February 14, 2010
Jackie Greene (above, last night and, below, in 2008) at the Paradise.
The last time we saw Jackie Greene was in mid-2008. The young, chain-smoking kid took to the stage and showed off some great rockin' guitar chops and a strong, soulful voice. He performed mostly his own songs, from his then-new album "Giving Up the Ghost."
Last night, he took to that same Paradise stage, but the kid has grown up and it showed not only in his new shaggy facial hair but also in the maturity and depth of his music. Since the last time we saw him, Jackie has spent a bunch of time touring with the Dead's Phil Lesh and Friends and seemingly has learned a new way to present his songs and those of others. He has also seemed to gain a great amount of confidence as evidenced by his more engaging stage presence.
On Saturday, he played two sets instead of one, spanning 2 to 2 1/2 hours, covering not only his own songs but the iconic B.B. King tune "The Thrill Is Gone," a number of Grateful Dead songs and a pair of great Beatles covers. Jackie -- backed by a solid band of guitar, bass, and drums -- played electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica, and keyboards. And he played and sang all of the above in his own soulful style.
He started his first set with three original tunes "Don't Let the Devil Take Your Mind," "I'm So Gone," and "That Rusty Nail," and then launched into his first Dead song "New Speedway Boogie." Greene's version, which is available for free download on his website as part of a three-song EP, chugs along on modern groove. He then switched to acoustic guitar for a handful of tunes including his "Uphill Mountain," which included an awesome harmonica solo. He then ended the first set with "Thrill Is Gone," tossing off some B.B.-like guitar lines.
After a short break, Jackie and his band returned with a four-song set on keyboards, including "Shaken" and the bluesy "Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Later" He then launched into the stratosphere, using his full arsenal of guitars, starting with "Hollywood" and then seguing into an rocking version of the Beatles' psychedelic "Tomorrow Never Knows" and then into "Taxman." And just as the crowd seemed to be coming down from that high, Jackie took them higher with the Dead's "Scarlet Begonias." He finished the set with his "Ball and Chain" and came back for his encore of "Sugaree" to the crowd's absolute delight. He ended the night by thanking the audience, saying "Thanks for coming out, I know it's tough out there. We really appreciate it." The band took its bow and was gone.
The setlist (From Philzone.org)
Don't Let the Devil Take Your Mind
I'm so Gone
That Rusty Nail -->
New Speedway Boogie-->
Bird Song tease-->
Just as Well
I've Gone Wandering
Ballad of Sleepy John
The Thrill is Gone
Farewell So Long Goodbye
So Hard to Find my way
Tell Me Mama
Tomorrow Never Knows-->
Ball and Chain