior year, Pete and J graduated from the tepid and quite awkward engagements of Marsh Coffeehouse to a handful of private functions for Amherst College and a weekly gig at the famous McMurphy’s Uptown Tavern. And boy was it worth the long walk uptown! Sunday nights began to rock like Mondays, or even Tuesdays that felt like Wednesdays or Thursdays. Needless to say, everyone felt good. Simultaneously, the pair founded their college frat-rock band, The Naughty Muffins! Throwing a party every 3 weeks or so in the infamous Seelye Ballroom, the Muffins were naughty, very naughty. They rocked Amherst College (and select members of the other four colleges in the area) with such landmark shows as Muffstock, Muffaroo, and, of course, Muffapalooza: Back to the Bakery.
Having recently moved to New York City with J’s former band mates, Chris O’Connell and Sarab Singh of Pea Soup, Pete and J perform a maddening number of shows and open mics every week. The duo, now based in New York City, still also plays regularly in the Philadelphia area and has released an album of acoustic tracks, Without a Band, recorded over the years in Philadelphia (and Brazil). Pick up your copy today! And keep an eye out for Pete and J acoustic and electric shows in the near future. They’re wily ones, us two. I mean, those two. Hehe! Like we, I MEAN, Pete and J, would write their own bio! Preposterous!
Now Pete and J would like to say hi.