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Boasting Weak: The Rock ‘n’ Role Model Interview 
Presented by psychologist, Dr BLT 
It was a sunny, rather hot late July morning at Starbucks on Rosedale Highway near Calloway, the same place where my historic interview with Lost Ocean took place.  

In a rare moment, Jared and Mary Beth Dragoun, known collectively as Boasting Weak, were spotted by me, and so I took the opportunity to come right out and ask them for an interview.  They graciously took me up on my request, and, within minutes, they joined me at my table for a talk I’m sure they won’t mind you listening in on.  

What transpired was not simply an interview.  It was a meeting of the minds, and a meeting of the hearts that inspired this brand new song:

*Weak Knees*
words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2008

So, if you’re so inclined to ease drop on our conversation, you’ll learn a lot about this Bakersfield post-British-invasion duo, and about the application of a very important scripture passage given to us by the Apostle “Thorn in the Flesh” Paul.  

Wait---let me take one more bite of my Maple Oat Nut Scone and one more sip of coffee…. 
 Ok.  Go ahead.  Listen in.  Listen up, as you flex your conspicuous lack of spiritual muscle.  This is my interview with Boasting Weak:

Dr BLT: I’m fascinated by the name of your act.  How did you come up with that name, and what is the significance of it?

Jared: We came up with the name from a verse in scripture 2nd Corinthians 12:9 that talks about boasting in weakness so that Christ would prove to be more powerful.  If we boast in our strengths then that makes us look good, but if we boast in our weaknesses, that makes Christ look good.

Dr. BLT: I really like that.  That’s cool, you know, isn’t there a verse that also says something to the effect that our weakness is an opportunity to demonstrate his strength?  

Mary Beth: Absolutely.  There’s a lot of them throughout the New Testament­a lot of passages that refer to that paradox.  

Jared: The part of that verse that our name comes from is the second part.  The first part is “My grace is sufficient for you.  My power is made perfect in weakness.”  So, you hit it right on the button.  

Dr BLT: Okay, so tell me, what was your inspiration for getting together as a musical team, and what was the first project you worked on?

Mary Beth:  Well, we got started in college.  We met in our junior year of college at Middle Tennessee State University.  We were both studying music.  Jared came to the table with some songs he had written.  I listened to them, and I thought they were really good.  I was singing in a worship team.  We both just had a real interest in music, and as things progressed in our relationship, our music also progressed, and we started writing together.

Jared: Seven years later, we finally have some fruit of our labor.  This one that we just released a few weeks ago is self-titled.  It’s actually our first full-scale, full-length effort.  

Dr BLT: Well that’s very unique.  There are very few acts out there that are duos made up of a husband and wife collaboration.  Paul McCartney pulled it off with his wife a part of his back-up band.  

Jared: If we could get close to that (chuckle) we’d be doing pretty good. 
Mary Beth: When we write together, we think it’s a marriage builder, because it’s difficult, and you have to really communicate.  I come to the table with my style, and he comes to the table with his, and with his biases in music, so when we have to bring those together, it makes for an interesting mix.  

Our CD is probably a little more on the eclectic side of music.  We’re both representing different genres that we enjoy.  

Dr. BLT: Is there a particular type of group, a particular type of  individual, or age group that your music most appeals to?  

Jared: We’ve had a lot of positive response from many different age groups, but I would say that if there’s anybody we’re targeting, it’s young adults.  We think that our music might be especially enjoyable for somebody that is college age, or 20- something.  On the other hand, we have 15-year-olds that are really enjoying our stuff---even some 60 year olds.  I don’t think they really understand it, but they sure are enjoying it.  

Dr. BLT: Okay, now, how do you put it all together?  Who does what?  What are your respective roles in Boasting Weak?  
Mary Beth: I’m more of a lyricist…and I can think of melodies in my head, but Jared is a true musician.  He makes it all work.  He takes the lyrics.  He takes the melodies in my head, and then, also, he’s an amazing lyricist.  He just puts it all together in a very nice package.  

Jared: I like how she admits that I can get the lyrics out of her head.  She actually does have to verbalize them.  I can’t read her mind.  I try to add some organization to her scattered creativity, and put it all in a song (said with a touch of playful sarcasm).

Dr. BLT: Now, you said your songs were eclectic.  What are some of your influences? And then, what do you bring that’s new, to those influences, to make it your own?  

Jared: We have several favorite artists of many different genres.  I personally really like British rock.  Muse is probably my favorite band.  We both really like Dameon Reichs.  Mary Beth and I really like some of the jazzier artists, like Fiona Apple…

Mary Beth:  or Peggy Lee 
Jared: Yes, or Regina Spector---a phenomenal artist.  The interesting thing is, a lot of people will listen to our music, compare us to some big-name artists that we’ve never heard of, so we know for sure that we’re not trying to copy those artists.  

We kind of just have our own style.  We’re not writing for a particular genre.  We just write what comes out, and so, you’ll notice on the record, stuff that’s straight-up jazz, and there’s other stuff that’s weird, eclectic British rock.  

