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Jessie Lee Montague grew up in places like Madison, WI, and Albuquerque, NM. A natural performer to begin with, learning to play the guitar only added fuel to the fire. After a few lessons and some years of practice, she took her instrument and her resolve, bundled them together, and headed to Europe, determined to make her mark on the music world. Things were rougher than she ever dreamed, and after a while, she returned home to the United States, but her dreams were intact. Once back home, Montague teamed up with a drummer by the name of Jagoda. After a number of years performing as a duo, they expanded their band by adding bassist and guitarist John Annese, and then musician Johnny Rags. Montague gave her own nickname, Jake, to the band, and the foursome moved out to the hustle of New York. The big city was harsh, much like Europe, and things got worse before they would get better. Montague soon found herself living through a winter in an abandoned building in Brooklyn. Most artists would have tossed in the towel and found a normal day job back at home with family. Jessie Montague just pushed herself harder to find that next gig, to write that next song that just might open the door for her band's big break. Jake was opening at a club for Chris Whitley when that door began to open. A manager was in the crowd that night, and liked the band enough to help them get a demo together. Before the group knew what was happening, they were signed to the Blackbird Records label. In 1996 Jake's full-length debut album, Hooked, was completed. Some of the terrific 13 tracks on this first offering are "Bird on a Wire," "Anything But Love," and "Deny." It was three years before the group recorded its second album, Bloodblue, released under the Desert Dog Records label in 1999.