““[Jake is] a modest version of U2, Jessie Lee Montague

““[Jake is] a modest version of U2, Jessie Lee Montague
is the female Bono…”
-Seth Rogovoy, WAMC Northeast Public Radio
Jake is a dynamic, street-smart New York band that has created its own unique
blend of modern rock and bluesy americana. From growling rock to soulful, sultry tunes that stir the imagination, front-woman Jessie Lee Montague’s beguiling,
feline vocals and emotive lyrics pull it all together. After releasing their debut CD
(Hooked) on Atlantic’s Blackbird Records, the band has achieved critical acclaim
and a steadily growing regional following with Bloodblue and Snake Road, which
they released on their own Desert Dog Records.
Jake signed their first album deal with Atlantic’s Blackbird Records. Their debut CD,
Hooked, sold thousands of copies nationwide and is still one of Blackbird’s largest
selling releases. Jake’s single, Heaven, was also released on the Island Records’
soundtrack for the Oliver Stone production “Gravesend.” Jake’s 1999 release,
Bloodblue, took the band to the next level. After hearing Bloodblue’s first single,
Evil, the Oxygen Network chose Jake as a semifinalist in its “Roxygen on Oxygen”
female musical artist search and invited the band to perform as part of its 2000
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Tank Tour. Bloodblue was chosen best CD at the Fall 1999 Indie Music Forum and
landed the band a finalist slot in the Sennheiser Evolution Band Contest, an invitation to showcase at NEMO 2000, a track on the NEMO 2000 compilation CD and a
showcase at the 2000 Atlantis Music Conference.
2001 brought even greater success. With Jake’s album, Snake Road, they received both critical acclaim and a regional following that has blossomed into a
movement. They sold out the first pressing of the album within a few months. The
first single “Cowboy” was placed in the CBS series “That’s Life” and four additional
tracks were placed in the upcoming nationally distributed independent film “Lady
in the Box.” The band was nominated for the 2002 Just Plain Folks Music Awards,
featured on the cover of Rhythm and News Magazine and on Indie-Music.com, and
in the December 2001 issue of Recording Magazine. Listeners voted two songs
on Snake Road (Cowboy and Already Gone) into the Top One Hundred songs of
2001 on 100.1 WDST; and Seth Rogovoy of WAMC Northeast Public Radio ranked
Jake’s live show in the Top Ten Best Concerts of 2002. Jake’s songs have been
placed in feature films and network television series, and Jake most recently had
several songs from Snake Road featured on ABC’s “All My Children” and “Soap
Net.” The Band recently secured national distribution through BCD Music Group,
and will have their CD’s available in retail stores across the country. They are
excited about the release of Bridge, which features special guest John Medeski of
Medeski Martin and Wood on several tracks, and they will be touring extensively in
support of the album.
Contact: Lisa Cohen at Meerkat Music,
917-992-7030 or [email protected]
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What people are saying about Jake ...
“The East Side Of Fascination...a laudable collection that unearths such notable
newcomers as Jake (fronted by the beguiling Jessie Lee Montague).” –BILLBOARD “Passion Rock”
might be a good way to describe the emotion that bleeds from the speakers as tracks from Snake
Road still the air and soothe the soul like the smell of incense.”
“Just released on Jake’s own Desert Dog Records, this CD’s one of the best to come out of Woodstock this year...Jake offers catchy, melodious rock tha’s soft enough to keep mom from screaming,
but hard enough to please any young, modern radio leech. And DJ’s take note...if this isn’t prime hit
material, I don’t know what is.”
“Let Snake Road stir your imagination. Let it fog up your bedroom window. Let it keep you awake at
night. Leave the air conditioning off.”
“[Jake is] a modest version of U2, Jessie Lee Montague is the female Bono...”
“Jake [has] substance and the chops to back it up...Jessie Lee Montague’s interpretation and her
personal spin on the material [gives] a unique texture almost like a combination of Alanis Morrissette and Sheryl Crow.”
“One of Jason Parker’s new favorites...has done the same to us. The new CD by Jake features
beautiful melodies and complex multi-layered production.”
“Jessie Montague is a hip, streetsmart songwriter with a flair for life. Check it out.”
“Jake hits you straight on. And with a blazing badge of passion on her sleeve, singer/ songwriter
Jessie Lee Montague’s songs tell a story of the human heart.”
“Montague has a knack for putting together modern rock tunes that sound instantly
“Original creativity that will set trends, not follow them. Jake is the real thing!!! The
lyrics are superior to a lot of the stuff out there and the music is jumpin’, jivin’ and in a groove all of
its own!!! Rockin’...beautiful and stimulating!!!
“Jake’s songs run the gamut from folk-flavored poetic to fuzzed-out stormy to fullout
rock n’roll fury to funky pop confections. What ties everything together are
Montague’s rich, powerful vocals and emotive songwriting.”
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New York Magazine, February 14, 2000
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On learning to play guitar:
I locked myself in my room for 3 years, leaving only to eat and
occasionally let my friends know I was still alive. I’ve taken lessons
infrequently along the way, hoping always to learn a little theory -so far to no avail.
