Keep an eye out for Jake Xerxes Fussell. Sans once busking back in 2000, Jake made his Chicago debut in the city's favorite urban roadhouse; The Hideout. Considered a musical home for Robbie Fulks and Kelly Hogan, The Hideout is a local Alt. Country taste-maker and premiere venue of its size. So it is no surprise Jake had a full house of anticipating fans. In time, this show will prove to be an "I was there" moment. This intimate performance precedes him opening for Wilco's first of four Chicago Theater concerts February 23, then off to a couple nights in New York City and and onward to the UK.
Hailing from Durham, North Caroline, Jake bring a unique sound, playing his Fender Telecaster like an acoustic guitar deeply steeped in a traditional Piedmont blues style from the southeast. Given his upbringing in Columbus, Georgia and the son of a folklorist, he was exposed to some of the best area musicians. Folk music runs deep in his veins. Consider him a torch bearer of Piedmont blues who is continuing a musical folk tradition at risk of fading away with another turn of an older generation.
His presence is focused, modest and humble, drawing the crowd into his finger picking, singing and comforting, sultry voice. One highlight was his rendition of Duke Ellington's "Jump for Joy" styled in his sound. Most of his set was original songs. "Let me Loose" stands out as classic finger picking blues where the chords help carry the melody.
His musical momentum is deserving and is building up to great things ahead. Wilco fans will be in for a real treat when he opens their show. He currently has one release, a self-titled debut with a new release on the horizon. "What in the Natural World" is scheduled for March 31st.