From the swamp-like feel of the anthemic opener 'Hollywood', to the pop lyricism of 'So Hard to Find My Way', the churning rock of the first single, 'I'm So Gone' and the haunting acoustic beauty of 'Love Song; 2 AM', Jackie Greene firmly establishes his position as one of the most versatile singer/songwriters in music today. Produced by Steve Berlin (of Los Lobos) featuring Davey Faragher and Pete Thomas (of Elvis Costello's band The Impostors), guitarist Val McCallum and a horn section, American Myth brilliantly captures every facet of this multi-talented artist. Verve. 2006.
This young Californian has apparently suffered from a case of mistaken artistic identity in his attempts to forge his own. The blazing guitar chops on this album's "Cold Black Devil/14 Miles" show why some consider him among the most promising of a new generation of bluesslingers, yet much of the material makes him sound more like a young Bob Dylan than the next Stevie Ray Vaughan. Though Dylan comparisons rarely do a developing artist any favors, it's hard to avoid them with the majestic, 10-minute build of "Supersede." Elsewhere, the horn arrangements of "So Hard to Find My Way" and "Close to You" evoke Van Morrison's California days, while the riffing of "Farewell, So Long, Goodbye" rocks like the Rolling Stones. Much of the rest is acoustic balladry that finds Greene achieving a musical intimacy that resists easy comparisons. A multi-instrumentalist featured on organ and piano as well as a variety of guitars, Greene benefits from the musical support of bassist Davey Faragher (Cracker) and drummer Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello's Attractions) and empathic production by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos). As a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, he's more than the sum of his very good influences. --Don McLeese