Off the Beaten Track
Maybe it’s the way she lets her hair down on Sunday afternoon. Maybe it’s the ways she romantically attracted to the moon...
Ahhh; what beautiful lyrics! The way Jackie writes is truly one of the things I love about his music. His lyrics are striking … engaging … but mostly, real.
“Jackie who?” you ask … Well, Jackie Greene, of course.
I get more calls about Jackie Greene than any other artist I play on the RustyString Café. Why? I think it's because it seems he’s not an east coast household name … yet. If it was up to me, everyone would know who Jackie Greene is.
Jackie Greene is a singer/lyricist /songwriter, but all in all, a musician: a very gifted musician. He learned to play piano and guitar at an early age, and it shows. Jackie has been performing since he was 20, and has been making records ever since, as well. He’s a left coast guy. Born in Salinas CA, and moved to Sacramento post-high school. Oh, and if his talent isn't enough for my liking, he's a huge baseball fan. Gotta love that!
This is a guy that has toured nationally on his own, as well as with B.B. King, Phil Lesh, RatDog, Susan Tedeschi, Taj Mahal and Buddy Guy, just to name a few. He’s played many of the major festivals including All Good Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Mountain Jam, Grateful Garcia Gathering, Newport Jazz Fest, Newport Folk Fest, SXSW, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, and more. Hard to imagine with this kind of resume, why you still haven’t heard of him?
For New Year’s this year I took a side-trip from my San Francisco Furthur adventure to see Jackie at the first show of his three-night gig at Crystal Bay Casino at Lake Tahoe. The first night he was doing an acoustic solo thing, whereas the next two nights (including New Year’s Eve) he’d be playing with his band (electric). Seated, the venue held 250 people, and of course, it was sold out … for obvious reasons. Though technically not a solo show, he had a buddy with him, Nathan Dale, and trust me, this guy was good! Nathan has his own thing going and you can check him out here: nathandale.com Jackie surely surrounds him self with some fine talent. Nathan accompanied him on guitar the entire show. Again, why hasn't the east coast heard of Nathan Dale? Additionally, another musical friend of Jackie's joined him on stage for a song or two: Jabe Beyer. Jabe, I believe is a Nashville guy. Jabe, too, is SO talented, and is quite accomplished; has six solo albums out. These guys really need to come east! Sorry, no pictures of Jabe. =( But you can check him out at: http://www.jabe.net/Jabe/Home.html
Let me tell you, I have to say Jackie Greene is the real deal…the whole package. He opened with “Cell Block #9” which comes off his 2004 release “Sweet Somewhere Bound.” Though it's an older cd, it's become one of my favorite all-time cds. He played guitar and harmonica for this one, sort of Dylan-style. (Though I wouldn't use their names in the same sentance, a lot of people do compare the two, and for all the right reasons.) Throughout the evening Jackie played beautifully and effortlessly several different acoustic guitars, a resonator guitar (my fav); he played banjo, not to mention he’s so darn proficient, almost magical, on keyboards. He played a nine song first set and took a short break, came back for another set…and then a two song encore that included his newest song that he just had written at Christmastime, the beautiful soulful, “Hallelujah.”
I can’t say enough about this musician. His stage presence is so graceful and humble. His music is that ‘genreless’ music I so often refer to. Some call his sound americana, some say say he's folk, or blues; but don't overlook the fact this guy's got soul(!): he really IS the whole package. His music has appeal to his hometown crowd, the Grateful Dead family and friends (he’ll often throw in a Dead tune or two to his shows). There was a fun mixture of folks in the audience: young and not-so-young, men and women. The women really seem to dig him, though at my view maybe not entirely for the right reasons. There were many heckles from women that, lets just say, admire his looks, especially when he sheds his shirt leaving only his signature vest. I can’t help but think that those folks might be overlooking on his real genuine beauty: his music. Jackie Greene is talent that you just don’t run across every day. I’m happy that he’s getting noticed by the people that count, especially the musicians that know.
I hope Jackie Greene finds time in his schedule to tour the east coast. When he does, I know I’ll be there. I'd like to see him with his entire band. Well worth seeing again, I’d say!
Oh, and I'll tell ya what: I don’t think he’s going away any time soon; he's that good. Oh, and remind me to review his lastest cd. k?
Cell Block #9 (Sweet Somewhere Bound)
Don’t Let The Devil Take Your Mind (Giving Up The Ghost)
Honey, I Been Thinking About You (Sweet Somewhere Bound)
Deal (Jerry Garcia Cover)
I Don’t Live In A Dream (Giving Up The Ghost)
Captain’s Daughter (?)
Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Traditional Cover)
Gone Wandering (Gone Wandering)
Ohio (with Jabe Beyer)
I really can’t tell you (exactly) which songs because I was keeping track on my iPod and it ran out of batteries. This is by memory. =/
Shaken (Giving Up The Ghost)
Tell Me Mama (Gone Wandering)
Holy Moses (Elton John cover)
Everything to Me (Sweet Somewhere Bound)
Cry Yourself Dry (Gone Wandering)
Travelin’ Song (Gone Wandering)
& more ….