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Bruce Cockburn 50 Years On

Posted December 2021

 

bruce cockburn walk of fame 2021 croppedI first heard of Bruce Cockburn back in 1980- 81. I was an assistant manager at a Christian bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona - Christian Discount (later called Christian Emporium) at 810 West Osborne Road in Phoenix, Arizona, and I remember when Dancing In The Lions Jaws had come out. It was a huge crossover hit from “secular” music and to Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). I remember that we sold that album by the box loads. Those sales were helped when Bruce performed on Saturday Night Live around the same time the album came out.bruce cockburn tourdatesClick Above For Tour Dates Near Year

I've always been intrigued with Bruce's career ever since then have kept an eye on him occasionally. When I learned that Bruce was doing a 50th-anniversary tour (postponed from 2019 thanks to “you know what”) I just had to interview him. He is now launching that tour this month. The interview took place a couple months ago, ahead of Cockburn’s tour prep.

The tour launches December 7th. The press release for the tour is beneath the interview video, below.

Keep up with Bruce Cockburn at his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

 

The Boomerocity Interview With Bruce Cockburn

 

 Click On The Lower Right Corner To Enlarge Video

 

Press Release

bruce cockburn tourdatesBruce Cockburn Gets Back On The Road

ATLANTA, GA - We’re all so happy to announce that Bruce Cockburn is getting back on the road with live concert tour dates starting in December, 2021.

Bruce’s last live concert show was November 23, 2019, in Monterey California at the Golden State Theatre.

Here’s what Bruce has to say about getting back on the road: “As 2020 rolled up on the horizon, it was shaping up to be an exciting year — the fiftieth anniversary of the release of my first album. A considerable number of shows had been booked. The expectation was that much of the year would be spent on tour in celebration of that first step into what has been a pretty interesting professional life.

“My expectations, like everyone else’s, took a big hit from the pandemic and all that has gone with it. That “Big 50th” was not to be!

“Now, as we poke our heads up to see where this past year-and-a-bit has brought us to, I’m getting excited again about getting out and sharing my songs with all who will do me the honor of listening — in actual rooms! With people who are physically present! The 50th Anniversary Tour: 2nd Attempt…May we all stay safe and functional so it can happen!”

Here are Bruce’s first confirmed dates, with more to follow:

DEC 7 GRASS VALLEY CA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
DEC 8 SANTA CRUZ CA RIO THEATRE
DEC 9 BERKELEY CA FREIGHT & SALVAGE
DEC 10 BERLELEY CA FREIGHT & SALVAGE
DEC 12 EUGENE OR SORENG THEATRE
DEC 13 BEND OR TOWER THEATRE
DEC 14 GRANTS PASS OR ROGUE THEATRE
DEC 16 PORTLAND OR ALADDIN THEATRE
DEC 17 PORTLAND OR ALADDIN THEATRE
DEC 18 SPOKANE OR BING CROSBY THEATRE
DEC 19 SEATTLE WA NEPTUNE THEATRE
FEB 24 BURLINGTON VT HIGHER GROUND
FEB 25 ALBANY NY THE EGG
FEB 26 NORTHAMPTON MA ACADEMY OF MUSIC
FEB 27 BOSTON MA WILBUR THEATRE
MAR 1 WATERVILLE ME OPERA HOUSE
MAR 2 FALL RIVER MA CENTRE FOR THE ARTS
MAR 4 RIDGEFIELD CT RIDGEFIELD PLAYHOUSE
MAR 5 NEWTON NJ NEWTON THEATRE
MAR 6 NEW YORK NY SYMPHONY SPACE
MAR 8 ANN ARBOR MI THE ARK
MAR 10 CHICAGO IL OLDTOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK
MAR 11 CHICAGO IL OLDTOWN SCHOOK OF FOLK
MAR 12 MADISON WI BARRYMORE THEATRE
MAR 13 IOWA CITY IA ENGLERT THEATRE
APR 19 PETERBOROUGH ON SHOWPLACE CENTRE
APR 21 KITCHENER ON CENTRE IN THE SQUARE
APR 22 TORONTO ON MASSEY HALL
APR 23 OTTAWA ON NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE

For on sale ticket information please check in your local market.

