“A cocktail of genre-hopping jam rock combining singer-songwriter lyrics, three-part harmonies, and a heavy rhythm section. With doses of ambient rock, jazz and classic rock as well as a dash of country, folk and grunge, Levi Jack eludes definition. They are a genre all their own.” - Rory Glass
Levi Jack- “Around The Sun” EP Review
By Chris Cole 10/07/20
Levi Jack evokes California Americana on its new debut EP , “Around The Sun”, but it does way more than that. It pulls that diverse classification of music into the present, the way its best contemporaries such as Dawes and Felice Brothers manage to do.
It also evokes the generation between that includes Los Lobos and NRBQ (“Think of it All”). There are so many shards of sounds from so many different influences (“California”, “Around The Sun”).
However, they are not content with a simple rehash or tribute to the music that inspires its members: Levi Jack rearranges those shards of influence into a wholly original, stained glass wonder that lets you see into the past with the lens of the present. In short, this is f’ing beautiful. The track, “Around The Sun”, is a unique and necessary achievement. A modern ride through coastal California, between LA and SF, that was once brought to life by everyone from The Flying Burrito Brothers to Fleetwood Mac.
Around The Sun provides the uninitiated with enough of a familiar sound that they aren’t thrown or confused when the unexpected flourish of guitar or keyboard washes over at an unexpected moment, and leads you down an unexpected but utterly satisfying diversion (“Mary Rose”). The newest EP from Levi Jack is not unlike a back road that exposes some jewel of a beach that is all yours for the afternoon. This is love. Love of music, love of the listener, and love of everything that has come before, and by the sound of it will keep coming for some time after. Good news for us.
Levi Jack "Around The Sun"
John Epperheimer 10/12/20’
“Around The Sun” is the new EP from Levi Jack, a south Bay Area Americana/alt-roots rock band fronted by the dual-songwriting talents and guitars of Marty Rodriguez and Rich Thomas. From the beginning track “California", the EP hums with energy, chops, and soaring harmonies.
Although it’s clear that Marty and Rich have different songwriting styles and philosophies, the two songwriters work together beautifully supporting each other’s songs, and the 5-song EP flows despite the differences in songs and styles on display. Both singers are brimming with confidence, which shows in their performances - this is a band that sounds like it has come through the other side, and is stronger for it.
Production on the EP is top-notch, and Rodriguez and Thomas are ably supported by bassist Josh Baker, drummer/percussionist Mark Danley, and wunderkind Jacob Burns displaying crafty lead guitar chops throughout the journey. Of special note is Northern Bluegrass Society “2019 Banjo Player Of The Year” Sonia Shell, who guests on two tracks, “I Know What it Is” and “Around The Sun” - her playing brings another dimension to the songs, and helps to anchor the strong songwriting and production on both tracks. Finally, Matthew Lucchesi adds a spirited and haunting mandolin to “Around The Sun” that brings the track full circle.
If you’re a fan of bands like The Jayhawks, The Fruit Bats, or Wilco, you’ll find a lot of things to like about “Around The Sun”.
Levi Jack delivers the goods with their debut EP
With great and varied songwriting, ringing clear vocals, soaring guitar solos, and a smooth pocket rhythm section on groove patrol, Around The Sun is immediately enjoyable. Opening with a triumphant love anthem to “California”, visiting a range of styles and intensity levels, and closing with the genre-blending and very sing-along-able “Mary Rose“, this release covers more ground and visits more styles than should be allowed to fit into 25 minutes. By the end, the band has taken the listener on a journey and then brought us all home with a smooth landing.