Acoustic guitar driven love songs, accented by harmonica, slinky soul riffs, and a piano ballad, as if James Taylor stumbled upon the offshoot of the fountain of youth somewhere in the Providence River. The full band treatment adds a little more oomph to the title track and he is joined on "Love Now" by Charise White, who adds booming female vocals. Fair to say, he has mastered all the traits of the sensitive singer songwriter genre, but I'm more looking forward to the album he writes after she leaves him. - mark
Jack Babineau’s Generation of Need
By Jillian Locke
The greatest challenge in the life of any young, budding musician is always the same ~ carving out a niche and distinguishing his or her unique, individual talent. Although Jack Babineau, an 18 year old singer/song-writer/reincarnated blues belter FEELS that’s a challenge, one listen and you’ll be convinced otherwise.
“The most challenging part for me is trying to get away from my influences and really finding myself,” says Babineau, who just released his first effort through Satellite Studios, aptly titledGeneration of Need. To really distinguish himself from comparisons to the likes of Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer, Babineau channels years of listening to The Beatles, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Ray Charles and other greats and puts his own spin on the classics. “I like to distinguish myself by incorporating so many styles that you can’t find one; I like to throw in some jazz, blues, and even hip hop.”
Having only been playing guitar for four and a half years, Babineau displays a talent and a passion beyond his years, and much of that natural insight and energy shines through inGeneration of Need, a collection of eight tracks recorded over two years. “The title of the album is the underlying factor. The whole album is about society, everything going on in the world and how we should stop pointing fingers and just try to better ourselves,” Babineau explains. His point is driven home with smooth, blues-infused pop riffs supported by his strikingly deep, shockingly soulful vocals.
Babineau also had the help of some talented friends along the way. Rising R&B sensation Charise White contributed vocals on “Conformity,” “Love Now,” and “For Today,” while rock veteran James Montgomery, best known for his local blues and celebrity collabs with Kid Rock and Les Paul, to name a few.
Catch Jack Babineau with his newly formed band Don't Blame Jack on tour this summer.
In the meantime, head over to www.cdbaby.com to get your copy of Generation of Need, andwww.jackbabineau.com and www.myspace.com/jackbabineau to get a glimpse into this 18 year old, reincarnated bluesman.
Motif Magazine • march 18 - april 7• 2010
North Smithfield resident Jack
Babineau gets to enjoy two coming-of-age
moments this year. In June, he’ll finish high
school and don the traditional cap and
gown to claim his diploma from North
Smithfield High. Babineau has also moved
up from club performer to a full-fledged
recording artist. Babineau’s debut CD
Generation of Need is now out and avail-
able to the fan base he has created at venues
around New England and online. All eight
tracks on Generation of Needare Babineau
originals. Well crafted tunes and exception-
al production make this Jason Mraz/John
Mayer influenced recording a radio friendly
product. Emerson Torrey, formerly of the
popular ’80s bands The Schemers and
Raindogs and now a renowned music pro-
ducer, worked with and provided the young
artist with seasoned guidance. Torrey also
used his industry connections to enlist the
talents of bluesman James Montgomery and
R&B musician Charise White for the proj-
ect. Babineau picked up the guitar just five
years ago and taught himself to play.
“I got started with wanting to play one
song, “Grey Street” by the Dave Matthews
Band. And then I learned another song…
and another. Soon I was writing and per-
forming my own songs,” Babineau says. He
has a full schedule of live shows to support
Generation of Need. Babineau has formed a
band which includes his longtime friend,
John Strojny; Jake Torrey, son of produc-
er Emerson Torrey and Max Couto, a
third-generation drummer whose father
played with the popular RI band, Rizzz.
Babineau’s older brother, Joe, plays bass
and, like Jack, is also a self-taught musi-
cian. Visit www.JackBabineau.com.
