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MP3 Jake Smith - Real
An energizing punch of lyrical genius, contagious melodies and an upbeat perspective on life and love.
13 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Soul, ROCK: Funk Rock
About Jake Smith
By Kristen Kane
In the Deep South‚ where a fusion of sounds‚ tastes and electricity collide‚ emerges a band that embodies the richness and eclecticism of the New Orleans culture. A fusion of funk‚ soul‚ R&B and rock blend harmoniously to create the sounds unique to a band named for the front man himself‚ Jake Smith
I had the pleasure of sitting with Mr. Smith over a chilled cup of coffee to get a little background on his music‚ and he generously shared some of his inspirations‚ influences and life experiences that alchemized together into the kaleidoscope of what his music embodies.
First of all‚ if you are reading this and you haven’t heard Jake‚ you need to stop reading and put it in your ipod immediately. Before you ever get to the chorus on songs like “This is certain‚” or “These things‚” you will instantly find an unparalleled attraction to every word Jake speaks or sings and vow to play the record constantly. There isn’t a song on this album that won’t hook you. And I know from experience.
His music has the calm reassurance and wisdom similar to that of John Mayer with some infusion of lyrical genius and wit like Jason Mraz and somehow he ties it up with a little R&B urban flair like that of Anthony Hamilton.
However‚ so unassuming is Jake‚ that in our chat laced with slight caffeine‚ he mentioned some influential greats like Ray Charles but he claimed no similarity. And with his usual tendency toward the unexpected he mentioned his once allegiance to the band ‘Bush.’ This again is Jake.
Not just one box. Not just one way to play.
“I just write what I feel. And I can only write what I know.”
“But surely from the great city of New Orleans‚ you must have some attributes from the culture around you?” I asked with a need to get to the source of his magical powers.
“I can’t say I grew up following my dad’s musical genius or that I use to sit outside of local jazz clubs in New Orleans and acquired some kind of transference of greatness. But‚ it’s almost like it’s in the water‚ that if you get close enough to the music of the city‚ you some how get affected!” Jake leaned back and adjusted his cabbie cap. “We just have fun and don’t take ourselves that serious.”
And Jake may not take himself that seriously. But he does evaluate his music’s purpose with a deeper intent than just entertainment.
“We aren’t just another band to listen to. I hope people hear our music and are led to change.”
And change it would definitely bring. Lyrics from real life experiences that somehow bring hope to a dismal situation or just an upbeat outlook in general. And Jake’s laid-back Louisiana style is shared by his band mates‚ Jared Morvant (Keys and background vocals)‚ Chris Arceneaux (“Skins” to the hipper crowd) and Darren Phipps on Bass.
The combination of these musicians (who in their spare time actually enjoy each others’ company)‚ is a phenomenally energetic performance that has graced the stages of clubs and churches alike across the country.
With an album on its way out and touring for 2007 lining up‚ Jake’s completely genuine‚ down to earth attitude seems surprisingly cool and collected.
He knows who he is‚ where he’s going‚ and that life experiences are all a part of the journey to get there. Before we parted ways‚ I asked him if there was any particular hangout or restaurant he liked in New Orleans the best.
He just smiled and said‚ “I like hanging at home with my family and my Dad makes the best Jambalaya.”
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