 

Jim Peterik Unleashes His Tigress On The World

Posted December 2021

 

jimboguitarcroppedJim Peterik is not a stranger to music aficionados or to Boomerocity readers/followers over the years. I won’t repeat his incredible resume in this piece because you can read all about in the previous two Boomerocity interviews with Peterik here and here.


This long overdue chat came about to learn more about Jim’s latest project, Tigress – Women Who Rock The World. Read about it in the press release shown underneath the interview video below.


In this interview (below), Jim and I have a blast talking about – and laughing about - a myriad of things. However, we mostly we chatted about Tigress, which, by the way, is a great album! It is an album by women artists, singers, and musicians. The guitar work on this thing is just incredible. You’ve go to listen to it just for that guitar work if nothing else but all the songs are great. The vocals are great. The musicianship is phenomenal as well. You’ll definitely want to order your copy and can do so by clicking on the album cover on this page.


Watch the interview. I hope you enjoy it. Please share it with anyone you think might enjoy the chat!
Also, you can keep up with Jim at his website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

The Boomerocity Interview With Jim Peterik

Click On The Lower Right Corner To Enlarge The Video

Dion Shows Us Around His Stompin' Ground

 Posted November 2021

dion3Say the name, “Dion” (as in Dion and the Belmonts), all sorts of great songs come to mind. Tunes like I Wonder Why, No One Knows, A Teenager In Lover, The Wanderer, and Runaround Sue are among the many songs Dion DiMucci has burned into the memory of baby boomers the world over.

Since those wonderful days in the sixties, Dion has continued to record so much great music, crossing genres and remaining fresh and relevant all the way to today.

For proof, one only must purchase his new album, Stompin’ Ground, to hear how strong, fresh, and catchy DiMucci’s new music is. He’s joined on the disc with other great artists such as ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons, Bruce Springsteen, Boz Scaggs, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Joe Bonamassa, and several others.

During my recent conversation with Dion, we talked about the album. When asked how this album is different from all the other albums he recorded, DiMucci shared that it was Angel In An Alleyway and the story behind it. You can hear that story along with a lot of other stories and anecdotes on the interview video below. Underneath that video is the press release for Stompin’ Ground.

After watching the video, please share it with your friends. Then, purchase Dion’s new album, Stompin’ Ground. It’s available wherever you choose to buy music. You can also order it from his website, DionDimucci.com, where you can also keep up with the latest from Dion. You can also keep up with Dion at his social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube).

The Boomerocity Interview With Dion

Click The Lower Right Corner To Enlarge The Above Video

 

Press Release

SET INCLUDES COLLABORATIONS WITH BOZ SCAGGS, MARK KNOPFLER, PATTI SCIALFA, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, KEB’ MO’, BILLY F GIBBONS, RICKIE LEE JONES, MARCIA BALL, PETER FRAMPTON, JOE BONAMASSA AND G.E. SMITH WITH LINER NOTES BY PETE TOWNSHEND

stompinggroundcoverClick Above To Order Your CopyDion is following up his critically acclaimed and commercially successful 2020 album release Blues With Friends with Stomping Ground, a new album that finds him collaborating yet again with music greats with whom he shares mutual admiration. Set for release November 5, Stomping Ground was produced by Wayne Hood with Dion and will be released through Joe Bonamassa and Roy Weisman’s KTBA Records. The album will be available digitally as well as on CD and as a two LP set.


Most of the album’s songs were written by Dion and his songwriting partner Mike Aquilina. Guest artists appearing on tracks with Dion include Boz Scaggs, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen, Billy F Gibbons, Keb’ Mo’, Sonny Landreth, Joe Menza, Mike Menza, Marcia Ball, Jimmy Vivino, Rickie Lee Jones, Wayne Hood, Joe Bonamassa and G.E. Smith with Pete Townshend’s liner notes which Dion characterizes as “amazing.”


