Rock and read: the Fort Worth Library is the city’s latest music venue

A full band playing music inside a library
Jaybirds rock out at the Fort Worth library. Photo: Jessica Waffles

In a heartwarming display of community spirit, the Fort Worth Public Library (Summerglen) played host to a delightful evening of live music, courtesy of the Jaybirds and supported by Amplify 817.

Against the backdrop of book-lined shelves and cozy reading corners, attendees gathered to enjoy the sounds of homegrown talent in a setting that was both familiar and unexpected. Probably the first time some people have worn ear plugs

A sign that says "Amplify Live Music Jaybirds" in front of a seated crowd inside a library
People gathered in the middle of the library to listen to Jaybirds. Photo: Jessica Waffles
A printout on a book shelf that says "National library week"
Jaybirds performed during National Library Week in Fort Worth. Photo: Jessica Waffles

The atmosphere was relaxed yet inviting as the Jaybirds treated the audience to a mix of original songs and familiar covers, including singles from their upcoming album.

The band played previously-released singles like “Sparks,” “My Boo,” and “Crocodile Tears,” which also featured a music video when it dropped. (Check out the music video produced by VIBE Media at the bottom of this article.)

Two musicians singing in a library, as seen through two bookshelves
Through the bookshelves with JP Walsh and Jenna Walsh of Jaybirds for OFF THE RECORD with Amplify 817. Photo: Jessica Waffles
A full band on stage
Jaybirds in action at Fort Worth library. (left to right) Braedon Ward, Connor Mullen, JP Walsh. Photo: Jessica Waffles

The event was the latest in the “Off the Record” series put on by Amplify 817.

Videos of this series from Amplify 817 in the past have been private video shoots (like this one with Court Hoang), but this special event was able to invite the public and have an audience to the band playing music smack dab in the middle of the library. 

The official audio and video elements with the Jaybirds were provided by Allen Joanis of Ketos Creative.

Music Librarian for the Fort Worth Public Library Rita Alfaro talked about this year’s Amplify 817 showcase, which will take place on Saturday, August 17 at a venue to be announced. Check out scenes from the 2022 showcase in this KXT article featuring photos of Averi Burk, Bencjones and more.

A seated audience inside of a library
The audience at Fort Worth library for OFF THE RECORD with Jaybirds. Photo: Jessica Waffles
A full band inside a library
Good vibes with Jaybirds. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jaybirds started coming together in 2018, when bandleader JP Walsh began writing songs with fellow musician Braedon Ward.

“We recorded some stuff and laid down demos,” JP recalled in a phone interview with KXT. “And we were like, ‘lets make a band.'”

Not long after, JP’s wife Jenna Walsh joined on vocals/tambourine, with the band rounding out with Josh Brantley on bass and Connor Mullen on drums.

A musician playing guitar
Braedon Ward from Jaybirds on guitar. Photo: Jessica Waffles
A full band playing in a library
Jaybirds. Photo: Jessica Waffles

“The first album was kinda written over a few different band member, over a long period of time,” JP explained. “The second album has been written with these five members. We think it sounds a lot more like us. Happier, more joyful.”

The new 14-song record they’ve been working on has been recorded at the band’s home studio for the past year, which will include their latest four singles.

“We’re about 95% done with the album at this point,” JP said. “We recorded it at home – we recorded drums and everything in our living room studio. I did all the mixing, with mastering done by Bart Rose at Fort Worth Sound. Hoping to have it out by summertime.”

Seated guests clapping
Guests enjoying Jaybirds. Photo: Jessica Waffles
A musician singing and playing a tambourine
Jenna Walsh of Jaybirds at Fort Worth library for Amplify 817’s OFF THE RECORD. Photo: Jessica Waffles

“We like to make fun of JP,” Jenna laughed. “He’ll write these songs in 1 night, and it’s cool to see them come together. JP will have something laid out, then the guys come in and make it their own.”

Watch the Amplify 817 Youtube page for the official drop of the video content from this event.

Catch Jaybirds playing around town:

  • May 18 @ Black Fox Brewing Co. of Texas (Denton)
  • June 1 @ Fort Worth Library Summer Reading Kickoff (Trinity Park, Fort Worth)
  • June 15 @ The Cicada w/ Hotel Satellite (Fort Worth)
  • June 29 @ Augie’s Sunset Cafe for Fort Worth Roots Summer Music Series (Eagle Mountain Lake)

“Just to sum up most of the when we’re out and about,” Jenna said. “We’re kinda that band that loves on everyone, supports everybody as much as we can. Nobody’s a stranger – we like meeting people and making new friends. It’s pretty important for all of us.”

Band members playing bass, guitar, drums and singing
Getting loud inside a library with Jaybirds. Photo: Jessica Waffles
An assortment of "Amplify 817" stickers, buttons and guitar picks
Free Amplify 817 swag at OFF THE RECORD. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 
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