“If there are kids out there who aren’t sure what they want to do, the only question you ask yourself is, ‘What do you love to do?’, and that’s what you go do. If you truly love what you’re doing then some day you will be very, very good at it…and when you’re very, very good at it, you will get paid for it. Doesn’t matter what it is.” – Jackie Greene
Jackie Greene is someone who loves what he does…and yes, he’s very, VERY good at it.
As a child, Jackie discovered his passion for music and taught himself piano and guitar. By 13, he had decided that he wanted to be a musician and he began gigging steadily at bars and coffeehouses around Sacramento, California. At his early gigs, Jackie sold copies of a CD that he recorded in his makeshift garage studio and saved the money he made selling those discs to fund his debut album, the self-produced, self-released Rusty Nails.
Jackie was doing what he loved and his passion was evident. He often booked multiple shows in a single day, playing happy hours with only an acoustic guitar and harmonica and then rocking late into the night at a different venue with a full band.
Jackie’s determination quickly paid off and he started gaining regional attention. It didn’t take long for an independent label to take notice and in 2002, he released his second album, Gone Wanderin’, which went on to garner considerable national attention. Before long, Jackie found himself on tour opening for the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Huey Lewis, Mark Knopfler and Taj Mahal.
Over the past decade, Jackie has teamed with several notable veterans, including Levon Helm and Grateful Dead legends, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh with whom he started collaborating in 2007, and still plays with today. In 2013, Jackie joined The Black Crowes as their lead guitarist and continued to play with them until they disbanded earlier this year. Most recently, he teamed up with Joan Osborne and Crowes drummer Steve Gorman to form supergroup Trigger Hippy.
All the while, his dedication to doing what he loves never waned and he continued to write and perform as a solo artist. To date Jackie has released six albums and is due to release his seventh, Back to Birth on August 21st.
In dedicating his life to doing what he loves, the success and the money came his way. Jackie Greene’s Rolodex (oops, dating ourselves there) may be filled with the names and numbers of many of his fellow musical greats, but that’s not what drives him. Jackie cares about the story and the emotional connection he is making with his fans through his music. “When I go to make a record, I’m not thinking about where I can fit in a bunch of guitar solos. I’m thinking, ‘What does this song feel like? What’s it saying?’ So my goal, when writing a song or making a record, is to find the core of that emotional experience and convey that … All I can do is write songs and make music as honestly as I can. That’s what I believe people appreciate about what I do. They trust me to be honest with them, and I’d never want to abuse that trust.”
We trust you, Jackie. Keep doing what you love.
Don’t miss Jackie Greene on Infinity Hall Live on Friday July 31st at 10:00 pm on CPTV. Keep the magic going and join us for the Web Premiere Event on Facebook on Saturday, Aug. 1st and Sunday Aug. 2nd!