jake kelly | black sheep

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Rock: Roots Rock Rock: Americana Moods: Solo Male Artist
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black sheep

by jake kelly

jake's electric version of the "me & my guitar" jangley, lyric-driven, fun pop-rock with an edge.
Genre: Rock: Roots Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. But No You
3:24 album only
2. I Drink Therefore I Am
2:29 album only
3. Bad Childhood
3:35 album only
4. Can't Thank You Enough
3:18 album only
5. Mexicali Girl
3:56 album only
6. It Must Be Love
2:55 album only
7. Now It's Really Time to Cry
3:19 album only
8. Black Sheep
4:18 album only
9. Mi Waka Wini
2:55 album only
10. I Wish I Could Forget
3:08 album only


Album Notes
After giving his band a two album hiatus, Jake Kelly reunites with his musicians and releases his fifth cd in as many years: “Black Sheep.”

If the title of the cd sounds familiar, nay, if the titles of all the songs sound familiar, they should. As was rumored, Kelly’s new release is a full band production of last year’s solo acoustic “Me and My Guitar” cd.

Actually, it’s a full band production and more.

This cd combines the Phil Spector wall of sound with George Martin’s studio experimentations for a sound that is bold yet somehow familiar. The production, with its multi-layered guitars, and for the first time on a Jake Kelly album, keyboards, has some interesting sounds that accentuate the lyrics without being overbearing, yet sounds highly provocative and appealing.

This experimentation led to each song on the album truly having its own identity. Still there’s a common thread that runs through this eclectic collection of songs…the band.

Mike Webb’s Hammond Organ playing is a welcome addition to Kelly ensemble cast of returning musicians: Matt Dolan on drums, Mike Fried on steel guitar, Jeff Jackson on Bass, and Jake Kelly handling guitar chores.

Ray Charles would be pleased to hear his style of organ being played by Webb on the jazzy cut “It must be love”, as Flaco Jimenez would be with Webb’s accordion playing on “Mexicali Girl.”

The other musicians must be given their due as well. The rhythm section of Dolan and Jackson is solid and never waivers, and Fried’s steel guitar playing covers everything from the raunchy “Bad Childhood” and “Black Sheep” to the squeaky clean “Now it’s Really Time to Cry” flawlessly.

Filling in the spaces is Kelly’s guitar work, which only briefly ventures on the wild side of improvising but opts to create specific parts that are orchestrated for each song instead. Kelly’s distinct; nasally vocals are sometimes weak but always appropriate, fitting the mode or tone of the selection.

Since these songs all appear on Kelly’s previous release, comparison is fair game. The acoustic “Me & My Guitar” is certainly more intimate, candle light and wine compared to the beer and neon “Black Sheep” cd. It is interesting to see the way a song is approached when attacked by a whole band. The contribution of the band is a definite plus.

It’s albums like these remind us of what narrow scope mainstream radio and major labels use to determine what music they release, and makes one wonder what other nuggets are out there that we might never be exposed to.



to write a review


Best one yet! Artist and musicians really shine on this one. Every song is a keeper. There's a song for everyone. Great job Mr. Kelly! Keep them coming.