Upon reviewing his latest release, the Americana-rock travelogue _Walking On The World_, the Boston Globe simply said: "Armerding's a master at bending boundaries."
A smattering of wildly different influences -- mainly classical violin, bluegrass fiddle and 1980s pop-rock songwriting -- left Jake Armerding with no choice but to create his own musical genre. The son of newspaper columnist and bluegrass singer/mandolinist Taylor Armerding, Jake was raised on good music and good writing. By the time he graduated Wheaton College (IL) in 2000 with a degree in English, he had sold a thousand copies of his debut CD, _Caged Bird_, and the following year saw him land a coveted prize: the title of Best New Artist of 2001 from one of the best-loved folk radio stations in the country, WUMB 91.9fm Boston.
Armerding moved to Nashville that same year; he chafed against the scene and was back in Boston eight months later, but he had a new album to show for it. _Jake Armerding_, a collection of folk-pop songs written in Music City, was released nationally by Nashville independent Compass Records in 2003. Over 200 radio stations spun the record, and Cleveland Country Magazine opined, "If you're willing to back an emerging new talent, look no further than Jake Armerding's impressive debut." He went on to land the Newport, Kerrville and Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals, logging some 300 performances over the next three years.
Armerding tried to limit himself to folk but had no luck -- the songs he began writing for his next project showed traces of rock, Celtic and 1950s-era country music. "I think genres are for record stores, and unfortunately, record stores are dying out," he comments. "But good music is good music, wherever it comes from." The new album features Dan Dugmore on pedal steel, John Doyle on guitar and friends Aoife O'Donovan (of Crooked Still) and Mark Erelli on backing vocals, along with Armerding on vocals, guitar, violin and mandolin. _Walking On The World_ refuses to be labeled; over the course of eleven songs, Americana, country, rock, folk, pop and bluegrass all have their say.
But it is what they call good music.