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Jake Lear



Jake Lear - Lost Time Blues - 2009 - Jake Lear

"Lost Time Blues is the perfect marriage of Highway 61 Revisited and Texas Flood. The elements that made those two albums classics are alive in Lear’s music and blend into a fresh, expressive, musical vocabulary." - Elmore Magazine

Jake Lear opens his latest album, Lost Time Blues, with a big, wide-open, shake-the-walls drum groove, announcing the start of a blues/rock cornucopia that excites at every turn. Lost Time Blues was recorded almost entirely live, with minimal overdubs. The result is a hard-nosed sonic sound with a spontaneous energy. According to Lear, he attacked the album with a disjointed approach, aiming for everything from "barrel house bar band to country or folk blues," and achieves his goal. The album is a vibrant and consistent listening experience. The lively, groove-inducing, guitar jam of "Streets of Michelangelo" sounds like something the Black Crowes might have concocted around 1992, while the acoustic, Dylan-esque "Ragged and Dirty" wouldn't have been out of place on the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet. Lear also works the acoustic angle well on "Muddy Water," where his folk influences really come through. The Stevie Ray Vaughan inspired Texas boogie "Sure Gonna Miss You" is a standout track that absolutely stings with its guitar venom. The lightning-striking-a-juke-joint feel continues with the raucous "Sometimes" before wrapping up the album with the delicate, nimble-fingered slow blues of "Bluebird." Lost Time Blues is the perfect marriage of Highway 61 Revisited and Texas Flood. The elements that made those two albums classics are alive in Lear's music and blend into a fresh, expressive, musical vocabulary. © Mark Uricheck © 2005 - 2011 Elmore Magazine http://www.elmoremagazine.com/reviews/album_lear-jake_last-time-blues.html

On his sophomore album, the self released Lost Time Blues, JAKE LEAR shows a lot of character, stricking an effective balance between the classic sounds of artists such as Eddie Taylor and post- Stevie Ray Vaughan tones, adding a healthy dose of rough – hewn, Dylanesque country blues attitude. On the steady-rolling title track and the ballad “Boogie Woogie Woman,” it sounds like the upstate New York-based guitarist has kept Modern Times in rotation; the focus; is his pleasantly craggy vocals. Lear hits hard but keeps his playing simple and direct on Guitar Slim-inspired “Sometimes,” the shuffles “Blues 3 Ways” and “Sure Gonna Miss You,” and the roots rocker “Leave This Town.” © Blues Revue

In once sense, Vermont based Jake Lear offers nothing different to the greater majority of upcoming acts on the Blues scene. How many times have we caught an earful of the supposed next Stevie Ray or new Freddie King only to be left distinctly disappointed? With “Lost Time Blues”, his second in a short space of time Lear however offers something that a lot of his peers fundamentally fail to achieve: he manages to live up to and do justice to the legends that he claims to draw influence from. In fact, one listen of opener ‘Streets Of Michelangelo’ brings the listener back to the heydays of hearing SRV’s ‘Couldn’t Stand The Weather’ for the first time, while ‘Leave This Town’ urges to be played in a dimly lit, whiskey stenched Mississippi juke joint. The key to paying homage to your inspirations is the skill of placing your own twist on the influence in question, whilst retaining the primary sound they were so well known for. Lear’s twist on the Texas Blues sound arrives in the form of an underlying folky tone, particularly apparent on standout tracks ‘Ragged And Dirty’ and ‘Bluebird’. With an abundance of guitarists hitting the Blues world in 2009, aiming to be the next Bonamassa, it’s becoming somewhat difficult to sort the best from the rest. Judging by this latest release however, Jake Lear is a name to keep an eye out for. Lost Time Blues? Hopefully not… © Lee Borland, Blues Matters

