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  • Writer's pictureAmi Row

5 Songs I Love w/ Jack Wakeman

Jack Wakeman & The Dreamstriders have returned with the delightful indie single 'Feel Again In Time'. The release is a breath of fresh air and is infused with a vast array of influence. We caught up with frontman Jack Wakeman to find out more about the music he loves and why! If you're a fan of the picks below, be sure to check out his new release 'Feel Again In Time'.

1. John Martyn - Solid Air

There are few artists who’ve had an impact on me more than John Martyn, an incredibly prickly and unpredictable character by most accounts who managed to create some of the finest works within the folk-rock sphere, a true visionary in my book who’s disregard for the status quo put him at the cutting edge.

Solid Air is where I started and is where you should too if you’ve never listened to him, the song's thick smokey atmosphere give it a feeling few have ever matched. Dim the lights, pour yourself a drink, light a ‘herbal’ cigarette and put this song on.

I could have picked any song from Hounds Of Love - Running Up That Hill, Cloudbusting or And Dream Of Sheep but I chose to go with Hello Earth because for me its the most interesting composition on the album. A piano ballad at its core but her use of a Gregorian Choir and Uilleann Pipes make this song magic, they give it this Medieval, Celtic fantasy like quality that intrigues and inspires me completely.

I feel that there are so many interesting instruments in the world why limit your tonal pallet? It's all there to be used so why not experiment, Kate Bush does this all the time and her music is much richer for it.

In 1968 you had the release of albums like Electric Ladyland and Astral Weeks, flower power is in the air and what do The Kinks do? release an album called ‘We Are The Village Green Preservation Society’ where Ray Davies sings songs of satire about village greens, church steeples, riverside picnics and old oak trees.

I find this tongue in cheek quiet quaint rebellion brilliant, its something I very much relate to and aspire to fine tune in my own songwriting. I love the songs use of harpsichord and oboe, it really captures the hazy melancholia of an English summertime countryside getaway.

This song to me sounds like the future of ‘indie’ music. Having played electric guitar for a long time and being surrounded by guitar music for most of my life I can sometimes become numb to the sound and no longer feel the creativity in the instrument. But when I heard this song it reignited an almost dead passion because of his creative use of the electric guitar in ways I had not heard before. He’s an incredibly intriguing artist because he seems to have disappeared shortly after releasing the album this song is on (Utopia Defeated) in 2016, I hope wherever he is, he is okay and we’ll get to hear more of his music in the future.

A slight curveball from my other choices but one I felt was worthy of the list (turns out 5 songs just isn’t enough).

As a bass player I’m forever on the hunt for great grooves and where better to look than late 70s R&B and Funk. Taken from her 2nd record ’Naughty’ at a time before she became the 80s icon we think of today the whole album is much less electronic than her later work so for me the grooves of the rhythm section feel much more organic.

The bass playing by Anthony Jackson is a masterclass in when to keep it simple and when to put some flare in whilst staying locked with the drums, the electric guitar snakes around the vocal melodies to create some great counterpoints, add in a great string arrangement and one of the great voices of popular music and you have yourself a funk classic.

I use this song as a bass guitar warm up exercise before gigs although I’m far from mastering it, it never stops inspiring me to be a better player.

Listen to 'Feel Again In Time' here:

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