The album’s voluminous notes include an intro by Dion that succinctly summarizes the philosophy behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s latest recorded endeavor:
“When I was young, I was always striving for accolades and admiration. Those were my goals. But when I reached them, they didn’t satisfy. I discovered joy when I leaned to stop caring about all that – when I learned to relax and make music with friends… music that would make more friends for us through its joy. To make music with friends, and to make friends through music: I can’t imagine a better life than this. I am grateful to my friends who made Stomping Ground with me – and my new friends who are listening.”

The album was preceded last month with the release of “I’ve Got To Get To You,” a track featuring Boz Scaggs along with the father and son guitar team of Joe and Mike Menza. This week marks the release of “Take It Back,” on which Dion is joined by Joe Bonamassa. Next month (10/13) will see the release of “Angel In The Alleyway” that features Patti Scialfa (vocals) and Bruce Springsteen (guitar and harmonica).


The album’s notes include a foreword by Pete Townshend, which reads, in part:
“Dion, like a circling star that never fades, generates the energy and fire we need to pull ourselves up and start again. Dion is a star who knows well how to start again, how to keep shining. He looks at his watch every few years. Damn! Let’s make a record. Take care. This one will blow those little white things in our ears right into your brain.”

Beyond Townshend’s literary contribution, Dion provides a track-by-track description of all the album’s 14 selections, the sole non-original being “Red House,” the Jimi Hendrix song that has become a blues standard. On Stomping Ground, Dion is joined by Keb’ Mo’ on that song. Dion notes, “We had a blast grooving on ‘Red House.’ I’m honored to have him join me on this Jimi Hendrix cover/tribute. We did it as only we could. I think Jimi would approve!” It’s worth mentioning that the follow-up single release to Dion’s 1968 smash hit “Abraham, Martin and John” was “Purple Haze,” serving to underscore the connection that Dion has long had with the legacy of Jimi Hendrix.


There’s more Dion news. The Wanderer, a musical based on the life and music of Dion will stage its world pre-Broadway premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ on March 24, 2022. Michael Wartella (Wicked) stars as Dion, alongside Christy Altomare (Anastasia) as Susan, Dion’s wife. Original New Kids on the Block member Joey McIntyre (Waitress) plays Johnny, Dion’s best friend. The Wanderer was written by Charles Messina (A Room of My Own) and directed by Kenneth Ferrone (Cruel Intentions) and choreographed by Sarah O’Gleby. Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt is the scenic designer. The Wanderer is produced by Paper Mill Playhouse in association with Jill Menza and Charles Messina.

Stomping Ground track listing (LP version -- CD version follows the same order)


Side A

  1. Take It Back with Joe Bonamassa
  2. Hey Diddle with G.E. Smith
  3. Dancing Girl with Mark Knopfler
  4. If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll with Eric Clapton

Side B

  1. There Was A Time with Peter Frampton
  2. Cryin’ Shame with Sonny Landreth
  3. The Night Is Young with Joe Menza and Wayne Hood

Side C

  1. That’s What The Doctor Said with Steve Conn
  2. My Stomping Ground with Billy F Gibbons
  3. Angel In the Alleyways with Patti Scialfa and Bruce Springsteen


Side D

  1. I’ve Got To Get To You with Boz Scaggs, Joe Menza and Mike Menza
  2. Red House with Keb’ Mo’
  3. I Got My Eyes On You Baby with Marcia Ball and Jimmy Vivino
  4. I’ve Been Watching with Rickie Lee Jones and Wayne Hood

Chris Jagger Talks About His Book, New Album, and His Big Brother

Posted November 2021

 

90ab75d9e1cbce923e8a41ab 526x350I first became aware of Chris Jagger when I was a preteen. Two of my cousins were big Rolling Stones fans, and because of that they were in touch with everything rock and roll at that time. I wasn't quite there yet. But I was about to be.

I remember distinctly we were all at my paternal grandparent’s farm, and those two cousins were reading through the Atlanta paper that they had brought up with them from Atlanta (the farm was in Madisonville, Tennessee). They saw an ad that Chris Jagger was going to be performing somewhere in the Atlanta area. So that's where I first became aware of Chris. A few years later, when I became more of a music connoisseur and music history nut, I check in to see whatever he was doing from time to time.

