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Gilded is the debut offering from California singer/songwriter Jade Jackson. It marks the arrival of a young but sophisticated talent who possesses a keen melodic ear, an innate sense of rhyme and phrasing, and a slow, syrupy sweet, slightly raspy voice to deliver it all in. She's soaked up a wealth of influences, from Hank Williams and Lucinda Williams to Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, and more. She has also, especially for such a young person, a deep well of experience from which to draw from and does so with finesse. Gilded was produced by Social Distortion's Mike Ness (the electric guitar sounds reveal this in spades), and he knows empathically when to add punch without allowing sonic clutter. While this record starts out with a wistful, lonesome ballad ("Aden") it doesn't remain there long. Jackson loves classic country, but she also loves punky L.A. country. Her story songs (which are among the strongest things on offer here), such as "Troubled End" and "Good Time Gone," reflect the latter without leaving vintage honky tonk behind. Some of her most intimate songs, like "Finish Line" and "Motorcycle," are manifestos of independence that embody mental and emotional strength. Her protagonists know plenty: they've learned from pain, but they also acknowledge that there's a lot more to explore and experience, and they embrace possibility without caution. "No Guarantees" is a country waltz that accepts love as a transformative and purifying force. Guest Sara Watkins delivers a brief, rapturous fiddle break to underscore its lyric. Closer "Better Off," with its clattering snare and ringing guitars, provides the backdrop for Jackson's assertion that what she needs is not what this particular suitor is capable of offering. Throughout Gilded, Jackson's insistence on freedom reflects her willingness to pay its price. In these songs, she continually offers evidence of a steely backbone balanced by a compassionate heart. She knows life is gritty, but understands that accepting it on its own terms provides the experience necessary to greet beauty and abundance with open arms. Jackson embraces everything on Gilded, and she delivers it to the listener with an album full of songs at once arresting, appealing, and poetic.
Performance CreditsJade Jackson Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
David Kalish Piano,Guitar (Tremolo)
Mike Ness Electric Guitar
Sara Watkins Fiddle
Tyler Miller Percussion,Drums
Andrew Rebel Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Piano,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Jake Vukovich Bass
Technical CreditsMike Ness Producer
Jeff Halbert Engineer
Hilary Okun Publicity
Gary Greenberg Legal Advisor