Jackie Greene: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Jackie Greene: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

“Cowboy poet” of Americana and blues (according to Bob Weir) Jackie Greene is out with his new EP, The Modern Lives – Vol 1, this fall and, to celebrate, the musician put together a list of some albums that changed his life.

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Ray Charles, The Genius of Ray Charles

This was the first vinyl record I ever listened to. I was about fourteen years old and discovered it in the basement of our house. I knew the name Ray Charles, but I’d never really heard the music. This was the album that paved the way for my discovery of early American blues and roots music.  I was hooked after the first listen.

Tom Waits, Small Change

This was the album that made me want to write my own songs. There was something about Tom’s voice paired with the song content that really seemed to fit together. I would say the highest goal of any music is to be transportive. This entire album is exactly that.

Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited

After Tom Waits, Dylan was probably my favorite songwriter. There is something special about discovering electric Dylan in your early twenties. We all tend to have a certain degree of a messiah complex at that age, and this era of Dylan seems to feed that beast.

The Coup, Genocide and Juice

I was a teenager in the ’90s and hip/hop was a dominating force in music. I really liked a lot of ’90s rap: Snoop, Dre, Tribe, Pharcyde, etc., but the one album that I really took a liking to was this one. It deals with some pretty serious subject matter, but is hilarious at the same time.

Elton John, 11-17-70

This was originally a live radio broadcast and not intended for release, but it was too powerful to ignore. The performance of ‘Burn Down the Mission’ is staggeringly impressive. Legend has it that Elton cut his hand during the gig and his piano was covered in blood by the end of the show.

(Photo credit: Shervin Lainez)

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