When I recently heard that he was coming out with both a book called, “Talking To Myself”, and an album called, “Mixing Up the Medicine”, I was hoping that I would be able to interview Chris. As luck would have it, the opportunity made itself available to me. I recently had a great chat with Chris via a Zoom video call. It is probably one of the most laid back, informal conversations that you'll see here on Boomerocity, which makes it among my favorites on this site. It’s not very slick; we're both just kind of kick back and talking. He's on Zoom via his smartphone in England so it's a little jumbly here and there but we were having a great time chatting with each other. It's a long chat but I think you'll like it. We talked a little bit about his brother but mostly about the book, the album, and, of course, about music.

Please watch the interview below. Share it with your friends. Buy and read the book as well as buy and listen to the album. You can purchase them both by clicking on their images on this page. Below the interview is the press release for them. Read them for more info that we may not have covered in the interview.

You can keep up with Chris at his website as well as his social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube).

 

The Boomerocity Interview With Chris Jagger

 

Press Release

CHRIS JAGGER ADDS TWO NEW CHAPTERS
TO HIS CREATIVELY ECLECTIC CAREER
WITH THE RELEASE OF HIS ALBUM MIXING UP THE MEDICINE
AND HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY TALKING TO MYSELF

MixinUpTheMedicineClick Above To Order Your CopyChris Jagger always seems to be busy with one project or another. So, it’s not surprising that he kept himself quite busy finishing his memoir, which he’d begun the year before, during the pandemic, and the fruits of his labor can be enjoyed on his latest album, Mixing Up the Medicine, and publishes his autobiography, Talking to Myself.

With Mixing Up the Medicine, Jagger has made a joyful, life-enhancing album that distils his affinity for a wide range of musical styles into ten tight tracks. To create these songs, Jagger again teamed up with his long-standing musical wingman, multi-instrumentalist Charlie Hart (Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance, Wreckless Eric); however, they also had an unusual, and unexpected, collaborator for three songs: the obscure 19th-century poet Thomas Beddoes. As Jagger explains it: “I was reading this book by Ezra Pound, and he mentioned Beddoes. I found this book of his called Death’s Jest Book, in which he wrote these kinds of weird plays. I read some of his verse and took them and put them to music.”

The Beddoes-bred songs include the irresistible Madness-like ska-pop opening track, “Anyone Seen My Heart?,” the sea TalkinToMyselfClick Above To Order Your Copyshanty-ish “Loves’ Horn,” and the voodoo soul-infused Wee Wee Tailor.” The Jagger/Hart numbers, meanwhile, draw upon Jagger’s rootsy interest and Hart’s being something of a “jazzer,” as Jagger described his pal. This loose, lively mix surfaces sublimely in the New Orleans sass of “Merry Go Round” (also the album’s first single), the in-the-wee-small-hours croon and groove of “A Love Like This,” Jagger’s autobiography-inspired “Talking to Myself,” and the comforting bluesy lament of “Hey Brother,” a lovely ode to lifelong fraternal bonds.

One thing, however, unites all the songs: a relaxed, raw quality that conveys the warm sense of a band of brothers having a ball. “Let’s face it, we’re coming to the end of our careers,” Jaggar concedes. “You never know if it’s gonna be your last record. So, with all the players I got the feeling that they were going out to show that they still had it, and they would put more into this than if this was just a regular session. They were totally committed.”
Jagger’s backing band of brothers not only featured old pals of his, but highly talented and experienced musicians as well. He reveals that “mostly the tracks were cut live in the studio as that’s what I know.” Contributors include guitarist John Etheridge (Soft Machine, Stéphane Grappelli); double bassist Olly Blanchflower, percussionist Jody Linscott (The Who, Billy Bragg) and drummer Dylan Howe (Ian Dury, Yes). The veteran producer John Porter (The Smiths, Buddy Guy, Elvis Costello) brought in guitarist Neil Hubbard (Bryan Ferry, Joe Cocker), alongside a couple horn players Nick Payn and Frank Mead (both Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings vets) who were South London mates of Hart’s. This musical brotherhood also included Jagger’s older brother Mick, who contributed some backing vocals.

