Jake’s newest release, Quicksand, marks his return to the recording industry. It explores contemporary twists on popular music forms from decades ago. Listeners will note a dramatic shift away from the “neo-swing” style that characterized the first Big Rude Jake recordings in favour of a more general roots-oriented singer/song-writer approach. The overall sound of Quicksand is relaxed and contemplative. The musical arrangements often involve reduced instrumentation, with some tracks featuring Jake on guitar and vocals alone. With such a mellow touch added to these compelling and eclectic songs, Quicksand marks the end of the Swing Punk persona of yesteryear, and the emergence of a new thoughtfulness and maturity that comes to anyone on a long journey back home.
In this album, Jake is strongly focused on presenting the singer-songwriter side of his work over and above the nutty punk-inspired performer side. His new material will surely rekindle listeners’ love for his powerful songwriting, just as they were first inspired by his raucous antics a decade ago. Perhaps most importantly, Jake has returned to his roots. Quicksand features all original music, strongly rooted in Traditional Jazz, Gospel, Ragtime, Folk and Blues.
Musicians: Big Rude Jake, Gary Justice, George Koller, Howard Moore, Vito Rezza, Gabe Lee, Nathan Hiltz, Dennis Keldie, Paul Packanowski, Robi Botos, Jake Chisholm, Richard Underhill, William Sperandei, Steve Donald, Tim Posgate, Jeff Wilson, Maureen Brown
Backup vocals: Saidah Baba Talibah, Gary Justice, Jasmine Jones, Dionne Wilson
“Jake Hiebert’s latest disc is a guided tour of vintage song styles of the thirties and forties. But while the streets are familiar, the addresses are new, and they often bring a fresh sparkle to the old neighbourhoods. There’s a gospel tune performed in jubilee quartet style, a dark shabby waltz from a Weimar cabaret, and a song or two that would be right at home in the Cotton Club. Hiebert serves the blues raw and with a suave piano trio, and includes a couple of songs that mine the same vein of comic innuendo as his underground classic, The Girl in the Pink Canoe . A leaping bebop number (anchored by George Koller) blows hot in the instrumental choruses, cool in the spoken-word verses. The whole disc is beautifully written and performed, with some of the best sidemen in Toronto.”
Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail
“… Like a fine wine or aged Bourbon, Big Rude Jake just gets better with time. Eclectic? Hell yes. Original? Even more so. In his punk cabaret days, it would have been easier to overlook the talent of Big Rude Jake in light of the spectacle and energy of his live shows, but Big Rude Jake has come fully into his own. Outstanding songwriting, sublime musicianship, and the sort of force majeure personality it takes to be a star are all elements of Quicksand. The album is full of difficult musical choices, and Big Rude Jake and his band nail almost every one. Jazz, blues rockabilly, punk and gospel all come together (sometimes in the same song) in ways you can’t imagine on Quicksand. Lucky for us, Big Rude Jake could imagine it, and make it happen.”
“…Big Rude Jake’s album Quicksand hardly ever leaves my player. And I drive for a living, … just let it play over and over..it is Canadian classic music, with a nice Leon Redbone kinda twist to it!”
“All I can say is: wow. This is a POWERHOUSE album.
There’s a greater range of sounds this time, with some tracks using a limited instrumentation (and highlighting Jake’s own excellent guitar playing). Jake’s songwriting has always been amazing, but it’s evolved by leaps and bounds… the songs on Quicksand are absolutely scintillating, both melodically and lyrically. As ever, it’s music that refuses to be pigeon-holed, running a range through blues, rockabilly, jazz and hard rock… sometimes combining all of them in one song. Think Cab Calloway meets Jim Morrison… and you’ll still fall short.
If you haven’t tried Big Rude Jake yet, this is the place to start. Do NOT hesitate. If you like jazzy, infectious, intelligent music, you simply won’t do any better. Be there first, before the rest of the world discovers this guy.”