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Thread: Jacob Jolliff new album available now for pre-order

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    Default Jacob Jolliff new album available now for pre-order

    Jacob Jolliff's new album, 'The Jacob Jolliff Band', is now available for pre-order at Adhyâropa Records' Bandcamp page.

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    Mandolin Cafe published an exclusive preview of one of the tracks from this record, Green Green Rocky Road, on June 27th.

    From the press release:
    Hailed for his stunning cross-genre virtuosity and his collaborations with musicians from across the musical spectrum, acoustic musician Jacob Jolliff today announced the pre-release of his album The Jacob Jolliff Band (Adhyâropa Records ÂR00010). Featuring tight vocal harmonies as well as the customary instrumental fireworks of a collaborative ensemble made up of fellow young stars, this album marks a major milestone in Jolliff’s evolution and the arrival of an authority on bluegrass mandolin.

    Long known for his musical prowess with contemporary bluegrass ensembles Joy Kills Sorrow and Yonder Mountain String Band, as well as his collaborations with Alex Hargreaves, Michael Daves, Tony Trishka, and Grant Gordy, Jolliff is equally fascinated by many other genres, and puts that musical polyglotism into what he writes and arranges for the Jacob Jolliff Band. This album is an attempt to capture the stylistic diversity the JJB pours into their fiery live performances. “It’s important to me to have real traditional bluegrass tunes in our set, but when I’m making a setlist I always want to hear a shift from one mood to another, like a story. It helps keep an audience engaged, and keeps us on our toes.”

    Jolliff grew up in a musical family near Portland, Oregon and played in a bluegrass gospel band led by his dad, who started him on mandolin at age 7. That soon blossomed into an exploration of multiple genres, along with a love of – and impressive devotion to – his instrument that continues unabated to this day. “I’m really inspired by musicians like John Coltrane,” he says, “because of his incredible work ethic. And because he was putting in those hours his playing changed so much to the point of being completely different from era to era. There was a sound he was chasing, but there’s no way you can dynamite your way through the mountain, it just comes down to sheer hours.”

    Today, all that work is evident in a musical approach which is distinctly, inimitably his own. “Whatever I play, whether it’s instrumental bluegrass, vocal music, jazz, anything – I hope my personality will come through. I don’t know how it couldn’t!”

    The music on this record crackles with the same energy as their explosive live dynamic. The kickoff, ‘Columbus Stockade Blues,’ establishes a marker with their energetic romp through the traditional tune made famous by bluegrass mandolin pioneer Bill Monroe. Tight vocal harmonies lead into fiery instrumental solos, and each musician is given space to let their individual personality shine through. The following track, ‘The Good, The Bad, And The Home-Schooled’ swings back in the instrumental direction, as Jolliff wryly knits angular modern bebop lines seamlessly into bluegrass textures.

    Just when you’re catching your breath, the JJB offers a twin bill of vocal tunes, the Easter Brothers’ gospel classic ‘They’re Holding Up The Ladder’ and Jo Dee Messina’s ‘Heads Carolina, Tails California.’ The band’s beautiful vocal harmonies are featured, though the latter also includes a striking Stash solo over Jolliff’s distinctive churning rhythmic engine.

    Another Jolliff original, ‘One Night In Glasgow,’ brings the proceedings back to the instrumental side once again. Jolliff’s melodic mandolin line harmonizes with Mailander’s fiddle through the entire range of their instruments, and Sloniker takes a punchy solo. The table is set for the barnstorming centerpiece of the set, Jolliff’s arrangement of ‘Green Green Rocky Road.’ Each member really cuts loose, and you can imagine an audience thrilling to the pyrotechnics on display. Each of these musicians is among the finest in the world on their instrument, and nowhere is it more evident than here.

    As if on cue, the band swings back to a vocal feature for Malcolm McKinney’s ‘Don’t Cry Blue’. A mid-tempo country song made famous by Jonathan Edwards, the mood is again perfectly set up for another album highlight, fellow-Portlander Adam Sweeney’s gorgeous ‘Middle Of The Moon’.

    Now in the homestretch, ‘Old Dizzy Legs’ is a light-hearted instrumental out of the Dawg Music mold that gives each player a chance to shine before leading into the album closers, the Suzy Boguss favorite ‘Outbound Plane’ and a final virtuoso instrumental, ‘Large Garbage Barge.’ On the latter, Jolliff and Mailander trade blazing solo statements before an ensemble close that leaves you breathless and shouting for an encore.

    The direction of the music is in large part dictated by the collaborators Jolliff invited to join him on this album: Stash Wyslouch on guitar, John Mailander on fiddle, and Myles Sloniker on bass. They were specifically chosen for the ability to not only provide a counter to Jolliff’s own bluegrass playing, but their sympathy for other genres as well. “The musicians that I call on have a shared set of influences, bluegrass being a huge one for everyone,” he volunteers, “but from the bandleading I’ve done, the players I really admire are those that are able to balance projects in different genres and really invest in each one.”

    Known as a frequent collaborator with old-time standard bearer Bruce Molsky as well as the leader of his own ensemble, Stash Wyslouch brings an eclectic energy to the proceedings. “There’s no one like Stash. He has one of the most interesting amalgamations of influence, with his shred metal high school background, and having studied jazz and classical, a lot of that comes out even when he plays bluegrass. One of the most fun things for me is to play traditional bluegrass with Stash and see the skeptical faces that he always wins over by the end of a set just through sheer force of will and genuineness.”

    John Mailander (also a member of Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers) offers a moderating voice to the musical conversation, full of wit and elegance. “He’s just one of the most tasteful musicians I know. Everything he plays is transcribable. He also just has a really nice contrasting style to Stash and myself.”

    Bassist Myles Sloniker has been the engine of the band since 2018: “I called him on a couple weeks' notice to do a tour and he came in already knowing all of the arrangements. With just the two of us playing together you could see there was a special connection. Great singer too, and his solos arguably work the audience into a fury even more than Stash’s do!”

    The Yakima Herald says Jolliff is, “generally regarded as one of, if not THE finest mandolin player of his generation,” and he was the 2012 winner of the National Mandolin Championship in Winfield, KS. He was a member of Joy Kills Sorrow from 2008-2014 and Yonder Mountain String Band from 2014-2019. In addition to The JJB, this summer he will be touring in Béla Fleck’s project, My Bluegrass Heart.

    releases August 5, 2022

  2. The following members say thank you to Adhyâropa Records for this post:

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