Working out of a studio in South London near Hart’s Lewisham home, at Jagger’s farmhouse, and down the line to each other when lockdown restrictions were being enforced, Jagger and Hart worked intensely. The result is, in Jagger’s words, “the most collaborative record we’ve done.”

Jagger’s debut album, an eponymous effort, came out in 1973 and a second, Adventures of Valentine Vox the Ventriloquist, followed in 1974. While both were well received, he didn’t record another album until 1994’s Atcha, which Hart also played on. Jagger, as is his wont, stayed busy during those in-between years and the time since. He has been a journalist, worked in theater, designed clothes, acted in movies, made blues documentaries for the BBC, was a partner in a guitar company, and wrote songs, including contributing to several Stones tunes.

He has chronicled his many life adventures in his new memoir, Talking to Myself. It’s a rich, detailed, hilarious and gossipy tale that digs deep into he and his older brother Mick’s upbringing in Dartford, Kent. The book plots the siblings’ emergence into adulthood and shared lifelong appreciation for the blues. It also chronicles the younger Jagger’s musical adventures from the 1970s onwards with entertaining detours into his travels to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel, where he acted in a production of the musical Hair.

“I thought about starting a book in the 1990s, because I began writing some journalism pieces,” Jagger explains. He returned to this project in 2019, and really concentrated on it during the pandemic. “Writing took longer than I anticipated. I did find I had to give it my full attention, and it was a lot harder than I thought. It’s all very well linking a lot of stories together, but what’s your style? I wrote it myself — I didn’t have a ghost writer — so I had to find my voice.”

Talking to Myself is the only book — so far — to document the life of growing up in the Jagger family in Dartford, Kent. “I said to (Mick), ‘I’ve almost finished my book, now let’s do yours’ and he laughed,” Jagger shares. “He’d do a fantastic book.” Jagger also admits that “writing can be quite prosaic and descriptive. It doesn’t have to be all poetry. I have even included some recipes in [my book] too.”

If Talking to Myself finds Jagger reflecting on his past with warm memories and witty anecdotes, Mixing Up the Medicine reveals him to be an inspired artist making dynamic, high-spirited music for people to enjoy today, tomorrow, and many days ahead.

Jake Shimabukuro Talks About His Beloved Ukulele and His Friends

Posted November 2021

 

Jake Shimabukuro by Sienna MoralesPhoto by Sienna MoralesThe ukulele.

As a baby boomer (and unless you’ve heard of Jake Shimabukuro), who comes to mind as one who played it as their instrument of choice?

Tiny Tim?

Maybe further back? Like, say, Arthur Godfrey?

Yeah. Me, too.

A couple years ago, Jake Shimabukuro’s publicist contacted me and said, “Hey, you gotta check this guy out!”

I didn't.

In fact, I didn’t check out Jake and his work until late 2019 and early 2020 when I finally relented to the persistence of Jake’s publicists. I listened to his then-new album, Trio, and became an instant fan . . . and kicked myself for not listening earlier.

Shortly after, I attended Jake’s performance at Nashville’s City Winery and was wowed even more. Jake’s a master of the ukulele and is the consummate performer. His performance endeared the Nashville crowd that night. Sadly, right after that amazing night, the world went into its COVID-induced lockdown.

It wasn’t until this past summer that things started opening back up. Jake and his band performed at Knoxville, Tennessee’s Open Chord, and wowed yet another crowd. Jake and his band were not only excited to be playing again but were joyfully emotional while doing so.

In both performances that I attended of Jake’s, his heart exuded in his performances. You sense his sincerity and genuineness. You leave his concerts feeling . . . what’s the word . . . HAPPY.

