443

Jackie Greene: Till The Light Comes

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Jackie Greene: Till The Light Comes Jackie Greene's Till The Light Comes is an exercise in style the likes of which there is no precedent in his discography. The precocious California rocker's certainly made the most of his opportunities, since Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh "discovered" him in 2007, but this collaboration with Tim Bluhm (with whom Greene often performs as a duo called The Skinny Singers) is a wholly self-produced affair that bears only slight resemblance to the last two outings overseen by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin. It is, by contrast, a very polished pop production missing a sense of the folk and blues roots that provided a firm foundation for those prior sessions and, in fact, most all of Jackie Greene's previous recordings—and no discernible evidence of his embrace of the Grateful Dead canon either.

The album is comprised of five songs that Greene and Bluhm co-wrote, and a handful of tunes the guitarist/vocalist composed on his own. Most of the former are, like "Shaky Ground," replete with philosophical musings; allusive but no more penetrating than the musicianship which holds static at mid-tempo as the arrangements proceed. On a track like "Stranger in the Sand," Greene and Bluhm have couched their lyrics in a mix too cushy to work as contrast, or function effectively on its own terms.

It's difficult to know who to hold responsible for the misconceived ideas here, or even whether they're misconceptions at all but simply good ideas poorly executed. It may be a fact that Bluhm—who receives first billing on production credits—and Greene are simply unable to be sufficiently objective about their work with each other. "Medicine" and "Grindstone" elevate the pace discernibly, but there's still an overweening sense of the musicians playing too carefully for their own good, and that of the material. Strains of Farfisa organ on "Spooky Tina" and sitar on "1961" sound calculated, though the narrative of the latter number is the most arresting set of lyrics on the entire album.

Upon hearing the well-tailored arrangements of carefully-crafted music and lyrics rendered with an enervating ease, the title, Till The Light Comes, sounds almost like a disclaimer—though the title song itself has more personality than anything on the album. It's as if Greene believed he had to get all this experiment (sic) out of his system so that he could, sometime in the future, create something more distinctive and proportionately substantial.


Track Listing: Shaky Ground; Stranger In Sand; Medicine; Grindstone; A Moment of Temporary Color; Spooky Tina; 1961; Take Me Back In Time; The Holy Land; Till The Light Comes.

Personnel: Jackie Greene: vocals; guitars, Hammond organ, Vox organ, piano, drums percussion; Tim Bluhm: vocals, guitars; Paul Hoaglin: 12-string bass, bass, guitar; John Hofer: drums, percussion; Greg Loiacono:guitars; Bruce Spencer: bass; Jeremy Plog: bass; David Simon-Baker: vocals, percussion; Dave Brogan: drums, percussion; Kenny Blacklock: violins; Patty Espeseth: cellos; Chris Velan: vocals.

Title: Till The Light Comes | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: 429 Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Anybody's Spring" CD/LP/Track Review Anybody's Spring
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Live at Nectar’s" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Nectar’s
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Pole Of Inaccessibility" CD/LP/Track Review Pole Of Inaccessibility
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.