Roots rock singer/songwriter Jackie Greene is one of handful of younger cats who have been whole-heartedly embraced and accredited by the hippie rock establishment as the genuine article: ragged folk-soul bards carrying the spirit of Dylan, the Band, the Dead (and Jesse Winchester and J.J. Cale) into the Pro Tools age. Chris Robinson and Ryan Adams precede him there. Greene is certainly up to the challenge. His default sound and sensibility strike the precise balance of weary, weird and heartfelt that alt-roots fans feed on.
Luckily, it is not all rote with Jackie Greene. Moments of real melodic lift, odd energy and surprising lyrical invention dot his songs. His genre hopping restlessness has seldom taken him far from the bedrock, but his fine 2010 release Till the Light Comes hints at psychedelic parlor pop with “Stranger in Sand,” and at Kurt Cobain as well in the melodic turns of “Medicine.” In general, the date sounds less roots-reverent than his previous work and more pop trickster, ala Jeff Tweedy. In an era that is dense with precociously world-wearied, bearded young folk presuming big truths, Greene keeps us skeptics honest with some genuine wit and musical vim.
As a Mountain Jam regular and a veteran of the Rambles, Greene is no stranger to the valley. WDST presents Jackie Greene at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Friday, November 2. Tcikets are $35 for reserved balcony, $20 advance and $25 on the day of the show. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. The show begins at 9 p.m. Chelsea Williams opens.