Jeremiah Maxey & Right Hand Band
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Jeremiah Maxey & Right Hand Band

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"Guitarist writes own lifes song"

It's easy to jump to conclusions about Jeremiah Maxey.

Watch him walk onto a stage and set down a guitar with his one arm and you're sure he's some sort of roadie setting up for the talent.

Then he sits down and starts to play and you realize he IS the talent.

He holds a pick between the third and fourth fingers of his left hand to strum the strings — he has no index finger on his withered left hand — and he uses all that's left of his right arm, a stump cut off at the elbow, to flatten out bar chords down on the frets.

At first, you focus your attention on how he's doing what he's doing.

But after about half a song, you forget all that and just enjoy the music.

The one-armed guitar player isn't just good, he's scary good.

"I wish I could play as well as he can. Most people wish that," says Glenn Maxey, Jeremiah's father and an accomplished guitar player in his own right.

It was Glenn who inspired his son to play in the first place. Fifteen years ago, when Jeremiah and his twin sister, Danelle, were 10, Glenn decided to teach Danelle guitar in her room.

Outside sat Jeremiah, sulking.
Story continues below

"I sat at the door and listened," Jeremiah said. "Just that he was trying to teach my twin something that I didn't know how to do made me insane."

So Glenn, who for the most obvious of reasons hadn't included his son in the instruction, started teaching Jeremiah, too.

He consulted a friend and professional musician regarding how it might be possible for his one-armed son to play an instrument meant for two arms.

The friend told him about open tuning — a way to tune the guitar so the one good arm could take care of the strumming and whatever is left of the other arm could flatten out bar chords.

It was all Jeremiah needed. After that, "Every day I'd come home from school and lock myself in my room for hours, just trying to figure it out."

Such behavior wasn't a surprise. Ever since he was born with a blood condition that threatened not just his arms but his life, Jeremiah had exhibited extraordinary determination and persistence.

"With Jeremiah, it has always been a matter of just figuring out how," says Glenn.

His sister was born first in 1984, a healthy five pounds. A minute later came Jeremiah, just two pounds and struggling. For reasons inexplicable, his blood type was different from that of his sister, mother and father, creating serious clotting problems. At six weeks the doctors amputated the lower half of his right arm. He also lost the index finger and considerable flexibility in his left arm.
But he lived, and more than two dozen surgeries and a dozen years later he practiced so long and so hard on his guitar in his bedroom that it was as if he had two arms — even if the teasing at school reminded him that wasn't the case.

"Kids that age can be pretty brutal," says Jeremiah. "I was pretty self-conscious. But I can remember the moment it all switched."

It was a talent show at Churchill Junior High in Salt Lake. Jeremiah, then 13 and in the eighth grade, entered the contest and was placed last on the program. A procession of marching bands and kids reading poetry, singing pop songs and dancing preceded him.

"Nobody knew I played. I walked out on stage and took off my arm (his prosthetic right arm) and dropped it on the floor next to my guitar. All of a sudden the place went totally silent; they're all like 'OK, what's he going to do now?' I was terrified. I'd planned to play a song of my own, but I was so freaked out I couldn't remember it so I played this Neil Young song, 'Heart of Gold.' Suddenly 1,500 kids were on their feet, going crazy. I won the contest. I was OK after that."

He went home and said to Glenn, "Dad, we've got to book us a gig."

They auditioned at a local bar-restaurant called Gepetto's, were accepted, and the rest is local music history.

"I got the itch," smiles Jeremiah. "I couldn't stop." - Deseret News


"Acoustic All Stars"

Hails from: Park City

The sound: Blues/Folk

You should know: Jeremiah Maxey is a one-armed guitarist who can probably outplay most anyone you've ever met. He performs regularly at Poplar Street Pub and a Gepetto's in Holladay, sometimes with his backup band, The Bad Habits.

Info: www.myspace.com/jeremiahmaxey


- In This Week


"The Eleventh Annual Texas Rockfest A Free For All"

Jeremiah Maxey

Jeremiah Maxey hails from beautiful Park City UT. Jeremiah was born missing his right arm above the elbow but never let it slow him down. At age 12 Jeremiah started learning guitar by studying records by open tuning masters Leo Kottke, Richie Havens, and David Wilcox. Jeremiah's guitar style is unique in the fact that he tunes his guitars in open tunings and plays them in his lap. His speed and slide control have made him a guitarist to watch. - Insite Austin Tx


"SLAMMys 2008 | 19 Things We’re Loving About Local Music Right Now"

One-Hand Band
Park City blues-folk guitarist/singer Jeremiah Maxey has been performing around Utah for more than 10 years with little press or fanfare, despite his grasp of the genre for someone so young, his biting guitar skills and—most obviously—that he has no right arm below the elbow. Maxey, backed by his father Glenn on rhythm guitar, plays his acoustic flat on his lap, fretting open-tuned chords with his right stump while strumming furiously with the backside of his left hand. It’s a sight to behold, but it holds up musically, as well: Close your eyes and it’s just good music, not “special” music. (BF) - City Weekly


Discography

2007-Single Handed- Debut Album (Jeremiah Solo)
2010-Right Hand Band

Photos

Bio

Jeremiah Maxey & Right Hand Band are a high energy rock, blues, and jam band from Park City UT. Right Hand Band is fronted by lead guitarist Jeremiah Maxey who plays one handed. There sound is a mix of rock, blues, and experimental music. With catchy riffs and smoking jams Right Hand Band is gaining fans everywhere they go. If your looking for one of the most unique bands in the land look no further because Jeremiah Maxey & Right Hand Band are coming to a venue near you!