Rockin’ Jake plays Sundance Saloon
LIONSHEAD – Rockin’ Jake has been hailed by many as one of the premier harmonica players in the country. His original sound is a hybrid of second line, swamp funk, blues and zydeco with influences from Paul Butterfield, Big Walter Horton, James Cotton, Muddy Waters, J. Geils Band and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.Widely known as a “touring juggernaut” among his peers, his schedule of over 200 performances per year include clubs, concert venues and festivals. He plays the Sundance Saloon in Lionshead at 9:30 p.m., and the night begins with a free keg at 9.
Originally from the East Coast, the “blues bug” bit at an early age for Jake. He immersed himself in the thriving regional blues scene, which boasted such talents as Roomful of Blues, Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard and Sugar Ray. Primarily self-taught, Jake briefly studied with Jerry Portnoy, harmonica player for Muddy Waters. In 1990, Jake moved to New Orleans where he began to work with such New Orleans mainstays as blues diva Marva Wright, Mem Shannon, Coco Robicheaux, Little Freddie King, Tommy Ridgley, Eddie Bo and other local legends. During this time Jake also toured nationally with G. Love and Special Sauce, blues and pop legend Maria Muldaur, as well as logging international miles with bluesman T.J, Wheeler. He was selected to perform in an all-star band featuring blues legends Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin at the Howlin’ Wolf. In 1995 he formed the Rockin’ Jake Band as an outlet for his original music and his swampy sounds. One year later, Jake recorded his debut CD, “Let’s Go Get ‘Em,” (on Rabadash Records) which earned him national recognition. In 1999 Jake produced “Badmouth,” on Zuluzu records followed by “Full-Time Work” in 2002 on the same label. It included an all-star cast of musicians such as John Gros (Papa Grows Funk), Ron Johnson (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe), Bryan Stoltz (the funky Meters), Ben Ellman and Theryl “Houseman” de Clouet (Galactic).
In the spring of 2004 he recorded his band’s first live CD. Over four days in Key West, Fla., at the Green Parrot he and his band recorded “5 p.m. Breakfast” on Zuluzu records. Jake’s work has also been heard on the soundtrack of “The Big Easy” television series, the theme for the “Mike Ditka Show,” and a Miller Beer commercial. He is a five-time winner of Off Beat Magazine’s coveted “Best of the Beat” award for best harmonica player.
In his spare time Jake managed to snare some culinary kudos in New Orleans, taking the trophy for “Best Barbequed Brisket” at the 1999 New Orleans Musicians Barbeque Competition, and launching his own line of signature hot sauce: “Badmouth” (the edible version). Jake also takes time to give back to his New Orleans community with Project Prodigy Music Camp for children, as well as the Blues in the Schools programs in New Orleans and other cities in the United States.Vail, Colorado