Big Rude Jake is a songwriter and musician, and a kind of legend on the Canadian music scene.
His passion for classic Americana and his talent for writing compelling lyrics has resulted in five very powerful, highly original albums for a loyal fan base around the world.
As a craftsman of song, Jake has been favorably compared to Ry Cooder, thanks to the deft way in which he experiments with a number of styles, mixing blues, ragtime, jump, jazz and rock together. As a lyricist, Jake has been aligned with such noted luminaries as Noel Coward, Jaques Brell, Berthold Brecht, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. Some have suggested that his voice is reminiscent of Willie Nelson when he’s crooning, and Howlin’ Wolf when he’s shouting, which is often.
Jake enjoyed some international notoriety in the late ’90s, and developed a reputation as a daring and exciting front man as well as an intelligent writer.
Jake's latest CD, Quicksand, represents a return to the recording industry for this hard-working player. After several years of pursuing other interests that took him away from the spotlight, Jake decided to get back in the game to pen a whole new collection of songs, this time emphasizing his growing interest in gospel and classic pre-Dylan American folk, as well as ragtime, jazz and blues. The new songs have a more intimate quality to them as compared to previous BRJ recordings. This is due, in part, to Jakes' desire to play more intimate shows, avoiding bars for proper theatre-style venues when booking his new band, the Quicksand Combo, or, on other occasions, singing his own songs as a solo act or in a duet, featuring his adept finger-picking acoustic guitar style that gives a classic rural blues quality to his already passionate material. The effect transports the listener to another time and place as, all the while, Jake plays his new and thoroughly modern material.