This week’s edition of “Albums That Changed the World” reveals the recordings that forever influenced young Michigan guitarist Jake Kershaw. Listen to tracks from all of his picks.
EDITOR’S NOTE: All musicians trace their inspiration to key recordings that captivated them and influenced their own music. Writer Ross Boissoneau today showcases the albums that changed the world for Marshall guitarist Jake Kershaw. Scroll down for a Spotify playlist of Kershaw’s picks, plus a couple of recent tracks of his own.
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Guitarist, singer and songwriter Jake Kershaw got his first guitar at 9, and his first electric guitar two years later. That’s when he says everything changed. Falling in love with the blues, the youngster soon had formed a band. He’s shared the stage with the likes of Jonny Lang, Larry McCray and Walter Trout, and opened for Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bernard Allison and Tab Benoit among others.
He began to write his own music, morphing gradually into the rock and pop realms. Kershaw released his first recording, “Piece of My Mind,” in 2017 at the age of 16.
Prior to the interview for this article, he had just listened to the final mixes for his upcoming full-length recording, which he says has more of a contemporary rock and pop feel. “I started in blues, but I think the new stuff speaks to a new audience,” he says. Kershaw plays the Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall at 8 p.m. Oct. 23. Tickets, $34, available here.
1. Eric Clapton, “One More Car One More Rider” (2002) – It’s got Billy Preston, Steve Gadd, Nathan East: It’s a cacophony of greatness for two hours. I could listen to it for hours and hours as a kid, and I did. He did such a great job. On “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” Billy Preston plays my favorite keyboard solo of all time.
2. John Mayer Trio, “Try!” (2005) – It was the show before my good friend Bill Chrysler got hired (to provide sound). It’s the quintessential “how to play in a band” album. I loved it so much I bought it on vinyl. The guitar sound, the drum sound and drum solo – that album changed me as a person. I’d heard of John Mayer, listened to some of his stuff and liked it, then (after hearing this) I did a deep dive into his continuum. That really turned me on to what he had been doing.
3. Buck Owens & the Buckaroos, “Live at Carnegie Hall” (1966) – This one will surprise you. On my first trip to Nashville, I heard “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” (Owens’ previous album). I listened to Buck Owens the entire week I was down there. I was obsessed. The band was amazing players, they just killed it. It had a cool blend of rock feel, driving rhythms. It turned me on to the whole country side.
Listen: “Live at Carnegie Hall”
Currently Loving: Marty Robbins, “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs” (1959) – I like really simple songwriting. This had these two-and-a-half- to four-minute songs. Every one had a strong, catchy (melody). It was thematic, storytelling songs. I really want to emulate that.
Listen: “Big Iron”
MUSIC THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Jake Kershaw’s Playlist on Spotify
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