Binghamton, New York singer/songwriter/guitarist Jake Lear, who debuted impressively with his Love and Charm CD in 2007, has just issued his second CD, Lost Time Blues, featuring his band, bass guitarist Carlos Arias and drummer Mike Ricciardi, and guest musicians Pete Ruttle and Brian O’Connell. Arias, originally from the Basque region of Spain and now dividing his time between Argentina, Binghamton and Spain, and Ricciardi, who’s drummed behind Foghat, Badfinger and other international recording artists, lay down a solid beat behind an impressive, rocking array of blues and folk-blues tunes. Jake Lear, who’s composed nine of the 11 tracks on Lost Time Blues, said he wanted to make a “somewhat disjointed” CD that incorporated several differing approaches. He’s succeeded, and succeeded very well. But what impressed me most about Lost Time Blues is that this is a real booty-shaking CD that’s a great party album, with 11 very danceable songs. However, the CD’s highly danceable repertoire of nine rockers, three folk-rock tunes, and two slow numbers in no way detracts from the incisiveness and creativity of the songs themselves. This is a solid CD for listening as well as for hip-shakin’, feet-movin, finger-poppin’ good times. Lear lists his main influences as T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bob Dylan, and those influences are there in Lost Time Blues, along with the electric Chicago blues of Jimmy Rogers and J.B. Lenoir. Sharing space with this solid blues core is also another solid core built around the classic guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll of Ronnie Hawkins, Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and early Elvis Presley, along with a dollop of early Rolling Stones, the Mamas and Papas, white country-rock, and that early folk-rock paradigm, “Corrina, Corrina,” from the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan LP. The six vigorous rockers are the Lear-composed tracks of track 1, “Streets of Michaelangelo” (a Dylanesque title if there ever was one); track 3, “Leave This Town;” track 5, “Sure Gonna Miss You;” track 6, “Sometimes;” and track 9, the John Lee Hooker-like “Blues 3 Ways” (with, as the notes say, “[a]dditional lyrics…borrowed from Bob Dylan and Son House”). There’s also a sterling rock arrangement of Big Bill Broonzy’s “Key to the Highway ”(track 8). If these don’t move you to the dance floor, you’re likely to be declared legally dead! Acoustic guitar-driven folk-rock is expressed in track 2, Willie Brown’s “Ragged and Dirty (an old song most familiar in its Sleepy John Estes Rendition, “Broke and Hungry”), and the Lear-composed country-rockers “Muddy Water” (track 4, about a flood) and the philosophical screed, “Lost Time Blues” (track 10), with Lear’s guitar riffing joined by Brian O’Connell’s banjo. O’Connell plays gospel-inflected organ on the Otis Redding/Percy Sledge-inspired slow soul blues, “Boogie Woogie Woman,” a song great for holding your baby tight while you slow dance romantically. Another slow blues here is the last track, the pensive and lyrical “Bluebird” (both also Lear-composed). O’Connell adds his organ talents to “Streets of Michaelangelo” as well, and Pete Ruttle plays somewhat Dylanesque harp on “Ragged and Dirty.” Jake Lear plays electric guitar on all tracks where he doesn’t play acoustic, and his electric solos are excellent, tasty, wonderfully understated, and, even though long, with several songs featuring two guitar solos, never subject to overlong gonzo technique-for-technique’s sake flash. Like Ruttle’s harp, Jake Lear’s singing and songwriting can be described as Dylanesque as well. His vocal style is reminiscent of a lower-register Bob Dylan, and his masterful songwriting partakes of those deliciously surprising lyric twists that are so much part of Dylan’s songs, with their infusing into the mundane and standard the brittle and surrealistic. All these making Lost Time Blues one strong effort from Jake Lear that’s both artistically compelling and fun to listen and dance to. Add to its credit the two Anna DeMauro photo montages that grace the front and back covers, and this CD becomes a visual knockout as well as an aural one.Lost Time Blues can be ordered from Jake Lear’s website, above. Buy this CD for your next blues bash, and not only will you have a party to remember, you might even have this reviewer crash it as well. “Hey, hey, hey, good to see ya, hand me a cold one. Wow! Dig that Jake Lear Lost Time Blues CD! Hey baby, wanna dance?” © George Fish © http://www.IllinoisBlues.com 2007 [Reviewer George Fish lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of blues legends Yank Rachell and Leroy Carr, and writes a regular music column, “Blues and More” for the online Bloomington (IN) Alternative. He’s also published in the regional Indiana blues and alternative presses as well as Living Blues and Blues Access, and wrote the notes for Yank Rachell’s Delmark album, Chicago Style. He has also published on blues and pop music for the left-wing press as well, and has appeared in Against the Current and Socialism and Democracy, as well as the online Political Affairs and MRZine. © IllinoisBlues.com

