Spotlight on Local Music: Jerry Lee Raines – singer-songwriter, performer and math teacher
By Julien A. Luebbers
For the spokesperson-Revue
Jerry Lee Raines is one of Spokane’s newest professional musicians, having landed on the local scene in just the past two years. Trained as a math teacher but driven by a deep love for the arts, he is a music teacher, recording artist, band member and local solo artist.
“I really try to put my foot in every square inch of water that I can. I am a multi-instrumentalist, student and teacher, ”said Rains. “Really, I’m just a passionate musician with a passion for art. I like to teach people what I can about it, learn what I can about it and then be able to do it as much as I can.
The life of a musician in Spokane has been exactly that. Raines teaches at Post Falls Music Academy, takes the time to work on his records, and performs all over the Northwest Interior as a solo artist and as a member of the 11-piece Soul Proprietor.
With live shows in particular, Raines keeps busy. Including private events, he performed over 20 shows last July. A live audience “makes music something completely different,” he said. “It’s almost like a transfer of energy.
“And I don’t want to do metaphysics here, but it’s really something that you can’t touch but can really feel. And I like to see the smiles on the faces of people who enjoy music.
The process of recording and writing offers a whole other attraction: the reflection and the time to get to know each other.
“You get a really good view of yourself when you record music and listen to it and go through the process of making it sound the way you want it to,” Raines said.
“But this is the process to make it happen.”
Raines’ debut EP, “When I Get Home,” is finished and he sells hard copies of the record at his concerts. The record recounts his journey to this present moment, physically and personally.
He is mostly made up of bass, drums, guitar and keyboards, all instruments that Raines knows deeply, but what stands out is his voice and the clear vocals he produces – crisp as he hovers over the floor. background.
Off the stage, Raines finds an intersection between his training as a math teacher and his passion for the arts in music education.
“It’s really very rewarding to be able to come back to my passion for so long,” he said of the teaching.
There was a point in his career when, busy playing for bars and nightclubs, he thought he might not have the chance to work as a teacher. But the opportunity presented itself and he seized it.
“Now I can help lead future generations of musicians,” he added.
“I think my biggest dream is to see someone I’ve taught an instrument to grow up and do something like what I do, maybe even better.”
And while he emphasizes the technical side of music to his students, he works just as hard to inject meaning into what they do.
“Anyone can play an instrument after a lot of practice and learning,” he said. “But the way to be really great is to enjoy it.”
Raines has never forgotten what it is like to be a student, however, inexperienced and new to an instrument. At the moment, for example, he is learning to play the cello.
If anything was clear from talking to Raines, it’s that he deeply appreciates what he’s doing. Each of the many aspects of his musical life brings a different approach to art to his life and career, making him a musical jack-of-all-trades.
Engaging performer, talented songwriter and inspiring teacher, Raines brings life and energy to the local scene. For more information, visit his website jleeraines.com and follow him on Instagram @JerryLeeRaines.
Julien A. Luebbers can be contacted at [email protected]