On their debut album, Jake Mack Trio paints a vivid picture of rural Chicagoland in the 21st century and raises the question “Is nostalgia dangerous?”
Musically, the band uses the past as a launching pad: this is a rootsy Rock and Roll record. Jake Mack’s guitar rips through the tunes channeling the likes of Keith Richards, Robert Cray, and Derek Trucks, while his raspy tenor finds a balance between the blues greats and alt-country stalwarts such as Jason Isbell and Jeff Tweedy. Longtime collaborators Zach Goforth (bass) and Dan Knighten (drums) come along for the ride, pounding out the rockers while creating a groove reminiscent of modern jazz and soul: think Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers meets The Roots.
But it is lyrically where the album truly shines and causes us to examine our current state; from the small town stuck in the glory days of high school, to one broken relationship after the next, to the troubadour dreaming of a better life in the big city, to a man unable to overcome the demons of his divorce, the album is ultimately about learning to let go and journey into the unknown. As Mack so fittingly chants on the single “Drive,” “What’s done is done, no replay here, just moving on.”