Are there any other 20-year olds out there who can match Jake Bugg‘s skills as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist?
I’ve been spending some time lately in Kentucky and last week checked out Jake Bugg’s show at Headliners Music Hall in Louisville (the same venue where I photographed Murder By Death a couple weeks ago). After catching a short record store set by Jake Bugg in Charleston in March (click here for pics and review), I noted that he had the instincts of a great bluegrass player.
But Jake Bugg’s talents know few limits, and his songs don’t fit neatly into any particular box. With a bassist and drummer, Jake Bugg’s performance in Louisville was at times a spirited rock show, with Bugg stellar on the electric guitar; at other points, Bugg’s haunting voice filled the huge space with plaintive, searching ballads.
For all the power in his voice and the sheer command of the guitars, Jake Bugg is unassuming on stage. There was no banter, little change of expression when he wasn’t singing. He lets his music speak for itself. And speak it does.
As you can see in a few of the photos here, there were plenty of adoring young women in the large audience who hung on the very young-looking musician’s every move, but there were lots of folks even older than me there too.
I don’t know if Jake Bugg often starts shows with “Kentucky”, but it sure made a good choice in Louisville. And the three song encore alone was worth the price of admission. Bugg has been covering Neil Young for awhile now, but here’s hoping that he doesn’t get too caught up in that “better to burn out than to fade away” stuff.
Neil is still kicking, and it’s easy to imagine Jake Bugg’s career taking many twists and turns for decades to come.
The Silver Palms proved an excellent opening act. The young band from the extreme southeast corner of coastal Georgia has shared stages with Jake Bugg in the U.S. and in the U.K. , and I’ve been lucky to hear them (and shoot a few photos) at two Savannah gigs — once at Savannah Stopover and once at The Jinx.
It was great to see how much The Silver Palms have developed over the last few months. There was an ease on stage that many bands never achieve, and there was a more kinetic quality to the stage show, helped in part by guitarist Adam Drury’s backing vocals for twin brother and lead singer Dalton Drury. Wade Beahm on bass and Jordan Scott on drums round out the talented foursome.
The Silver Palms only have a couple of songs out there — “Superstar” and “Georgia Boy” — but all the songs in the set were as strong as those. One day, after The Silver Palms release a debut album, crowds will be singing along to those catchy choruses.
Here are a few shots of The Silver Palms and then lots more pics of them and of Jake Bugg after the jump (click for larger images):
And more Jake Bugg: