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299. Jacob’s Trouble – Jacob’s Trouble


Jacob’s Trouble

One of the greatest disappoints in my 30 plus years in the Christian Music industry is that Jacob’s Trouble did not become one of the biggest bands out there. Their much too short 4 album career (plus a token best of compilation) was filled with amazing music, great lives shows and some of the best songs the genre produced during its time.

After three very acoustic, 60’s driven psych-billy releases that were compared favorably to The Beatles, The Kinks, The Monkees and The Byrds (or just about any band that started with “The,” Jacob’s Trouble went modern alternative with big guitars and a nod of the influence hat to U2, Dime Store Prophets and Spin Doctors.

On a totally personal note they were also some of the very nicest guys I ever worked with a sales person.

One of the great ironies is that despite the heavy influence of 60’s rock, the band was, in a way ahead of their time. Never was this more true than on this final release. Great hook oriented rock with passionate and authentic vocals. There is always a self-aware sense about the band and knowing who they were and how to best reach people through their music in believable ways.

“This Moment” remains one of my all time favorite JT songs and is a great example of sounding completely relevant and current while allowing their classic rock influences to shine through. “Desiree” sound like it would have fit quite comfortably on U2’s “rattle and Hum” while “Lovehouse” is reminiscent of a Spin Doctors groove.

Despite receiving very strong Christian rock radio play with multiple singles, the album sales were decent but not much more. As good as what Audio Adrenaline and Newsboys were producing at the time it is a shame the band would soon split up and leave CCM with one less quality band.

  1. harvey_d
    October 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    This is my favourite Jacob’s Trouble album. Live, they were always fun, but seeing them at Cornerstone Festival after this release, they were just plain awesome and compelling (just like the studio album was).

  2. December 4, 2011 at 12:04 am

    My one trip to GMA in 1992 saw me stay at the same “economy” hotel as Jacob’s Trouble. I saw them each morning at the breakfast buffet. They were, as dave states, the nicest guys you’d want to meet. Jerry was pretty crazy, Mark was the quiet, thoughtful one and the new guy (I’m getting old) was surprisingly cool. And BOY could them boys eat!

  3. John Rodermond
    March 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Looks like I’m not the only one who made instant friends with these guys. I met them at a New Year’s gig they played in my hometown in support of this album. What a great bunch of guys! They were certainly in no rush to run off and freely gave their time to their fans. Its hard to imagine why they didn’t earn a much larger audience. I guess its more proof that good guys don’t always finish first.

    As much as I enjoyed JT’s 3 previous albums, this one remains my favourite. I loved the new direction the band was heading in with this release. Its another sad case of ‘if only.’ ‘If only’ we could have heard more; heard what came next. When you listen to “…let the Truth Run Wild” you can hear hints of the self-titled follow up.

    I recall reading somewhere that Jerry Davison and Mark Blackburn did not share the same vision for “…let the Truth Run Wild” and in the end, Mark Heard “fixed it in the mix” pulling the guitars down, giving the album a sound more akin to its two predecessors rather than pushing in the direction we hear on this final effort from Jacob’s Trouble.

    Following “…let the Truth” Mark Blackburn went on his own and did a pair of solo recordings.

    With the self-titled release, JT got the more aggressive sound Jerry wanted and with Keith Johnston on guitar they explored a more modern sound while retaining that 60’s groove they had already established.

    After Jacob’s Trouble disbanded Jerry formed the band sideways8 although I’m not sure if they continue to be active. There seems to be some music floating about on the internet. Keith, Steve and Ron have continued together as Janah. You can find some of their music online as well.

    I wouldn’t complain if the guys were able to put together some new songs for a reunion record of sorts. Wishful thinking, right?

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