Heat-lightning crawling through a summer sky. The taught twang of strings. A slow, pervasive tacking of drums. Amidst this tense rhythm is the unlikely bounce and playful tone of a 12-string. There is no doubt from the lyrics that a storm is brewing—yet the smiles keep coming. The complex texture created by the harmonic arrangement adds depth to the words. “Bipolar Mama” exemplifies the sounds featured on Joshua Jacobson’s debut solo album. This isn’t ‘standard blues.’ This is a new spin on a timeless sound at the hands of a master.
“…there’s a lot of serious and heavy stuff in this world — sometimes you gotta keep it light.” – Joshua Jacobson
Heavy, yet light. Warm, but cool. Traditional, yet modern. Good Little Thing, closes the divide where traditional and modern meet. Bouncy rhythms and catchy refrains capture the attention, while subtle humor and raw wit entice. Embodying the souls of some of Georgia’s blues legends, Jacobson produces an enchanting interpretation of classic sounds. The lightness and warmth of tone belie the heavy subject matter on tracks like “Bipolar Mama,” while introducing modern themes to a deep-rooted style. Good Little Thing features a collaboration of styles by a team of musical veterans.
One of the stand-out performers on this album is Dickey Betts. Betts’ lead lines on the electric guitar for the track “Pistol Packin’ Papa” lends a lusty sound to the track. Clark Stern’s barrelhouse piano style provides a vision of juke joints. Aaron Fowler– the funkiest drummer on the planet– gives backbone, substance, and an air of scarcely controlled chaos on tracks like “Bipolar Mama.” Damon Fowler, Matt Walker, and Pedro Arevelo add to the rough, yet smooth texture of the rhythm and harmonies. The support provided by the team of elites adds an air of validity to Jacobson’s welcoming, centered vocal presence and reimagined chording. The result is a complex blend that creates connections for a new generation to experience the raspy wash of Piedmont Blues.
“… I guess it’s the dreamer in me.” – Joshua Jacobson
For Jacobson the connection between music and people is the driving force behind his fascination, and what pulled him to the stage. His small town roots spurred a fascination with the Piedmont Blues from an early age. His adoration for Blind Willie McTell fueled his pursuit of perfecting and reimaging the Georgia great’s style. His mastery over the complex chord changes shines in his interpretation of familiar melodies. Dedication to his craft culminated in touring and recording with Cora Mae Bryant and playing as her “number one guitar player” at the Chicago Blues Festival. His ultimate goal as an artist is to bring “joy, happiness, and light” into the lives of people everywhere. Good Little Thing is the result of that passionate pursuit, and fulfills its purpose of making connections — between the old and the new, and a musician and his people.