[14 October 2010]
Though Jackie Greene has six studio recordings under his belt since 2002, its safe to say that he wasn’t truly “discovered” until 2007, when Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh invited him to join Phil Lesh & Friends. On Till The Light Comes however, Greene teams with fellow northern California folk rocker Tim Bluhm, of The Mother Hips, as producer and co-writer. Together they create a lush, pop recording that is far more Eagles and Americana-laced than Dead-inspired and improvisational. It’s bookended by its most upbeat songs; opener “Shaky Ground” is a buoyant, 70s style country shuffle, replete with swirls of Wurlitzer organ and twin guitar solos, while the closing title cut relies more on the harmony vocals of the chorus and a rhythm guitar that is a bit more searing. “Stranger In The Sand” gets more atmospheric with a hallowed tone, its lyrics a little ambiguous and abstract. “1961”, on the other hand, is more straight-forward; it’s a lovely acoustic lament telling the tale of a one night stand between a truck driving man and a woman and the resultant birth of his son, which circles around to the son visiting his unknown father on his deathbed. Mostly, though, Till The Light Comes is sun-dappled California pop abounding with swells of organ and rich vocal and guitar harmonies.