This is the second Big Rude Jake album, and a strange one at that. Blue Pariah was designed to push the limits of the neo-swing movement of the late 90’s. More then any other BRJ CD, this album mixes the raw elements of blues, jump, jazz, swing, cabaret, ska and punk in a way that no one could imagine at the time. It was designed to be the “alternative” swing album, for people who really wanted something different.
Produced by: Gordie Johnson
Recorded by: Rob Selmanovic
Engineered and Mixed by: Peter Prilesnik
Musicians: Big Rude Jake (vocals & songwriting), Gordie Johnson (guitars, bass, vocals), Al Cross (drums), Kelly Hoppe (harmonica), Alkaline (organ, wurlitzer piano, melodica, moog), John T. Davis (organ), Ashley MacIsaac (violin), Petronics (background vocals)
- If there’s a better album to listen to over cigars and gin, I haven’t heard it… As for the “Girl In the Pink Canoe”? Priceless.
- I saw Rude Jake In a club in Naperville Il. The place was jammin!!! Ever since then I love swing punk, and Rude Jake does it the BEST. You can’t go wrong with this CD or his new CD. If you ever get a chance to see Rude Jake Live, DO IT. You will have the time of your life.
- Big Rude Jake pulls out another great album, which I give a star higher rating than his first because in Blue Pariah, he truly accomplishes what he set out to do: evolve swing. Have a listen to Swing Baby! and you’ll see just what I mean. It has all the fire and passion of the swing scene, but adds a deeper, darker, brooding beat. Almost Dark Drum&Bass meets Swing in a few tunes, while keeping a few classics. It’s the ability to know where to take a step further and complete the album that makes Blue Pariah one to add to your collection.
- I love Big Rude Jake. This band is an excellent example of what popular music should be about. The album is a surprising mixture of Swing, Punk, Rockabilly, and Ska. They certainly do not sound like any other Swing band. Jake’s lyrics never lose a sense of grit and truthfulness. His songs at times have an honesty that reveal an inner loneliness and disillusionment. But Jake also never forgets his sense of humor. An attribute he shares with other complex artists such as Lou Reed or Tom Waits. He’ll make you want to cry with one song and dance with another. A very unique and creative band. I would highly recommend this album and every album by Big Rude Jake.
- They have this amazing blend of Rockabilly, Swing with just enough punk. The fusion is especially present in songs like “Cold Steel Hammer” or “Swing Baby”, the song that’s difficult to even describe due to the multiple musical styles represented. “Sliverman”, a haunting tongue in cheek song of a broken heart, or the tribute to oral gratification in “The Girl in the Pink Canoe”, or the dark sad imagery in “Lovesick Lullaby” or “The Diner”, Big Rude Jake is an incredibly talented songwriter with echoes of Tom Waits.
- Buoyed by critical acclaim, but afraid of being pigeon holed as a “jazz artist,” Jake decided on a radical departure for his next studio project. He recorded what can only be described as an alternative rock album, entitled “Blue Pariah,” which features some of his most “outside” work. The musical influence is vast and eclectic, borrowing liberally from punk, soul, blues, rock-a-billy, ska, German cabaret music and jazz. Time signatures shift relentlessly, the lyrics are biting and fearsome, the emotions sweep across the spectrum of human trauma and the production, (courtesy of musical genius Pete Prelesnic and Rock Guitarist Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar), is exceptionally artistic if also uncompromisingly harsh. This is one scary album.
Predictably, “Blue Pariah” shocked a lot of people, but won over new listeners, especially in the USA, where certain alternative radio stations picked up the seminal “Swing Baby” as a radio single and made Big Rude Jake a popular figure among pockets of listeners across North America.