Real Blues Magazine included this album on it's list of the top 100 blues albums of 2009-2010. The album is quite a good album of gritty, roots influenced music with elements of Rock'N'Roll, soul blues, folk, and electric Chicago blues. Jake Lear is a great guitarist and songwriter, and is backed on this album by some top notch musicians including Carlos Arias on bass, and Brian O'Connell on keyboards. Listen to, or buy Jake's "Love And Charm" album, and support real music

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Streets of Michelangelo - Jake Lear 4:45
2 Ragged and Dirty - Willie Brown 4:06
3 Leave This Town - Jake Lear 2:55
4 Muddy Water - Jake Lear 2:25
5 Sure Gonna Miss You - Jake Lear 3:07
6 Sometimes - Jake Lear 3:32
7 Boogie Woogie Woman - Jake Lear 6:04
8 Key to the Highway - Big Bill Broonzy 5:38
9 Blues 3 Ways - Bob Dylan, Son House, Jake Lear 4:12
10 Lost Time Blues - Jake Lear 3:02
11 Bluebird - Jake Lear 7:50

MUSICIANS

Jake Lear - Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Vocals
Carlos Bejarano Arias - Bass Guitar
Brian O'Connell - Keyboards, Banjo
Mike Ricciardi - Drums
Pete Ruttle - Harmonica