You will be, too, if you listen to Jake’s work. I beg you that - if you had the same pre-misconceptions as I did about ukulele music - you just take my word for it and listen to Jake perform, you can listen to “Why Not” – Jake’s duet with Kenny Loggins and "Two High" with Moon Taxi - both featured on Jake’s new album, “Jake and Friends”.

Click on Lower Right Corner To Enlarge Video Above                       

Below the interview video is the press release for “Jake and Friends” for your review. Please watch my interview with Jake, below. It’s fun, casual, and laid back – just like Jake himself. Afterward, please order “Jake and Friends” by clicking on the album cover on this page. In fact, order extras for the music enthusiasts on your gift list. Also, please share this interview with your friends who love great music.

You can keep up with the latest with Jake at his website as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Boomerocity Interview With Jake Shimabukuro

Click on Lower Right Corner To Enlarge Video Above

 

Press Release

Jake Shimabukuro Announces, ‘Jake & Friends,’
his most creatively ambitious album to-date, featuring a who’s who of music royalty

Out November 12th via
Mascot Label Group/Music Theories Recordings and JS Records

‘Jake & Friends’ features collaborations with Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Loggins, Moon Taxi, Michael McDonald, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Jon Anderson, Ziggy Marley, Warren Haynes, Jack Johnson, Billy Strings, and many more

JakeShimabukuro JAF 1500Click Above To Order Your CopyOn November 12th, 2021, the acclaimed Hawai’i-born ‘ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro will release ‘Jake & Friends,’ his most creatively ambitious project to-date, featuring collaborations with a who’s who of music royalty, from Willie Nelson and Bette Midler to Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Loggins. In terms of size and scope and considering the sheer number of legendary stars who graciously loaned their inimitable talents to the project, ‘Jake & Friends’ can only be compared to other benchmark duets albums by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, a shining testament to just how far the singularly gifted Jake has come. Listen to the album’s first two singles, “Two High,” featuring Moon Taxi, and “Stardust,” featuring Willie Nelson.

Jake’s own head spins when looking over his high-wattage guest list featured on the album - Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett, Moon Taxi, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Jon Anderson, Ziggy Marley, Warren Haynes, Jack Johnson, Jesse Colin Young, Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel, Sonny Landreth, Lukas Nelson, Billy Strings. “I have to pinch myself when I see those names on my own album,” he says. “It’s like, ‘Did that really happen?’ Making the album was a real challenge, but I’m deeply honored that all of the artists agreed to record with me.”

Over the past two decades, Jake has proved that there isn’t a style of music that he can’t play. While versatility for any musician is impressive, what’s remarkable about Jake’s transcendent skills is how he explores his seemingly limitless vocabulary – whether it’s jazz, rock, blues, bluegrass, folk or even classical – on perhaps the unlikeliest of instruments: the ‘ukulele. Responding to the urgent calls of his fervent imagination, Jake has taken the ‘ukulele to points previously thought impossible, and in the process he’s reinvented the applications for this tiny, heretofore underappreciated four-string instrument, causing many to call him “the Jimi Hendrix of the ‘ukulele.”

Jake’s incredible journey has taken him from local phenom to YouTube sensation, from playing tiny clubs to headlining the world’s most prestigious concert venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House. He’s performed on the biggest TV shows and has released a string of award-winning, chart-topping albums. Just recently, he was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as a Member for the National Council on the Arts. It’s fair to say that Jake has picked up more than a few admirers – millions of them, actually – but it wasn’t until he began his latest album that he discovered how many of his fans were, in fact, his very own musical heroes.

Two years in the making, ‘Jake & Friends’ started out with a modest idea of featuring perhaps two or three guest stars, but the concept quickly grew. Willie Nelson was the first artist to take part, and significantly he chose his signature song, “Stardust,” which he first recorded over 40 years ago. The uniquely sublime pairing yields magical results – Jake’s delicate ‘ukulele lines form an intimate foundation for Nelson’s achingly beautiful vocal. “I was so nervous the night before we cut it,” Jake admits, “but Willie put me at ease right away. I think once we got that cut finished, I was ready for anything that came next.”

