Fort Stories

If you haven't heard about this local Jacksonville band, let me ask you, do you need help moving your rock? Fort Stories is a beautiful local seven piece folk/indie band. I heard the beginning of Fort Stories in an old building on Margaret Street a while ago, and I knew I wanted to feature them! I eagerly asked and quickly found out that they were barely formed, even perhaps without a name. I waited patiently until they fully formed, and I’m glad they’re here and performing around town. They debuted last July, and since then have played multiple shows around town. If you were at One Spark, which I expect you were, perhaps you heard them? They played at least seven shows during those 5 days.


All members of this band are some of the nicest, genuine humans you'll ever run in to. We were able to catch up with Jesse, lead vocalist. Fort Stories started with a couple of the guys and just an idea. As each one had been a part of a musical endeavor before, they just wanted to put together something they were proud of. My next question was, does Fort Stories mean anything? Remember when we were all a little bit tinier humans, and we’d crawl under those home made forts that we were really couch cushions and our comforters in our parents’ living rooms? There’s a “comfort that is born within the walls of those blankets.” Needless to say, there are memories to remember and stories to be told inside of that fort. When you listen to them you can hear a common thread of honesty and sincerity in their voice and melody, just as when you were little and your heart was just a little bit more genuine.


All 7 of these guys and gal could probably tell you a different reason that music is important to them, but what you need to know is that for each of them, their passion for making music has a root, a tether , and when they create together, you can tell. One of my favorite things that Jesse shared with me was when I asked him why he thought it was important for people to share their music. His response,  “I don’t think the sharing part is necessarily the important aspect. I think it’s more important that these songs get written, because for a lot of the members of this band, what we are doing is kind of a therapeutic release from what we typically do. Sharing what we put a lot of work into and getting a welcomed response is justification. And that is an amazing feeling.” It’s responses like that that make me want to sign them up for every event I know of. If everyone let me, I’m pretty sure I’d single-handedly burn them out. They write and create for themselves, there’s no selfish secretive gain coming from their music. A compliment to them goes to the heart, not brushed off the shoulder.dsc_4901

We had to ask how they felt about our city. Most members of the band are from here, and if not from here, they’ve been here for at least the past 6 years and decided to stay here. They’ve all fallen in love with Jacksonville, and they’re excited to watch its strides to becoming one of the most desirable cities as it looks towards the future. Fort Stories is excited to be a part of and help Jacksonville’s thriving music scene. Each member has found favor in our downtown, as they see it as a community that only keeps progressing. Again, if this past week at One Spark wasn't a visual progression to you already. If you see any of these guys around, make sure you let them know you read their story. Even more important, make sure you listen to them! Grab their EP Mean Winter!  You can listen to it here. Just as we constantly pressure the point of supporting a local business, we want to put emphasis on supporting our local music. Truly, together we’re making a difference in our city and it comes with support from one another. Follow them through social media and keep up to date on upcoming shows.photo1

Fort Stories playing in front of The Volstead during One Spark 2014
Amanda Gibson
Photography by Morgan Burden