ABOUT JAKE LEAR & HIS MUSIC

The Binghamton based Lear has been given the tag of one of the blues genre’s most up and coming artists, and has managed to make a name for himself in a relatively short amount of time. His first CD, “Love and Charm,” was out in 2007. He followed up the disc with a heavy schedule of live shows, playing anywhere from Mississippi to Italy. He's been a lifelong blues devotee. “I just really liked the sounds of those records,” Lear says of his early blues memories, listening to his parents’ John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy albums. “Something about it spoke to me.” Lear soon discovered the expansive range the blues covers - from Texas electric blues to the folk overtones of Delta blues. He was influenced by some great musicians but soon developed a style that was uniquely his own. “I guess it just kind of happened organically,” Lear says of his musical evolution. “For me, it was just playing, taking it slow. I never really tried to copy one particular person. I always tried to get the feel of the different players.” Jake’s a self-taught player, so he’s had to get into the creative trenches early on. “When you’re self-taught, you’ve got to dig pretty deep into it,” he says. “I think that helps in getting your own voice. It keeps you yourself. I think you naturally tend to come up with your own style.” Lear’s first CD, “Love and Charm,” was born out of this quest for finding his own style. When the disc was released, Jake had been playing bars and festivals and initially wanted to have a document of his music that people could take away with them. “I thought the shows were going pretty well, and I had a bunch of songs I was working on that I thought were pretty good,” he explains. “I went into the studio with my bass player and found a drummer. I had a good time doing it. I’m glad I didn’t do it sooner, when I wasn’t prepared. I think it was the right time to do it.” Between the first CD and the new “Lost Time Blues,” Lear’s done a fair amount of touring, acquainting himself with audiences and discovering that there has been an appreciation for the music he plays. Lear is a Vermont native who was transplanted to Binghamton after living in New York City and doing the rounds as the guitarist in a rock band. “I was trying to do my own thing with the blues,” he says. “There wasn’t really a scene for it. At the time, my girlfriend was living in Binghamton, and I’d go up there on the weekends. And I found it easier to do what I wanted to do up there.” He originally began performing solo in Binghamton, with just an electric guitar and vocal, but soon found kindred spirits that shared his sense of musical expression. “I found a bunch of places to play that gave me the freedom to play what I wanted to play. It was a great city for me to be a young artist in.” Lear hits the clubs in his home area of Binghamton, as well as the New York City and Philadelphia markets, but the south figures in heavily with his current plans. “I usually come down to where I am now, Memphis and Mississippi,” he says. “There’s a pretty big scene going on down here. It’s been great for me, and a lot of people appreciate the blues, so it’s been fun.” The European market has also been on Lear’s mind. He’s had nothing but positive feedback from audiences in Europe thus far. “Last year, I went to Italy for six months,” Lear says. “That was a great experience, to live in another country and play smaller bars and clubs. They’re really into the blues over there. They respond really well to American music; folk, blues, that was really fun to play there. I’d like to try to get back there, maybe in the fall.” Of course, when he returns to Europe, Lear will have the brand new CD in tow – “Lost Time Blues.” The disc is a gritty, roots-inflected, body of work that features standouts such as the wide-open groove of “Streets of Michelangelo,” the roadhouse type rocker “Leave This Town,” and the Texas boogie of the Big Bill Broonzy classic “Keys to the Highway.” Interestingly enough, though Lear considers himself a blues artist, the album was originally conceived as not having one particular style or theme running through it. “I also have strong folk and country influences,” Lear says. “When I wrote these songs, I was a little hesitant. I thought it was going to be a schizophrenic album and it wouldn’t make sense. But, that’s kind of what I wanted in one sense.” Lear says that his view was to go into the studio, show everyone the songs, and record them. “I think we did it pretty quickly,” Lear explains. “So, as different as the songs were, they still had some similarity with the sounds we were getting, the tone, and the overall feel of the band playing together. I think it worked out well; there are all these different styles, but they all make sense and work as an album.” Lear’s got a great bunch of musicians that he worked with on the album and who helped him pull things together rather quickly in the studio. “My bass player, Carlos (Arias), I’ve been with the longest,” Lear says. “He’s from Spain and was actually doing some work at Binghamton University. We just hit it off; we’ve been playing together for about four years.” The sense of musical kinship was strong for Lear on this record, as was the Binghamton connection. “Scott Fletcher, the producer on the album, he’s from Binghamton,” Lear notes. “He approached me because he heard me play some shows and thought he could do a real good job of recording what I do. Scott did the first album, and I liked what he did, so I went back with him for this album. Scott recommended the drummer, Mike Ricciardi. I’d never played with Mike before, so we just went over the songs and pretty much went right into the studio. But Mike’s a solid drummer, so that wasn’t a problem. Being in Binghamton, I kind of lucked out with the people I’ve met there.” Lear was satisfied with the finished product, with him and his band recording the album in just about a week’s time. “I was pretty happy about how smoothly it went,” he says. “We had the songs pretty much down. I worked on a couple of lyrical changes in the studio, but it was just a matter of going in there and making sure we had the feel for the song. We did it all pretty much live, just some vocal overdubs. I think that’s probably the best way for me to record, to go in there with the band and do it all together.” Jake Lear is a musician who relishes the process of making music. “I love recording and getting out there to let people hear it,” he says. “I want to try to take that to the nextstep now. I want to tour as much as possible; I’d like to get over to Europe again. I really do like recording, which I think is why I did the two albums so close together. Prior to the first album, I had never recorded. So once I started doing it, I realized how much I liked it.” “I plan to keep playing as much as possible; it’s what I love to do.” © & By Mark Uricheck © www.connectionsmagazine.com

3 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

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Purpleblues said...

good morning and Thank You, you are continually showing me new artists and Mr Amazon thanks you too as it would be rude not to purchase these fine offerings... Demain was the last Cd that you turned me on to, I have similar high hopes and a good vibe about this one too :)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Purpleblues. Thank you,also. Some of these albums are also available from other outlets even cheaper than Amazon.Let me know your opinion of the album. TVM again...P