In 2007, Seattle songwriter Jacob Carver released his first CD, Done Gone, a solo acoustic effort performed live in the studio, replicating what a typical Jake Carver performance sounded like. Although happy with that effort, Jake took that opportunity to leave the acoustic singer/songwriter world behind. He put together a full-on rock band and in another year entered the studio again for his second effort, Only Too Well.
Although a handful of the same songs from Done Gone were re-envisioned for Only Too Well, the transformation from folksy singer/songwriter to rock-n-roll front man is apparent on every song. From the opening horns of "Bourbon and Blood," through the uptempo Dylanesque mini-epic "Come Crawling" and the relentless grind of "City Life," to the closing scorching guitar solo on "Pain and Glory," Only Too Well is eleven tracks, each one charting a separate path through Jake's musical imagination, yet still presenting a unified whole.
Working with a broad range of extraordinarily talented musicians including the core of guitarist Tom Albers, bassist Darren Ross and drummer David Warburton, and recording under the skilled and experienced ear of producer and engineer Scott Ross, Jake's vocals and lyrics push to new heights. The tender beauty of "Highway Miles," with its evocation of the hypnotic effect of the road ("Two-lane road / Center lane speaks to me in code"), and the rousing "Resistance," just to name two, show Jake's voice achieving heights not heard in his solo acoustic days. On several tracks, his vocals are further propelled by the gorgeous backing of Faith and Disease lead vocalists Dara Rosenwasser and Charlotte Sather.
A prolific songwriter, it likely won't be too long before another Jacob Carver album emerges. In the meantime, denizens of the Pacific Northwest should expect to see him out in force with his band, the Sympathetic Strangers (from a line from Paul Simon's "She Moves On"). Fans outside of the area may be able to see him live before too long as well. Anyone with an interest in doing so is cordially invited to contact Jake directly through his official site, MySpace, or Facebook.