Jackie Greene

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Jackie Greene gets set to release a deluge of new material in a series of EPs and heads out on an up-close-and-personal tour

The Belly Up | April 5

Globe Hall | April 6 and 7

Aggie Theatre | April 8

Jackie Greene web

By Timothy Dwenger

Intimacy. It’s more than just a word, it’s a feeling that human beings crave and strive for. It’s a feeling of closeness, a breaking down of walls between souls, a way of connecting with another individual. Intimacy is not easily achieved, especially in our increasingly digitized world, but it cannot be ignored. And singer-songwriter Jackie Greene is on a mission to create a more intimate relationship with his fans in a couple of interesting ways over the coming months and years.

Greene’s mission is loosely based on a run of shows that he has been doing at the legendary Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley California over the last several years. “The Sweetwater is a small room, I think it holds like 300 people or so. It’s an intimate space and the shows end up having a very personal feel to them,” Greene said during a recent interview with The Marquee from his home in Brooklyn. “This year we are doing six nights and we are going to do my first six albums. Well, I guess we are skipping one, but we are doing six of my albums front-to-back and I’m a little nervous about it because there are a lot of those songs, particularly from the first three or four albums, that we just haven’t played in forever. According to my calculations we have about 50 songs we have to go over and, if we come out of it, that will be good for the rest of the tour because while we have some new stuff to play, we also want to get back into playing some of the old stuff that we haven’t played in years. This will be a good chance for us to learn that stuff for real.”

After the six-night run in California, Greene and his band hit the road for a tour that spends four nights in Colorado before moving on to focus on the Midwest. “We are calling it The Sweetwater Tour because the idea is to try and bring the same thing we are doing at the Sweetwater — that vibe — to our fans across the country,” he said. “The only way to really do it is to have the room be intimate to begin with; you can’t really do it playing any really big rock and roll club. Sure, we’ll sell less tickets, but that’s okay because it will be packed and it will be more fun.”

On the heels of the tour, and a pair of two-night runs in New Orleans — which will feature Greene reinventing the catalog of The Grateful Dead with legends like Steve Kimock, George Porter Jr., Paul Barrere and Anders Osborne — he’s going to be dropping the first in a string of releases of new material. “I’ve got an EP that should be coming out in a couple of months, and then I have another EP that is going to come out in the Fall,” Greene revealed. “The space I have here in Brooklyn is a split level and I have a little basement where I have moved some of my recording equipment from California — just the basics — and I’ve been making a lot of recordings here in the basement. As it turns out some of them are pretty cool and I’ve collected those and I was going to make a whole album out of it but I figured it would work better as two EPs. I’m doing things like banjo and drum machine and stuff like that. It’s different for me, but it’s cool and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. So those are slated to come out, and my band is going in to start a full-length record sometime this summer so who knows when that will be done. I’m looking at putting out two EPs this year and if this other record gets done, we’ll put that out as well. If not, we’ll wait for next year. There will be a lot of material coming pretty much right after this tour.”

In addition to these recordings, fans will be thrilled to hear that Greene also has a concert film in the works that will be shot during The Sweetwater Tour. “My idea was to make it almost like a mockumentary, a little like a Spinal Tap kind of thing,” he said laughing. “Our band is pretty damn funny. If you get on the bus with us and we are all getting stoned or something we say some pretty wacky shit, and to get some of that on film would be great. We’ll see if that comes to pass. I wouldn’t want it to be just concert footage. I’d want to include some of the funny shit that we all get into. We are all pretty loose, funny guys and we should show that, I think. We goof off and screw around a lot.”

This avalanche of new material will be coming out on Blue Rose Music, a record label and multi-media company that Greene has just recently entered into a partnership with. “This is great for me. I’m in partnership with a man named Joe Poletto who runs a thing called Blue Rose Music which is a label but it’s also a media company. It’s really kind of what I’ve always wanted in that I have complete and total freedom to do anything I want to do artistically and musically. And he gets it, he really does get it,” said Greene. “Sometimes I don’t want to put out records, I just want to put out songs. If I have three songs, I want to go out, record them, and put them out immediately. I don’t want to have to wait. He gets that. That’s part of what this EP thing is, I don’t want to wait for the right time to put it out. I don’t give a fuck about the ‘right time.’ When I feel like something is done and I want to put it out, let’s put it out. He’s totally on board with that. It’s been a little bit of a revelation for me and a little bit of a recharge in a way because I’m so used to having to do the album cycle where it’s time to make your next record, ‘Hurry up, hurry up, do it. Now wait nine months for us to put it out.’ I’ve been doing that for years and years and years and years like a lot of other people and, quite frankly, I’m sick of it. Especially today when it’s so easy to distribute music there really is no reason to get caught up in all that other business. I feel really happy about this new thing and hopefully what it means is that I’m able to put out a lot more music a lot more frequently.”

The Belly Up | April 5

Globe Hall | April 6 and 7

Aggie Theatre | April 8

 

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