Feelin' Good Again
It's no exaggeration to say that Jake Andrews was born to play music. The twenty-something guitarist, singer and songwriter from Austin, Texas began playing soon after he started walking, and since the age of eight has been trading licks with such masters as Albert King, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush. By his early teens he was wowing audiences and fellow musicians at such premier blues venues as B.B. King's in Memphis and Los Angeles and Slim's in San Francisco, as well as Antone's nightclub in Austin. At age 19 he released his first album and scored a Top 10 Rock Radio hit with 'Time To Burn.' His second self-titled album for Texas Music Group proved Andrews as a musical powerhouse ready to stamp his own imprint on blues and rock'n'roll. Produced by roots rock legend Carla Olson, the disc showcases the taste, imagination and power in Andrews' playing and also displays his full-fledged abilities as a soulful singer and preternaturally gifted songwriter. As Jimmie Vaughan said of Jake, 'He's exactly what the blues needs to keep going: someone with a feel for the music who isn't afraid to take it to new places.' The late Albert Collins predicted years ago that 'by the time he's old enough to buy a drink he may be ahead of us all.' Jake Andrews grew up immersed in music, thanks to his father, John 'Toad' Andrews. The elder Andrews played guitar with Texas blues master Grady Gaines before heading to California, where he worked with Michael Nesmith before making his name as a member of the pioneering roots music group Mother Earth with noted singer Tracy Nelson. By the time Jake was four years old, his father had given him his first guitar and was teaching his son the basics. At an age when most youngsters where learning their ABCs, Jake was absorbing the music of such 1950s rock'n'roll originals as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Elvis Presley before moving on into his father's collection of classic blues records. When Jake was eight, he met Albert King at Antone's nightclub, and joined King onstage to play 'some extremely fine blues [that] brought the house down,' according to the Austin Chronicle. In the years that followed, Andrews jammed with and opened shows for numerous blues legends. He also toured Europe with the Antone's blues review, appeared on 'Austin City Limits' with Gatemouth Brown, was featured on CBS TV's 'The Osgood File,' and recorded with such Texas blues greats as Grey Ghost and Long John Hunter, all well before he was even old enough to drive. In his late teens, Andrews signed with Jericho/Sire Records (Warner Brothers) and cut his first album, Time To Burn, with producer John Porter (Los Lonely boys, BB King). The Times of London praised the disc for it's 'honest vitality and rough, uncomplicated charm.' And the Austin American-Statesman observed how Andrews is 'plainly poised for bigger things' after emerging as 'a fully mature musical talent.' Andrews notes that his youth 'was certainly different from anyone I knew. It was a great foundation for doing this later in life. Jake doesn't allow himself to be caught up in defining his place in the musical world. 'I love this music. I love any kind of music. This is just where my roots are, and that's what comes out naturally. I don't think about whether it's blues or not, because it's more than just a sound. 'I don't try to see myself as anything,' he concludes. 'I'm not doing anything different from when I was seven or eight years old. I'm just doing what feels natural to me.'