“We live in such a fast-paced, hectic environment, I wanted to make a record that would invite people to step back and take their time to listen,” Jackie Greene says of Back to Birth, his first album in five years. “I wanted to make a record that would reward people who are willing to sit down and give it a couple of serious listens.”
Armed with a persuasive voice, a vivid songwriting skill, and an instinctive mastery of several instruments, Greene has carved out a unique musical niche. In 2013, he joined the reunited Black Crowes as lead guitarist on their worldwide tour, and the following year he released the self-titled debut album of the rock group Trigger Hippy, of which he is a member, along with Joan Osborne and Crowes drummer Steve Gorman. Greene continues to be a frequent member of the Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s touring ensemble Phil Lesh and Friends, for which he has contributed lead guitar and vocals since 2007. Greene also toured as part of WRG, an acoustic trio with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Black Crowes front man Chris Robinson, and he performed with Levon Helm as part of Helm’s fabled Midnight Ramble shows.
“The musicians that I really admire and try to emulate are the ones who have the whole package: they’re great songwriters, great singers and great instrumentalists, and they have a vibe about them that’s real,” he states, adding, “When I go to make a record, I’m not thinking about where I can fit in a bunch of guitar solos. I’m thinking, ‘What does this song feel like? What’s it saying?’ So my goal, when writing a song or making a record, is to find the core of that emotional experience and convey that.”
Purity of songwriting, the kind that doesn’t require anything more than a back porch to reproduce.
—Phoenix New Times
Jackie Greene is something of an old soul.