Australian singer song-writer Jake Jackson has a million stories to tell about a life less ordinary.
Jake walked out of home just after his fifteenth birthday to discover a life of twists and turns on the road in country Australia prior to travelling the world. He meandered back to Melbourne with no education and then went about getting himself into the Conservatorium of music. studying guitar and voice the journey took him to many new places musically. A deep affection for the romantic and then the expressionist period sent him on a path toward the more unusual. After the Conservatorium the next few years were spent gigging relentlessly as a guitar player just trying to make a way forward.
“My earliest gigs in the eighties were playing guitar for a pop star from the sixties, I was like sixteen or seventeen, Bobby Bright was the guy, he was really cool and sang some great songs, The band were all years older than me but they all excepted me and we had a ball, I played lead guitar and just filled in the gaps, It was cool. I remember we rehearsed up a set but couldn’t start working till the drummer got out of jail! We did a heap of gigs together and had a blast.”
Through the years at the Conservatorium he played all the gigs he could get which included everything from flat out rock bands to playing Hawaiian guitar at the Boat show.
“There used to be a great band in Melbourne called TISM and I knew the bass player well, Jack Holt, his mum had a 1930’s National lap slide guitar and an old Gibson amp. it was the real deal so I borrowed the rig and played Hawaiian songs at the boat show. You gotta do what you can, it paid well, and hey I was never hung up on any one genre.”
“I spent a bunch of years playing with a Melbourne based outfit called Kid Gloves, we were with Premier artists and played 3 or 4 nights a week in all the clubs and toured a bit too, The band was great but we struggled to get any interest from record companies. In retrospect I’ll be honest, the songs just weren’t strong enough. I guess that I realized then that it wasn’t about how fast or how well you could play the guitar, all that mattered above all was the quality of the songs you were playing”
“After Kid Gloves there was a series of bands called the Automatics that I played in as the singer songwriter. We toured extensively on the country circuit which at the time was really a very good program. We would do a mix of originals and covers, The gigs paid well and the rooms were always packed. Back in the eighties and nineties the music business was very different. Independent release was very rare and recording was ridiculously expensive. So we focused more on just doing the gigs and filling the rooms”
Jake was always writing and crafting songs out of a life until they put you in the moment, creating tales that can be told time and time again. Years of travelling and seeing all the colours that shine from people of all walks of life has left a residual confidence and experience that is more valuable than any other learning. From the subways in Budapest to the cafes in Berlin there are so many memories that deserve recollection.
“Traveling became an obsession for me and I found myself setting out on adventure after adventure. I just love Europe, all the different cultures and languages and musical styles. The music scene in Hamburg is way different to what is going on in the Eastern Bloc but hey they are all into it, no matter what genre it is. I remember doing the AR rounds in Hamburg and getting great responses, gee, if I took those songs to Zagreb they wouldn’t have even spoken to me.”
In 2006 Jake spent time working and writing with Kelly Brooks on a colection of songs and film music. Armed with those early demos Kelly made her way to Nashville and after alot of hard work and a lot of patience she ended up signing with Capitol records.
“That was a tough time, I would have loved to go to the US and help out Kel but the timming was all wrong for me. She is a great talent and I loved working with her.”
Now proud to be solid in belief and desire, he is singing stronger and taller than ever before. This album is a testament to exactly that.
“I started recording this album in early 2011, I had just started playing an acoustic duo with a friend and we started working and people seemed to love the songs so I decided to take it to the next level and spend some time in the studio. It was like an avalanche as the songs started to reach there potential and I started to really hear them glowing. There are some great players on these tracks that all got right onto what I was trying to say with the tunes. Ben Edgar, who is currently touring with Gotye in the US, helped out with some very fancy guitar work. When he added lap steel to songs like Blue Day it took them to just the place I was trying to find”
Robyn Payne’s playing, mixing and production skills gave the album the really “polished ” sound that it has and with Ross Cockle at the desk the final mix was Mastered at Sing Sing. So many great records have come out of there and so many as a result of Ross’s incredible ear.
“It was amazing to work with Ross on this album, he hears all! His thoughts and ideas were really helpful but most of all I remember his parting words.” This is good, really good” he said , “Bang down doors, make em listen but most of all think big, the songs deserve it!”
Listen carefully and you won’t put it away. The melodies and words will find a place in you in which to thrive.