Artist: Jackie Greene
Album: Back To Birth
Label: YepROC Records
Release Date: 08/21/2015
I first ran into Jackie Greene when he played with Trigger Hippy at the XPoNential Music Festival, where a lot of buzz surrounding the supergroup centered on the singer and guitarist. It was with great anticipation that I hit the photographers pit for their set, and boy, did he deliver. I had the pleasure to photograph the group once again at a much more intimate venue, and now, listening to Greene’s solo album, I realize that what didn’t come through at these venues is his wonderful voice and truly great songwriting.
For his solo album, Back To Birth, Greene has said that he wants to invite people to step back and take their time to listen. Once again, he really delivers. His soft, wonderful voice pulls you in and begs you to listen deeper to the really unique lyrics.Because Greene is a real storyteller. “Trust Somebody” is a song about what is needed to turn things around after being left and hurt in a relationship– ya gotta trust somebody. This is a song where Jackie also rocks it really hard. “A Face Among The Crowd” is another memorable track about the artist’s relationship with his father.
“You Can’t Have Bad Luck All The Time,” another great song about difficult feelings, really grabbed me. Though thankfully I’m not having a bout of bad luck at the moment, I’ve surely had times in my life when I was exactly the person he’s singing to in this song. We’ve all been there, so it will undoubtedly touch any listener. “Back To Birth,” the title song, actually ends the album, with Greene painting a vivid picture from the first line, continuing on to tell the story of traveling through life.
Did I mention that Jackie Green, besides his great voice and considerable songwriting talents, is also a fantastic musician? I did? Well, to reiterate, his skill with guitar and keyboards is outstanding, and was certainly what stood out to me when I had the chance to see him live. Greene is the trifecta of talents, and you must hear it for yourself, on an album that’s perfect for quietly listening to an incredible artist.
– Mark J. Smith