J.R. Wilbur's Mood Swings Takes You on a Nostalgic Journey

Check out J.R. Wilbur's album, Mood Swings. His album features four female singers and the songs will transport you back to our younger days of the 60s and 70s.

J.R. Wilbur was born in Lowell Massachusetts, the home of Jack Kerouac and Bette Davis, in 1949. His childhood and early life were challenging due to a disabling work-related injury, sustained by his dad at the factory where he was employed, when J.R. was seven years of age. This resulted in a severe shortage of financial assets, which were needed by the family. J.R.’s family lived on insurance checks for the next seven years until his parents divorced when he was fourteen. It was around this time that J.R. first saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Like many his age, he said to himself “I want to do that”! He and his best friend bought guitars and started a band shortly afterwards. The band played high-school dances and battles-of-bands etc., but never achieved any real prominence.

After a stint in the army, J.R. again tried to form bands but found that the music scene, at that time, had changed considerably since his entrance into the army. He had also become a married man by this time. He had begun writing songs in his early twenties, but did not have the funds necessary to record them as it was necessary to go to a professional recording studio at the time. He was thirty-one before he was ever able to pay for professional demos at a professional recording studio. He entered song contests, and mailed out demos to record companies, as many or most did at that time, but has had no recognition to date. He eventually recorded two CDs which did not sell due to lack of promotion, which was never J.R.’s area of expertise.

J.R. settled into a job as a recreational therapist at a local hospital, playing his guitar for patients of all ages and backgrounds. He also enlisted his best friend, from the first early band, to work in a volunteer status, and they continued to give free shows to the patients for the next fifteen years. This was perhaps the most rewarding work of his musical career. J.R. retired from the hospital in 2010. After surviving cancer in 2003, and again in 2016, he decided to record an album, titled Mood Swings, this time enlisting the vocal talents of four female lead singers named Sharon DiFronzo, Mara Bettencourt, Robin Hardy-Groce, and Karen Ranieri. The songs vary widely genre-wise and are reminiscent of female singers of the 60s, 70s and 80’s. The genres include Country Novelty, Country and Jazzy ballads, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Blues. The album is currently only available for digital download. You can hear song-samples at https://jrwilbur.bandcamp.com/album/mood-swings if interested or curious!


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