published Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Majestico brings raw energy to four-act bill at JJ's - April 25

Graham Fitzpenn is Majestico.
Graham Fitzpenn is Majestico.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


■ What: Majestico, Ranch Ghost, Eight Knives and Thee Finks.

■ When: 10 p.m. Friday, April 25.

■ Where: JJ’s Bohemia, 231 E. M.L. King Blvd.

■ Admission: $5.

■ Phone: 423-266-1400.

■ Website:

Long before he took to wearing a massive homemade headdress and bringing a raw energy to bear on stages in and around Nashville, Graham Fitzpenn couldn't have cared less about performing.

The thrill wasn't just gone, it was like it had never been there at all, he says.

"I was mainly into recording songs and writing them," says Fitzpenn, 32, who now performs under the stage name Majestico.

"Performing seemed boring to me."

And then one day, he had a kind of eureka moment that convinced him that there was value to standing behind the mike.

"I remember one show when it just clicked for me that, 'Hey, it doesn't have to be such a routine. I can be in the moment a little bit more,'" he recalls. "Then, I started writing songs that were geared to that, to playing live."

He says that revelation helped him loosen up. He began throwing himself into shows, singing himself hoarse and pouring sweat in his effort to engage the audience.

That revelation was in 2008, but it wasn't until last week that fans finally were able to get their hands on his second album, "When Kingdom Come," whose 10 tracks feature an aggressive, stage-friendly brand of rock that's reminiscent of classic acts such as T.Rex, The Stooges and The Rolling Stones.

Getting the album pressed and into the hands of the public was a three-year affair, thanks to a series of hiccups and obstacles during the recording and post-production process.

"I look back on it, and basically -- not to be too dramatic -- it was like every step was a battle," he says. "It just sucked everything out of me."

Fans already are well-acquainted with these songs through the live show, he says, adding that he's already compiled enough material for his next project, which he hopes to start working on next week.

On Friday, April 25, Fitzpenn will don his headdress once more when Majestico takes the stage at JJ's Bohemia to perform tracks from "When Kingdom Come" and possibly material from the next project.

If the trial of releasing his second album taught him anything, Fitzpenn says, it's to be less distracted by the necessary evils of the music business and more fixated on performing.

"When I'm playing live, I want to focus on enjoying the moment and connecting with people and not thinking about the next song I'm about to play or whether people will buy records or what's going on tomorrow," he says. "The product doesn't do anything for me; it's life that has value."

Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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