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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Janie Jake Xerxes Fussell (12) RE: Jake Xerxes Fussell 22 Jul 19

I first heard of him - and saw him perform when he opened for Anna & Elizabeth at a small venue in Chapel Hill, NC about a year ago.

I became an immediate fan and have all of his CD's. There were some people at the concert who were very disappointed in Anna & Elizabeth's show, expecting an evening of ballads done in very traditional arrangements. Instead, they got some saxophone and some theater.

If you listened to Jake, or to Anna & Elizabeth, at least to the show they were doing on their tour last year, with the expectation that you are going to hear traditional tunes done in a traditional manner you were not happy, and some of the folks I went to that show with were not.

Jake's music is strongly influenced by his immersion from a young age in the music of the south. His father was a folklorist and Jake traveled with him. It inspires him, but he will be the first to say he needed to make music that is his own. Inspired by traditional music, but not traditional music.

I'll link to a recent interview where he talks about his influences, and also his recognition that what is does is not traditional. As he notes in the interview,

"..for me, the process has to be connecting with something emotionally and then drawing out certain aspects..singing it from a place that feels real to me rather than me trying to emulate someone else."

You still may not like his music after listening, and I'm not implying there is anything wrong with your music sensibilities if you don't. Personally, I really love all three of the CD's and especially love his bluesy/electric gospel/rockabilly sounding guitar. I also think he is a talented guitarist.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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