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  • Rich Kassirer

Jackie Greene rocks

Updated: Aug 6, 2018

Jackie Greene at the Paradise.
Jackie Greene at the Paradise.

He bounds onstage, and you think to yourself: Can this tiny wisp of kid with the crazy hair really deliver the goods? Well, I’m here to tell you, yes. (The picture above doesn’t do him justice, but the one to the left is really what you see most of the night.) Jackie Greene can do it all: He plays a mean guitar (see clips below), also plays keys, harmonica, and has an amazingly soulful voice. Who is he? For those who don’t know his story it goes something like this. He’s from the Sacramento area and has built a name there on his guitar-playing. His new album, “Giving up the Ghost,” is more singer-songwriter than guitar monster, but categorizing him doesn’t do him justice. He’s recently found success and a new following as a guitarist for Phil Lesh (yes, Deadheads, that Phil Lesh), which gives him new cred among jam-banders.

As for the show last night, Greene moved easily between guitar and keys, and his songs were built on great guitar solos that were thankfully precise, to the point and not overbloated jam-band affairs. His own tunes “Ball & Chain” and “I Don’t Live in a Dream,” to name a few, really came off well. He did a couple of Dead tunes — “Sugaree,” as an encore — but he did them his way, turning them into rockers with little Dead influence. In all, it was an eye- and ear-opening experience.

For more pics, click HERE.

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