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  Jake Armerding
Artist:  Jake Armerding
Label:  Compass Records
Tracks:  12 tracks/47.95 min. (1 hidden track)

Voted "Best New Artist of 2001" in the Boston area, Jake Armerding's mix of bluegrass and hip urban folk music is now available across the nation.  This CD is not Jake's first production.  During his teens he self produced Caged Bird and literally sold them out of the trunk of his car.  Luckily, his music fell into the right hands and Compass Records signed him this past year. 

Jake Armerding, the band, consists of Jake on vocals, fiddle, mandolin and guitar; Taylor (his dad) with harmony and vocals; Paul Bessenbacher on piano; Andrew Hall on dobro; Dennis Holt on drums and percussion; Greg Liszt on banjo; Gary Wicks on bass and guest musicians on the 'Nevermind' and 'Ithaca' tracks.

The twelve tracks that comprise this album are reflections on life and through his use of bluegrass melodies and urban folk Jake approaches his listeners with a heart full of reality.

"Destiny's Flight" showcases Jake's talent both in writing and movement on the various stringed instruments he plays.  His take on frustration with destiny begins "We were on schedule and everything was going as I planned it/Then she deviated for the life of me I could not understand it"  Perhaps he is dealing with a lost love or the bigger picture of one's future.  He leaves that much up to the listener.

"Ithaca" takes one on a mythological journey where "Peace of Mind (Lost in Back Bay)" gives him a desire to be back home where he can find peace of mind.  For those familiar with the Boston area he sings "Now good Mass Ave., don't torture me/just let me have my sanity." 

"You Took Me In" is an acoustical song about unconditional acceptance. Jake shares the pains one feels when down and out, yet appreciative of help "You took me in/with no words of condescension/You took me in/you were giving me a place to lay my head/and I'll not forget to mention/You took me in."

"Adonai" is a song that stands out above the others.  More blues than bluegrass Jake opens his heart and shares the reality of a relationship with and without Lord/God. The entire album is good listening and Jake has the talent to keep his name in the forefront of the urban bluegrass movement.  Besides great vocals, the stringed talent is impeccable and the writing is open.

Leslie Bogar  2/5/2004

   
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