Jackie Greene Encore At Telluride's Opera House, 1/30

He's beginning to be a habit around these parts: Telluride Bluegrass Festival, 2005, again in 2007, and most recently, the 2009 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. And that's a good thing. Multi-instrumentalist  – voice, guitars, dobro, piano, harmonica, and percussion – Jackie Greene returns with his band to Telluride's historic Sheridan Opera House for an encore performance Saturday night, January 30.

It rained cats and dogs throughout the 2009 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, but not on Greene's parade: the skinny man-boy with a shock of dark hair had the crowd dancing in the mud and hooting for more of his quirky songwriting and winning way with words. As his meteoric rise to the top suggests, Greene is a captivating acoustic solo artist and an electrifying bandleader with a kickass band covering his back.

Just listen to Greene's latest album Giving Up the Ghost. No doubt Greene's sound echos that of  Bob Dylan (to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance), Bruce Springsteen, Gram Parsons, Elvis Costello, and Paul Westerberg. Yet, while acknowledging the ghosts of pop music past, he owes them no more than a nod: Greene's voice is authentic and unique. And he is an inspired/inspiring poet, whose lyrics run the gamut of the human condition: lust and revenge to high-minded spiritual seeking.

The California native claims he has been consumed by music since he was born. Greene taught himself to play on a battered old piano in his childhood home, before picking up the old guitar his father had left behind when his parents split up. Initial influences were hard-rock acts until he discovered a cache of his parents' old rock, country, blues, and R&B LPs in the family's basement.  Ray Charles. Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters, Leadbelly, and Hank Williams Sr. replaced Metallica, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam in his musical affections. Subsequent influences include Tom Waits, Jeff Tweedy, Merle Haggard, The Replacements and The Pixies, a mixed bag and it shows: Greene's sound – folk, blues, jazz and rock –  flashes all the colors of the rainbow he swallowed whole. And while Greene is a musical chameleon, he won't put out a tune unless it feels honest. Greene's Giving Up The Ghost, is about transformation. Honest.

The first single from Giving Up The Ghost is "Shaken" and Greene, recently dubbed by The New York Times "The Prince of Americana," is poised to do just that: continue to shake things up a bit.

Doors at 7:30 p.m. Curtain up at 8 p.m.

Comments are closed.