CD FROM JACK GIERING FEATURES FORMER GLASS HARP PLAYERS AND FAMILIAR NAMES FROM
NORTHWEST PA. MUSIC SCENE
Jack is back!
Jack Giering, keyboardist and vocalist in fondly remembered late 1960’s
Clarion bands The Plants and The Scarlet Pumpernickel, has emerged from the
backwoods of Pine City with a stunning new compact disc entitled Lone Wolf.
Mastered by Grammy nominee Suha Gur, Lone Wolf contains 11 tracks composed and arranged by the former timber appraiser and Keystone Elementary teacher who left Clarion briefly in the late 1960’s for work with independent music producer Dik Darnell. Dik produced and Jack played on sessions at Summit Studios in Denver, Colo. for the late soul sensation Baby Huey (& the Babysitters) that yielded “Listen To Me” and a cover of the late Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Both arrangements are credited in Nelson George’s influential book Hip Hop America with being the source of the first-ever rap music samples.
The sound of Lone Wolf brings to mind latter-day Steve Winwood with sprinkles of Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Prince and even Brian Eno. Jack’s lead vocals, gruff yet strangely soothing, recall Tom Waits.
But it’s all uniquely Jack - lyrics touching on the anxiety of aging, mortality, the sickness and death of friends, fear of loneliness, rising above bitterness and bigotry, past indiscretions, sex (always a timely topic for all ages), the loyalty and inspiration of his wife SammiKay - all wrapped in a gentle funk/fusion clean and smooth as top-shelf sipping whiskey.
The genesis of Lone Wolf was Jack’s exposure to the remarkable capabilities of keyboard and computer technology. Shortly thereafter, as one familiar with Jack’s skills and obsessions might’ve figured, he learned how to extract exquisite bass and horn sounds and the soup stock was started.
Meanwhile, he is forced to deal with the minor annoyance of five heart attacks, medical helicopter flights to Pittsburgh and doctors predicting his demise within six months.
Acutely aware that he is bursting with new music not yet preserved, SammiKay pleads, “Please don’t take your music to the grave.” Jack, tougher than a two-dollar steak, complies. Incredibly, these are just 11 of 112 original songs recorded during this ordeal.
And then there’s the “help,” an unlikely lineup that probably shares little except for major-league talent and a common mission of giving their friend’s songs their proper due.
Mr. Gur met Jack through fellow Keystone faculty member Paul O’Neil (who grew up with Mr. Gur in New Jersey) when Mr. Gur bartered with his former neighbor for a fishing trip on which Jack served as guide. Later, when Jack called for a return favor, Mr. Gur eagerly volunteered his services.
You’ve got the legendary Phil Keaggy of Nashville, Tenn. on guitar and Youngstown, Ohio’s John Sferra on drums, who have attained international acclaim as Christian artists. They are two-thirds of the recently reunited Glass Harp, whose two Decca LP’s in the early 1970’s are prog rock classics.
Mr. Keaggy was recently inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Mr. Sferra was Lone Wolf’s primary engineer and assistant producer. Also involved with Lone Wolf and, to a greater degree, on sessions that will yield future releases for he and Jack, was Danny Pecchio, the third-third of Glass Harp (bass/vocals).
Michele McElhinny of Brookville provides background vocals. Her debut CD Streetwise will be Porchpuppy Music‘s second release.
Steve “Spiny” McCaslin of Knox and Larry Say of Oil City guest on guitar and drums respectively. Mr. Say and Jeff Albright of Oil City engineered parts of Lone Wolf at their Ash Studio in Oil City. Jack credits another Venango County rock music impresario, Neal Williams, for introducing him to Mr. Sferra. The CD label also thanks Laurie Cave, Ashley “Sunni” Cole, Scott Sheatz, Pamela Say, Heidi Dietz and Sally Albright.
Do yourself a favor and lay out a few bucks for a CD you’ll cherish forever.
And, select retailers in northwest Pennsylvania...
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