We’re not necessarily writing for the radio, or for huge crowds, so we just enjoy ourselves.  
Mary Beth:  I think that’s kind of been the joy of writing this album, because we’re not necessarily writing for the masses, we’re writing it to express our own creativity.  

Dr. BLT: You know, the kind of interesting thing to me is that you guys and Lost Ocean sort of represent a new kind of Bakersfield British invasion.  You’re both heavily influenced by British acts, and it reminds me of how Buck Owens was inspired by the Beatles, and the Beatles, by Buck Owens.  

They recorded Act Naturally, and then he went back and recorded it with Ringo Star, as a duet.  
Bakersfield is kind of a place where weird stuff like that can happen.  Buck Owens was not, of course, traditional country­he had his own unique, rebel style.  

Dr. BLT: That’s kind of how I see you tying in with the other bands I’ve been interviewing.  I’m trying to get a dialogue going between musicians and fans, from the old Bakersfield sound era, and modern artists of various genres that have their roots in the Bakersfield sound, and the Americana, or, as I call it, AmeriKerna, music that has come out of Kern county of late.    

I’d like to see everyone in this community coming together instead of everybody just doing his/her own thing.  
That brings me to my next question.  I’m wondering if you feel that country artists have anything in common with rock, or alternative, or even R&B acts?  Do we really need to hold on to these categories?  

Jared: Well, Mary Beth’s from the country.  She’s from Tennessee.  So she knows country music, and I’m from Bakersfield, so I know some country music too.  I have no problem, I think we’re all better off if we’re not too strict with our categories.  

I don’t know how much country you’ll hear on our record, but I think a mix of different genres is great.  We thought about how fun that would be to include a little bit of that in our next record.  

Mary Beth: Whenever you start blending music, that’s when you can get a little more creative, and, I think, a little more interesting.  I like it when you have a rock song, and then they come in with a little rap. That’s cool.  

Dr. BLT: And then, there’s the new style of hick hop, which combines R&B and rap.  
Jared: We’ve got a little bit of opera on one of our songs, and a little Spanish-sounding music.  
Dr. BLT: Well, Buck Owens also mixed in a little bit of that Spanish style, so there’s another connection that you guys have to that Bakersfield sound.  Also, speaking of opera, there’s that relatively new act called Mika.  They have that song called Grace Kelly, and they bring in opera, in the style of Queen.  In fact, the first time I heard it, I could have sworn it was Queen, but the voices sounded younger.  

I wanted to also ask you, how can people hear your music?  How can they begin to follow you, and to stay in tune with what’s going on with Boasting Weak?

Jared: Our main promotion right now is through the internet, so you can always log in to 
That connects you, right now, to our myspace page.  We’re very strict in keeping everything up to date on there­our show dates and stuff.  Also, if you come to one of our shows, you can sign up to be added to our email list. 

We’re doing mostly Bakersfield stuff right now---along with central California, and southern California stuff in the near future.  You can purchase our CD at that same sight, right off of our myspace page.  

Dr.  BLT: You know, it’s exciting that you guys are doing something that taps into the soul.   There’s a lot of music out there that’s fun, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it, but your music allows folks to get in touch with the spiritual meaning underlying your songs, rather than only engaging people on a superficial level.  

Jared: I agree with you. The music itself has a spiritual aspect to it, but with our lyrical content, we’re trying to add even more value than just the music by itself.  

It contains the element of our goal, and our faith.  We want to share that information about our faith with other people.  

Mary Beth:  We want our songs to get people to stop and think. It’s easy to just make people feel good, but for us, if Jesus Christ weren’t in our lives, we really wouldn’t have anything to write about.  Life wouldn’t be so trying.  We would just do what we wanted to do all the time, but because we’re constantly battling our flesh, what we want to do that’s wrong, vs. what’s right, and those things are coming together­that’s what we write about.  

So there has to be a deeper level of intimacy in our songs, because that’s what we sing about.  
Well, folks, that’s where it ended---on a vulnerable note with lots of humility and plenty of weakness-boasting.  They went back to their table, and I went back to my day job.  I went back, feeling a bit weaker, and a bit better off for it.  

Weak Knees 
Inspired by interview with Boasting Weak 
Words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2008 
Boasting in their weakness 
They sat down and poured their hearts out 
Like the coffee that was poured into my cup 
Boasting in their weakness 
They revealed two hearts so tender 
Taking what was down 
And bringing it right up 
Weak knees 
Weak trees 
Fallin’ down to worship with their song 
Weak knees 
Weak trees 
Pout out their heart and soul 
‘till of their weaknesses were gone 

Boasting in their weakness 
Just a young man and woman 
Who were joined by that which 
Tore their hearts apart 
Boasting in their weakness 
They were drowning in the sorrow 
They would turn into a joyful 
Place to start 

How seldom 
We boast in weakness 
How seldom we boast in our weakness 
How seldom we fall down on these knees 
How seldom we bow our heads before him 
But weakness is the only way he’s pleased 


Copyright © 1996 - 2008 The Phantom Tollbooth