Jade Jackson’s Music Haunts Fox Theater Pomona REVIEW+PHOTOS: JADE JACKSON @ FOX THEATER POMONA 3/11/17
POMONA, CA- The first thing I notice as I look through my camera lens as Jade Jackson takes the stage of the Fox Theater Pomona, strapping on her Gibson Acoustic J-45, is just how stunning she is. In her shimmering tank top, the color of New Year’s Eve, with her sleepy, alluring eyes, and mane of dark, flowing hair, I’m taken aback. Now, I realize that is such a “male gaze” observation. However, being honest is part of my job as a writer and yes, I am susceptible to being drawn to image as much as I am to talent – yet, it quickly becomes clear to me that Jade Jackson’s looks are a small part of her success.
Once she begins to sing to an almost packed venue, I realize she’s on tour, opening for Social Distortion, because of her rich, irresistible country voice and lyrics that feel written by some sort of mythological Tom Waits / Mazzy Star / Merle Haggard hybrid. She is the mermaid sailors have been warned about and with searing lyrics sung with such vocal range and clearly from her own life experiences, Jade Jackson may only be in her 20s, but her soul is certainly from another time.
Hailing from the tiny town of Santa Margarita in Central California, Jade spent her youth affected by the small-town atmosphere often seen in movies but almost non-existent today. She grew up without the internet. That time capsule lifestyle contributed to her music aesthetic and romantic depiction of religion, love, and love gone bad. Since she started playing music at the age of 13, Jade has invited the sounds of The Smiths, The Cure, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams into her life and her sound. She is an alt-country artist not afraid to experiment with the narrative of lyrics, the poetry of pain, and the desire for love, life, and everything in between.
Social Distortion front man Mike Ness, who’s wife is friends with Jade’s mom, heard Jade and immediately knew he needed to produce her forthcoming album, “Gilded”, and with its release date set for May 19th, based on the new collection of gravelly, grass roots, 10-gallon songs she’s performing on tour, it promises to be a collection of haunting lyrics, melodic and macabre notes, and a sincerity that will most likely keep her music relegated to college and country radio, which is sad because although she doesn’t sing pop, she certainly deserves to be popular.