One of the best concert experiences is going in with absolutely no expectations. Standing in a crowd of anonymous faces and listening to foreign sounds is by far the most rewarding sensual experience. A lack of lyrical orientation allows you to become enveloped by the words rather than mindlessly reciting them. You allow yourself to watch the intricate finger work of the lead guitarist without anticipating the next riff or solo. Every nuance is fresh and unfamiliar. In that fleeting moment, inhibitions melt and all that matters is the music.
I was fortunate enough to have one of those experiences thanks to the music stylings of Jakob Dylan and The Three Legs. To be completely honest, the initial pilgrimage to the Phoenix Concert Hall was to see Jakob Dylan. Who wouldn’t want to be inches away from a music legend’s flesh and blood? Besides knowing a few of his songs, I went in as a completely blank slate. I came as a stranger to his music and left a fan. My desire to see was replaced with a craving to experience.
The clever fusion of Folk and Rock with a Country underbelly hooked me from the very first song. Jakob’s raspy voice combined with the stand-up bassist’s subdued rockabilly licks and the steel guitar twangs melded the genres perfectly. The cohesion of the refined and raw made for a unique dynamic. Paul Rigby, the lead guitarist, dazed the audience with his sharp Country riffs and string bending solos. Under his spell, each string became a warm elastic. The only thing that topped his guitar work was his feverish mandolin plucking. Neko Case and Kelly Hogan angelically added to the striking balance between rough rockabilly and country chic. Their vocal flexibility accentuated the subtle nuances and intricacies each song embodied.
For someone expected to fill such large footsteps, Jakob’s music endeavors are distanced from the triumphs of his father as he has definitely found his own niche based within a passion to create timeless and layered musical arrangements. Clearly the musical gift runs in his bloodline, but regardless, Jakob has managed to create an overwhelming following wholly separate from his father’s influence.