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Sweet Somewhere Bound

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Album Review

Jackie Greene continued to expand his base as one of the more interesting new roots-based singer/songwriters of the early 2000s on Sweet Somewhere Bound, although the compositions were of varying quality. Certainly the best of them were satisfying, and had a wider range than many similar artists working in similar territory. His vocals had a lived-in earthiness, and his arrangements blended folk, roots rock, country, Americana, and bit of the blues without particularly favoring any certain combination. The lyrical themes do tread on some of the same areas common to singer/songwriters of the style: restless urges to escape the mundane grind he sees his community settling into, story-songs and character sketches about troubled souls, and a lament for a death of someone close to him ("Emily's in Heaven"). The Bob Dylan comparisons that have come up in some coverage of his work are still here, particularly in his spontaneous yet accomplished harmonica work, but not so overwhelmingly that Greene's own persona is subsumed. He really whoops it up in the jovial prison song "About Cell Block #9" — one of the set's highlights — but for the most part it's a more contemplative record, concerned about the state of things but not quite discouraged. Some of those songs skirt the more routine clichés of weary-gazing roots music, but "Miss Madeline (3 Ways to Love Her)" in particular is haunting enough to rise above such pitfalls.


Born: 27 November 1980 in Monterey, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Discovered at an open-mike night when Dig Music's owner happened to be there, singer/songwriter Jackie Greene is a captivating performer who works well in simple, sparse environments. Signing to the label almost immediately, the California native worked countless clubs and bars before his discovery, a fact made more interesting when considering that he was a teenager at the time. A multi-instrumentalist, Greene played most of the instruments on his debut record, Gone Wanderin'. A soulful bit of roots...
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Sweet Somewhere Bound, Jackie Greene
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