MAGAZINE: Weir in Tune

Rachel Riley

From The Bark magazine, Winter 2011 A talented student musician looks to his future in or out of the music business. From being a talented musician and fluent speak­er of the German language to the great nephew of cake-maker Duncan Hines, Bearden senior Jimmy Weir is a pretty interesting guy. But Weir is perhaps most noted by his peers for his performing abilities. “I’ve learned some acoustic guitar,” Weir says. “I play electric and a bit of upright base. “I also play mandolin, ukulele, and I like to sing a jaunty tune or two.” Music has been Weir’s hobby throughout high school. As a freshman, he was a band member of Uncles T.J.’s Flying Caboose with former Bearden students Jonny Edwards, Randy York, and the late Justin Householder, who placed first in the 2009 Battle of the Bands. These days, Weir has taken up playing with the Harp Dawgs and Bearden Jazz Band. He has also decided to team up with Bearden alumni Cody Kraft and Nicky Sisco; the trio are calling themselves The Power Converters and looking into recording a few songs. As for his selection in music, Weir prefers a variety of mostly alterna­tive music that “explores the bounds of funky riffs combined with the edgy sound of rock, but with a nice beat to it”. “Jimmy is just a solid musician all around,” Weir’s close friend and senior Austin Fray says. “He is dif­ferent in that he does not follow the crowd. “I really admire that in him.” Weir played at the WDVX Blue Plate Special with the Harp Dawgs on Dec. 27. Club sponsor Coach Barry Faust also hopes the group of student musicians will be making a few more appearances during the school year. “We’ll play the Knox­ville marathon next April,” Coach Faust says. “We always do that, and if something comes up in between if I get a gig somewhere, Jimmy knows he can come and play.” Weir’s role of playing blues harmonica and guitar is crucial within the group. “He makes the Harp Dog Club,” Faust says. “He is the Harp Dogs.” What comes next after high school for Jimmy Weir? A profession in music, he says, may not be for him. “I’d like to at least get further education before I’d choose that as a major career,” he says. Weir plans to attend Pellissippi for a semester or two before transferring to University of Tennessee Knoxville. He is currently considering a career in the biology field. “I was really good at anatomy and physiology, and then I picked up a book on pathaphysiol­ogy, and that was just as enlightening,” he says. In the meantime, Weir will stick to music and continue to be inspired by the “classics,” like James Brown and George Clinton & P-Funk. “Hearing music that makes me smile makes me want to make other people smile,” Weir says of his musical motives. And since he began playing for church as a kid, Weir has been trying his best to do so. His ultimate goal? Becoming a performer with “the technical skill of Victor Wooten with the explorative spirit of Les Claypool, and the intensity of Flea.” “I’m still learning and teaching myself every day, just how to sound better and make some interest­ing noises and sounds,” Weir says. Rachel Riley is the news editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.