On past musical projects/bands:
The first band I was in, I was a back-up singer. We were called
‘Boy Elroy’. We played classic rock -- badly. Then I formed a duo
with an old friend. She sang and played percussion, I sang and
played guitar. We were called ‘Tonic & Rye’. My songwriting roots
began there. Then I started a band with boyfriend/bassist, doing
some of his songs and some of mine. It was an odd fit because he
was into
Brian Eno and the Cure and I was into Joni Mitchell and Joan
Armatrading. We met Jagoda and formed a folk rock trio. Bassist/
boyfriend quit me and the band. Jagoda and I headed for the Big
as some kind of f*cked up dynamic duo...and Jake was born.
On favorite instruments:
My favorite instrument is the bass, but I decided to play guitar for
selfsufficiency. I like old wooden, scruffy instruments. My favorite
guitar is my Gibson L-48. It’s the acoustic version of an ES-150,
but I jerry-rigged a little Bartolini pick-up onto it. It sounds like a
shoe box with a hole in it. She’s a little temperamental for live gigs,
though, so I bought a beautiful Chet Atkins acoustic/electric that I
can pound away on mercilessly. My latest amp romance is with a
brand new Fender Hot Rod Deluxe -- she’s a screamer.
Jessie Lee Montague
Name: Jessie Lee Montague
AKA Jessie Lee AKA Jake
Birthplace: Albuquerque, NM
Preferred Tombstone Epitaph:
“You Should’ve Burned Me”
On primary musical influences:
Joan Armatrading -- numero uno influence.
Rickie Lee Jones -- poetry in motion
Joni Mitchell -- writer wondress
Peter Gabriel -- simply divine
Pink Floyd -- Gilmore guitar heaven
Oh yeah, and Rick Springfield.
I listen to jazz on the radio mostly, but my latest favorite artist is
Imogene Heap. She rocks.
On growing up/family life:
I grew up in Albuquerque, NM, Lawrenceville, NJ, Manhattan, and
Madison, WI. My family life was alienating and splintered. Many
divorces, lots of silence, tremendous independence. I like everyone
in my family. They’re good people. But they’re not the most emotionally nurturing clan I’ve ever met. Therefore, I have a definite
need to kick and scream a bit to be heard.
On cats:
My most favorite feline...is the ever sexy, ever independent, ever
elusive Ms. Stinkles Magillacutty...otherwise known as Zephyr.
She’s 10 pounds of pure fluffy big momma lovin’!
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An Interview With Jake
How did Jake get started?
Jessie: Well I started the band years ago with my first drummer, Jagoda. We
moved to New York together and played as a duo for several years. It wasn’t until
we got signed and made our first album at Bearsville Studios near Woodstock,
New York, that I got introduced to the upstate scene. That’s how I met John. He
had a studio in his house, and I went there to work on the bloodblue e.p.
We hit it off immediately, he asked if he could add some guitar tracks to the tunes, I
said sure, and we were off and running. He and I started writing together, too, and
now we’re the only two left still doing it. We’ve had a few different bass players
and drummers, but John and I are really the band.
What kind of vision do you have in mind?
John: Right now we’re really interested in cultivating community personally and
professionally...working with excellent musicians for the simple love of playing
music and making beautiful recordings. Jess and I both really enjoy the recording
process the most of all the avenues we’ve taken to reach people with our music.
Professionally, we’ve had a lot of success with film and television placement, so
that’s a big goal of ours, to continue to place songs. Jess and I both have a huge
love for film, so combining our music with film is an exciting endeavor that we hope
will just keep growing. Music and film really go hand in hand in a beautiful way,
and it’s very exciting how much songs have become part of the filmmaking process. Directors like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Altman, etc., have had a big influence on that concept, I think.
What do you think is being expressed thru the music?
Jessie: Definitely what’s in our hearts. John and I create music from a very instinctual and pure place. There’s not very much right brain activity going on. It’s
more about staying open to let the muse move through us. Sonically we like to
create atmospheres, soundscapes, and moods. Lyrically I really let the lyrics tell
me what it is that I need to express. I’ll just start writing, stream of consciousness,
and then I’ll look down and go “oh…that’s what’s been on my mind.” I don’t edit
much, and I work a lot with the rhythmic feel of the music, and weave my phrasing
around that. I try to stay out of my own way as much as possible.
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Who writes the songs?
John: We both do. Sometimes Jess writes a complete song--music, words, arrangement etc.--but mostly these days we write together. I’ll come up with a chord
pattern, verse and chorus and then I’ll show it to Jessie and she’ll start working on
a melody and lyrics and then we arrange it, maybe add a bridge, etc. So it’s really
a true collaboration. This process is very natural and satisfying for us.
How do you think your music succeeds in connecting with people?
Jessie: Well, it’s very emotional. As I said earlier, it’s really straight from our
hearts. There’s a rawness and a tangibility emotionally to the music we make. Our
songs deal with very basic human struggles, and also the complexities and nuances of human relationships.
