Jayke Orvis / Blog

Saving Country Music's Artist Of The Year 2010

Taken from Savingcountrymusic.com

"First an foremost, Jayke Orvis is a super picker, a mandolin maestro, with brilliant technical ability and taste; traits not always found in tandem. And rarely do you find in tandem with a superpicker superlative songwriting abilities, which Jayke also possesses. Numerous songs from his 2010 album It’s All Been Said showed of not only a great ear and deep, masterful songwriting, but the ability to shake it up, writing songs more composition-based like “Shady Grove Gypsy Moon” and “Dreadful Sinner”, and then turning around with a song like “Streets”, which is simple, fun, and straightforward, but as you delve into the lyrics they reveal a tremendous amount of soul.

And Jayke is not some studio whiz. Whether touring with Rachel Brooke and a mashup band of borrowed players, or adding an elemental hand to the madness and magic of a Goddamn Gallows show, Jayke toured a lot in 2010, and left an impression everywhere he went because of the breadth of his music prowess. I’m not going to call Jayke’s pipes golden, or his guitar playing impressionable. What I will say is when looking at all the factors that go into making a musician, Jayke scores tops in so many different was, it’s almost unfair.

Think about it like this: Jayke’s talent was important enough to form a record label around it in the name of Farmageddon Records, because many people saw it as imperative to share Jayke’s music with the rest of the world.

But erase all of that for just a second. Put all my glowing accolades aside. What do I always try to emphasize around here? That music is just the excuse. What we really talk about around here is life, and people, and the importance of certain priorities. Anyone can spend a bunch of free time learning how to play the guitar real well and be an asshole the rest of the time. When two of Jayke’s band mates in The Gallows were wrongly accused of a crime, Jayke didn’t cut and run or say “mum’s the word.” Jayke took the point, along with Darren at Farmageddon Records, in doing whatever was possible to set what was wrong back right. With honest, heartfelt compassion and empathy, he worked for the release of Quentin and Uriah, and through the efforts of him and many others, there is now hope for exoneration. I’m not saying the man’s a saint, but when it counted, he stepped up.

Does this leave egg on the face of the .357 String Band, which Jake was a part of and let go? No, I think it strengthens the influence and impact that band has had, and proves even more how much of a proving ground for creativity .357 has become. Jayke was let free so he could blossom, but at the same time, the combative and equally collaborative environment has created 3 amazing albums from that band, and now a handful of solo projects, including Jayke’s and another spectacular one from .357′s banjo player Joseph Huber called Bury Me Where I Fall. The .357 String band is our generation’s BR549, making stars out of all the individual members because of the rich environment it created.

Its All Been Said review

"When maestro mandolin player and songwriter Jayke Orvis left the .357 String Band, some heavy metal transplants were screeching that he took all of their grittiness, guts, and anger with him. Taking that theory to its natural conclusion, I guess a few were expecting his solo project to be some sort of bloodletting ritual that would summon the mandolin Mephistopheles to harvest our souls in a moment of death metal ecstasy. Unfortunately they will have to settle for great songwriting, and superb arrangement fleshed out by a mouth-watering assemblage of country superpickers.

If I got a bug to make an album and could put together a dream list of people to help me, James Hunnicutt (Wayne Hancock, The Revolvers, to many others to list) would be at the top for lead guitar. “Banjer” Dan Mazer would be there as well. Then take the other traveling members of JB Beverley & The Wayward Drifters and Old-Timey Avery from Jayke’s current band The Goddamn Gallows, and you’ve got a comic book-style supergroup assembled ready to fight crime. Well, more like supervillans ready to make it.

First and foremost, It’s All Been Said is a country album. There’s some bluegrass and some of the gothic feel at times, but this is a singer/songwriter album straddling the mid-tempo and exploring traditional country themes. This doesn’t mean there’s no energy and attitude; on the contrary. If years down the road underground country dries up and we all move on to become heroin addicts listening to fusion jazz or something, this album will be almost a textbook example of the post-punk country era when kids growing up listening to punk and metal infused a new energy into traditional country in a brilliant way."

to read the rest of the review, please visit http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/album-review-jayke-orvis-its-all-been-said