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Climb Jacob's Ladder | DooWatchaDoo

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Rock: Acoustic Rock: Americana Moods: Type: Vocal
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by Climb Jacob's Ladder

Soulful, acoustic-based music featuring wildly modernist harmonica, acoustic guitar, and percussion featuring the Cajón (wooden box drum). Rock, reggae, funk, and pop music sensibilities combine with great vocal harmonies and insightful lyrics.
Genre: Rock: Acoustic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. DooWatchaDoo
4:23 album only
2. Think About It
5:15 album only
3. Do the Funky White Boy (Feat. Joe Filisko)
5:08 album only
4. Little Things
4:02 album only
5. Bongo Boy (Feat. Joe Filisko)
6:38 album only
6. Makin' It
3:56 album only
7. Document My Life (Feat. Joe Filisko)
4:28 album only
8. Jacob's Ladder (Feat. Will McFarlane)
7:57 album only
9. Little Things (Slight Return)
1:19 album only
10. Re-Think About It (Feat. Howard Levy)
5:19 album only
11. Life Is A Mashup
5:10 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Climb Jacob’s Ladder presents an organic blend of lyrically charged songwriting, with an unusual and eclectic approach to vocal and harmonic styling. The music is steeped in the vibrations of Bob Marley, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews Band, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Little Walter, George Clinton & P-Funk and Howard Levy. It's delivered with a unique instrumental resonance that features rhythmic and chordally rich acoustic guitar combined with wildly original modernist harmonica, groovy and riveting percussion featuring the cajón, funky electric bass, and compelling keyboards.

The formation of Climb Jacob’s Ladder was inspired by the passing of the soul known as Jacob Lucas Messinger on May 31, 2008 at the age of 21.

Poet / Songwriter / Harmonicist Paul Messinger, his father, wrote the song entitled Jacob’s Ladder in late July of that year. Paul met fellow songwriter and lyrical guitarist/vocalist Gary Mitchell in October of that year and they first performed together as a duo that November. Percussionist/vocalist Richard Klecka was in attendance at that show, and added his eclectic cajón / percussion and high harmony portion to the sound that December.

In February 2009, Climb Jacob’s Ladder laid down the basic tracks for the Gary Mitchell composition “Little Things.” By June 2009, Climb Jacob’s Ladder had begun playing what would become an ‘on-the-down-low’ 18-show series at The Flying Burrito, a Chapel Hill gathering place; having the great fortune to add the legendary bassist/songwriter Buddy Hankerson to the mix .

By employing the organic combination of hand percussion (featuring the cajón), original modernist harmonica, melodic/percussive acoustic guitar joined by electric bass and keyboards, along with thoughtful and impactful lyrics propelled by soulful and unusual vocal harmony, CJL has put the emphasis of the music solely on the impact of the songs.

There is no boom or bash to divert the listener’s attention... it is music with meaning, music that matters…

Climb Jacob’s Ladder as a musical entity as well as a community of friends and souls, invites you to take this musical journey reminded that we all, in some way, Climb Jacob’s Ladder; as we are all engaged in journeying somewhere between where we are… and where we one day will be.



to write a review

PT Gazell

Climb Jacob Ladder...An Important Work Of Art
OK…I’ll start by saying that Paul Messinger and I have somewhat of a mutual admiration society going. Paul cites my playing in the late 70’s and early 80’s as giving him insight toward what he aspired to do on harmonica in a band setting. After finally meeting Paul at SPAH in Dallas 2003, I quickly realized that he was doing things with the harmonica in genres that most of us ignore. Things like reggae and African influenced rhythms. Sure, there have been some nods to this on our instrument, but not like Paul was doing it, using them within popular song-formats.
For those of you who don’t know, Paul organized the 1998 Harmonica Summit in Chapel Hill NC that first brought together such diverse harmonica-pro stylists as Jelly Roll Johnson, Joe Filisko, and Dennis Gruenling, along with members of the emerging Howard Levy over-blowers such as Carlos del Junco, Sandy Weltman, Mike Peloquin, Allan Holmes, and Chris Michalek for a week of workshops, a film, as well as a sold-out, four-hour Saturday night concert.
Then, along with his friend and harmonic co-conspirator the late Chris Michalek, co-sponsored the now legendary more public Harmonica Summit held in the Twin Cities in 2000.
That brings me to his new release “Climb Jacobs Ladder.” I will cut right to the chase. This is one of the best sounding, best produced, and flat out cool group efforts that uses harmonica, I have ever heard.
Over the years Paul and I have talked about how important it was for all of us to think about how the harmonica could be used other than a gimmick or cliché. He’s done that folks! The harmonica is used in multiple positions with interesting figures and moods. The songs, all original, range from fun, to important social statements. The harmonica sounds range from acoustic to a great amped sound. The solos cover horn esque figures to position playing that makes you sit up and listen, to balls out nasty stuff.
My picks off the CD:
DooWhactaDoo…great opening song for the CD and sets the table perfectly.
Think About It…social content here is so right on.
Makin’ It…though starts in cross-harp, modulates to great amped 11th position harp sound and clean-harp solo, all on the same Bb harp!
Bongo Boy…fun fun fun
Jacobs Ladder…for those of you who know Paul, no further explanation needed here
I should also mention that Joe Filisko and Howard Levy appear on this project and both show why they are considered consummate professionals.
The litmus test for me occurred recently when I played the CD for some folks I was recording with. The comment that kept coming up was that “the harmonica was a pleasure to listen to and that it just seemed to fit so well inside the group setting.” Nice going Paul! If that’s not accolade enough, my wife walked into my studio as it was playing and said “wow is that cool.” Trust me, coming from the woman who has seen and heard all the harmonica has to offer over 36 years, that’s a big deal!
The other members of the group are every bit as talented. The recording is very well done. The mixing is just right and the mastering makes it one of those must have projects.
We all receive harmonica CDs from friends and fellow players…this one jumped right off the speakers and immediately had my full attention.
No, you are not going to hear Little Walter, Toots, or Robert Bonfiglio. What you are going to experience is an important work of art that uses the harmonica in a tasteful and emotional way.
PT Gazell