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  • Rich Kassirer

Issue 28: The Two Stages of Jackie Greene

Who is Jackie Greene?

We first heard about him by chance. In 2008, his record label, from which we had requested a different album, sent along Greene’s newly released “Giving Up the Ghost” with a note saying “Thought you’d love to hear this. Jackie is an amazing guitarist, an amazing musician. Enjoy.”

OK, we’re always up for something new. We loaded up the CD, hit play and our first reaction was “who is this guy? And why haven’t we heard of him before?” “Giving Up the Ghost” is filled with a mix of rock, blues and soul backing some introspective lyrics that range from spiritual to lust and revenge. It has roots in music’s past but carves out its own identity. While we’ve been waiting for his next album, Jackie’s been spending time with various members of the Grateful Dead as well as doing his own thing.

It intrigues us how someone can balance intimate club shows and huge rock venues, how it affects one’s playing and their psyche.

We talked to Jackie about it and we think you’ll find his frankness refreshing.

We also caught Jackie at a recent concert in Boston and we offer a full review of the show. And, as usual, when the Dead pops up on our radar, we can’t help but spend a little time enjoying the tunes and our memories of the past. On our Lists page we offer some of our remembrances of those happy-go-lucky days truckin’ to the Dead.

But we can’t stay in the past forever, so we also keep checking out new music and cool new artists.

We take a listen to six new artists that excite us. Five years from now, will these artists be the next Patty Griffin, Josh Ritter or the Decemberists? One never knows. They could easily be just a fond memory or a onetime wonder, but for now we’re digging them.

And speaking of Patty and Josh, we wouldn’t be who we are without them.

We are so excited to review both of their new albums. Patty’s “Downtown Church” is out now; Josh’s “So Runs the World Away” won’t be available until May.

For now, enjoy this issue and whether you’d rather go to small clubs or big rock venues, get out there and hear something new.

' To read the new issue, go HERE To read reviews of Josh Ritter and Patty Griffin albums, click HERE


1. “Like a Ball and Chain,” “Giving Up the Ghost,” Jackie Greene. The album that inspired a whole issue. 2. “The Next Messiah,” “Acid Tongue,” Jenny Lewis. 8 minutes and 45 seconds of awesomeness. 3. “Right Moves,” “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter,” Josh Ritter. A new album is here, but we’re still enjoying the last one. 4. “I Smell a Rat,” “Downtown Church,” Patty Griffin. Just a fun tune. 5. “Fire on the Mountain,” “Shakedown Street,” Grateful Dead. Live versions are better, but this is still great.

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