I believe that artists have heightened senses to a degree, and we’re filtering the
frequencies of the human experience into whatever medium
we’ve chosen to express ourselves in. Our fans have let us know that
for the most part we’ve been successful at connecting with people in a
visceral and palpable way. We want ultimately to move people the way
that our musical heroes have continued to move and inspire us.
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Top 100 Songs Of 2001!
You want it? We got it!
The Smirnoff Ice Top 100 Songs of 2001, as voted by you:
100. Rustic Overtones - “C’Mon”
99. Guided By Voices - “Glad Girls”
98. Neil Young - “Let’s Roll”
97. Jake - “Already Gone”
96. Powderfinger - “My Happiness”
95. Keith Richards - “You Win Again”
94. Remy Zero - “Save Me”
93. Everclear - “AM Radio”
92. Doves - “Catch The Sun”
91. Lenny Kravitz - “Again”
90. Dexter Freebish - “Leaving Town”
89. Joseph Arthur - “In The Sun”
88. Jake - “Cowboy”
87. Tricky w/ Ed Kowalczyk & Hawkman “Evolution Revolution Love”
86. Jeb Loy Nichols - “Heaven Right Here”
85. Everlast - “Love For Real”
84. Michael Franti & Spearhead - “Sometimes”
83. Stone Temple Pilots - “Days Of The Week”
82. Ben Folds - “Rockin’ The Suburbs”
81. Garbage - “Androgyny”
80. Perry Farrell - “Song Yet To Be Sung”
79. Clem Snide - “Moment In The Sun”
78. Chris Whitley - “Radar”
77. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Cracking Up”
76. Shannon McNally - “Down And Dirty”
75. Fat Boy Slim feat. Bootsy Collins “Weapon Of Choice”
74. Vertical Horizon - “Best I Ever Had (Grey
Sky Morning)”
73. Semisonic - “Chemistry”
72. Rufus Wainwright - “California”
71. REM - “Imitation Of Life”
70. Melissa Etheridge - “Lover Please”
69. Widespread Panic - “Little Lilly”
68. Robert Cray - “Love Sickness”
67. The Actual Tigers - “Standing By”
66. U2 - “Peace On Earth”
65. 3 Doors Down - “Be Like That”
64. Shawn Colvin - “Whole New You”
63. Lenny Kravitz - “Dig In”
62. Suzanne Vega - “Widow’s Walk”
61. The Cure - “Cut Here”
60. Widespread Panic - “This Part Of Town”
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59. Travis - “Sing”
58. David Gray - “Babylon”
57. Five For Fighting - “Easy Tonight”
56. Blues Traveler - “Back In The Day”
55. Train - “Something More”
54. Dave Matthews Band - “I Did It”
53. Lucinda Williams - “Get Right With God”
52. John Mayer - “No Such Thing”
51. Mick Jagger - “God Gave Me Everything”
50. Green Day - “Waiting”
49. Foo Fighters - “Next Year”
48. David Byrne - “Like Humans Do”
47. Barenaked Ladies - “Pinch Me”
46. Stereophonics - “Have A Nice Day”
45. Bob Dylan - “Honest With Me”
44. Stone Temple Pilots - “Sour Girl”
43. REM - “All The Way To Reno”
42. Depeche Mode - “Dream On”
41. Josh Joplin Group - “I’ve Changed”
40. Stevie Nicks w/ Sheryl Crow - “Sorcerer”
39. Mark Knopfler - “What It Is”
38. Nikka Costa - “Like A Feather”
37. Jeffrey Gaines - “In Your Eyes (live)”
36. Natalie Merchant - “Just Can’t Last”
35. Cowboy Junkies - “I’m So Open”
34. Bob Dylan - “Summer Days”
33. John Mellencamp - “Peaceful World”
32. Lifehouse - “Hanging By A Moment”
31. The Black Crowes - “Soul Singing”
30. David Gray - “Please Forgive Me”
29. Coldplay - “Trouble”
28. Dave Matthews Band - “Everyday”
27. Josh Joplin Group - “Camera One”
26. Tori Amos - “Strange Little Girl”
25. Travis - “Side”
24. Lucinda Williams - “Essence”
23. U2 - “Walk On”
22. U2 - “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t
Get Out Of”
21. Incubus - “Drive”
20. Dave Matthews Band - “The Space
19. Gorillaz - “Clint Eastwood”
18. The Strokes - “Last Nite”
17. Coldplay - “Shiver”
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16. Dido - “Thank You”
15. Moby feat. Gwen Stefani - “Southside”
14. Five For Fighting - “Superman”
13. U2 - “Elevation”
12. Weezer - “Island In The Sun”
11. Train - “Drops Of Jupiter”
10. Kirsty MacColl - “In These Shoes?”
9. U2 - “Beautiful Day”
8. Afro Celt Sound System & Peter Gabriel - “When You’re Falling”
7. The Pushstars - “Waiting, Watching, Wishing”
6. Cake - “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”
5. Coldplay - “Yellow”
4. David Gray - “Sail Away”
3. Pete Yorn - “Life On A Chain”
2. Poe - “Hey Pretty (Drive By Mix)”
1. Ryan Adams - “New York New York”
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