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Jake Armerding
Walking On The World

Review By Steven Stone
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  Walking on the World is Jake Armerding's third solo release. His first, Caged Bird, was a self-produced effort that came out in 2000. Next he went to Nashville and made 2003's Jake Armerding, which was released by Compass Records. Now we have 2007's Walking on the World, which is on Jake's own label. Armerding's newest effort has a wider musical scope than the earlier releases, but his songwriting is even more focused, articulate, and poignant.

Like many talented young songwriters, the traditional genres of folk, bluegrass, and blues can't be used to pigeonhole Armerding's music. "I think genres are for record stores, and unfortunately, record stores are getting scarce, but good music is good music, wherever it comes from." In Armerding's case sources include traditional folk, Celtic, bluegrass, and ‘50's-era country music. The three strongest songs on Walking on the World all have the letter F featured prominently. "Falling In" tells a tale of an evening spent in a Liverpool pub. The verse's melody draws from Celtic modalities before cascading into ‘60's pop confectionary chorus. On "Flirting" Armerding begins with a bluesy accapella vocal line that is soon joined by a funky jazz bass line, as he swings through a first-hand account of the beginning adrenalin-filled steps in the courting ritual. "The Fleece" which features a killer opening hook by studio pro Dan Dugmore will be sure-fire hit song for someone. The chorus "Help me now, Lord, for I never, never need the one I want. Teach me now, ‘cause I never, never want the one I need," rides on a totally addicting melody that I must sing along with whenever I hear it.

The band personnel for Walking on the World is very similar to Armerding's 2003 Compass Record's release, probably in part because he was the producer on both CDs. The band includes Jeff Berlin, Eric Platz, Dennis Holt, and David Heyeron drums and percussion, John Doyle on guitar, Dan Dugmore on pedal and lapsteel, Paul Bessenbacher, Phil Madeira, and Cali McKasson on keyboards, Chris Eldridge on electric guitar, Rob Seals on slide guitar, Dave Francis, Richard Gates, and Garry West on bass, Aoife O'Donovan on harmony vocals, and Jake on vocals, guitar, mandolin, violin, electric guitar and percussion. Engineer Erick Jaskowiak did this recording primarily at the Compass Records studio in Nashville, but some additional tracking was done in Santa Monica, CA, Newburyport, MA, Los Angeles, CA and Acton, MA. The final sonic result sounds much like the Compass release as well; clear, rich, sweet, and sonically articulate.

 

 

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