Jake’s incredible journey has taken him from local phenom to YouTube sensation, from playing tiny clubs to headlining the world’s most prestigious concert venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House. He’s performed on the biggest TV shows and has released a string of award-winning, chart-topping albums. Just recently, he was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as a Member for the National Council on the Arts. It’s fair to say that Jake has picked up more than a few admirers – millions of them, actually – but it wasn’t until he began his latest album that he discovered how many of his fans were, in fact, his very own musical heroes.

Two years in the making, ‘Jake & Friends’ started out with a modest idea of featuring perhaps two or three guest stars, but the concept quickly grew. Willie Nelson was the first artist to take part, and significantly he chose his signature song, “Stardust,” which he first recorded over 40 years ago. The uniquely sublime pairing yields magical results – Jake’s delicate ‘ukulele lines form an intimate foundation for Nelson’s achingly beautiful vocal. “I was so nervous the night before we cut it,” Jake admits, “but Willie put me at ease right away. I think once we got that cut finished, I was ready for anything that came next.”

Teaming up with the popular Nashville alt-rock band Moon Taxi, Jake revisits the group’s 2017 hit, “Two High,” and he even coaxes singer-guitarist Trevor Terndrup, a fellow 'ukulele enthusiast, to join him on the instrument. Inspired by the universal peace sign for hope, “Two High” is a sunny and breezy balm for our troubled times. “Recording with Moon Taxi was such a blast,” says Jake. “Trevor has an amazing spirit that just brightens up any room, and he can shred on the ‘ukulele. And [guitarist] Spencer Thomson holds down the rhythm and makes everything groove. It was a joy to collaborate with them.”

Click on Lower Right Corner To Enlarge Video Above

Bette Midler sounds heavenly on the stark yet shimmering version of her Golden Globe-winning classic, “The Rose.” Jake and Jimmy Buffett reprise their delightful rendition of “Come Monday,” a song Jake has had the pleasure to perform on tour with Buffett. “Why Not,” written and sung by multi-platinum hitmaker Kenny Loggins, is a deliciously upbeat slice of soul-pop with hooks for days and an effervescent ukulele solo that will set pulses racing. Fans longing for all-instrumental bliss will revel in the aptly named “Smokin’ Strings,” which Jake wrote and performed with bluegrass guitar sensation Billy Strings. Jake throws down with the Allman Brothers/Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes in epic ways on their fiery reading of the blues-rock classic “On the Road to Freedom.”

And while the Beatles have always loomed large in Jake’s repertoire (he scored one of his first hits with his resplendent version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”), on Jake & Friends he covers not one, not two, but three Fab Four gems, teaming up with Ziggy Marley, Jon Anderson, and Vince Gill and Amy Grant for the three tracks. The treasures continue throughout the album.

“Looking back on it all now, it feels like a dream,” Jake says with mixture of pride and relief. “I grew up fantasizing that one day I might be able to meet my musical heroes, and here I am on my own record playing with them. That’s remarkable beyond words. I’m so fortunate to have had this experience, and I can’t wait for people to hear it. I think they’re going to be able to tell that I’m having the time of my life.”

Stay tuned for additional updates.

‘Jake & Friends’ by Jake Shimabukuro

  1. A Place In The Sun - feat. Jack Johnson and Paula Fuga
  2. Sonny Days Ahead - feat. Sonny Landreth
  3. All You Need Is Love - feat. Ziggy Marley
  4. Why Not - feat. Kenny Loggins
  5. Smokin’ Strings - feat. Billy Strings
  6. Find Yourself - feat. Lukas Nelson
  7. On The Road To Freedom - feat. Warren Haynes
  8. Come Monday - feat. Jimmy Buffett
  9. Something - feat. Vince Gill and Amy Grant
  10. Two High - feat. Moon Taxi
  11. A Day In The Life - feat. Jon Anderson
  12. Go Now - feat. Michael McDonald
  13. Wrapping Paper - feat. Ray Benson & Asleep At The Wheel
  14. Stardust - feat. Willie Nelson
  15. The Rose - feat. Bette Midler
  16. Get Together - feat. Jesse Colin Young