Jack Babineau releases Generation of
Need Sunday, March 28, in an all ages at
The Blackstone in Pawtucket at 7pm.
|CATCH & RELEASE
|Written by staff
|Wednesday, 07 April 2010
Jack Babineau is a Smithfield, Rhode Island blues-rock veteran with multiple shows at the Gardner Ale House and the Bull Run in Shirley under his belt. At least I thought this until I read he hasn’t even graduated high school yet. Babineau’s age is irrelevant on his debut release, Generation of Need. He jams with New England blues dinosaur James Montgomery on one track, trading guitar licks with Montgomery’s sweet blues harpmelodies like he’d been doing it for decades. Not bad for someone who learned to play five years ago. But the album really gains momentum during the title track. Babineau gets philosophical, asking what the human race did to “make it go so wrong.” He answers his own question seconds later in a burst of clavinet and electric guitar riffs: “money, lust and power, greed…create another generation of need.” Babineau is wise beyond his years on Generation of Need. myspace.com/jackbabineau.
The Providence Journal
01:00 AM EDT on Thursday, March 25, 2010
Jack Babineau to play at The Blackstone on Sunday
The 18-year-old singer-songwriter Jack Babineau manages to sound of his age and older than his age on his debut disc, “Generation of Need.” I wasn’t surprised to read on his bio thingy that his first musical goal was to learn to play a Dave Matthews song, and there’s more than a little John Mayer influence on the acoustic-dominated disc, but songs such as “Keep It On” betray classic rock and blues roots. Produced by Emerson Torrey and featuring guest appearances by James Montgomery and Charise White, it’s a promising beginning.
A couple of months ago a friend gave me a CD that he’d been involved in. He asked for my feedback, with the unspoken hope that I would write something good about it on this blog. Because I respect his musical skill and sensibilities, I agreed to listen to it and give him my opinion, though I doubted I’d publish anything about it since his description as he handed me the CD (“kind of in the vein of Dave Matthews or Jack Johnson”) suggested that it wasn’t particularly my cup of tea music wise. Nevertheless, he assured me that it was quite good, especially given the tender age of the players, some of whom have a ways to go before they’re out of their teens.
The CD in question was Generation of Need, by Jack Babineau, a young Rhode Island singer/songwriter. When I got down to listening to it, the Dave Matthews influence was evident right away, less so with the Jack Johnson sound. I did also hear some shades of Ben Harper (sans the gritty pedal steel) and John Mayer in the tracks. However, I was most struck by the maturity of the songwriting and the well-defined, sophisticated sound of the recording.
Instruments are subtly interwoven, yet crisp and well-defined. Most songs are built around a foundation of layered guitars, starting with Babineau’s driving acoustic and the frequent interjection of electric guitars of various hues. Solid bass and surprisingly adept drumming (compelling, but not over-busy) flesh out the sound. Understated, but essential, keyboards add nuance and distinction to most of the tracks.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the young star and his band mates’ raw talent is featured in the refined setting of Emerson Torrey’s accomplished production and juiced by the guest appearances of other renowned local music industry vets such as James Montgomery (adding resonant blues harp), Mark Cutler (on country-blues style slide guitar) and Richard Reed (whose keyboard skills seem to grace all of the album’s best tracks), as well as Torrey’s guitar and piano contributions. (Torrey’s teenage son, Jake, is one of the three guitarists in the band.)
Babineau’s lead vocals are band-leader worthy and effective in delivering his catchy and thoughtful lyrics. The song arrangements are tight and the playing is sharp throughout. But the secret weapons that really give this release a major label sound are the well-executed harmony vocals and the production – studio effects are adroitly employed, never over done.
While the whole 30-minute CD is easy to enjoy, the standout tracks are the title track, a muscular song in which potent electric guitars are juxtaposed against an acoustic foundation; the funky “Love Now,” in which the soulful backing vocals and driving beat recall The Rolling Stones in their glory years; and “Keep It On,” which elicited some nostalgia for me, harkening back to the short-lived early 1990’s collection of local studio pros and an acoustic duo from Maine known as The Walkers (beneficiaries of Atlantic Records’ brief infatuation with New England bands at the time, which saw The Raindogs, Young Neal and The Vipers and The Walkers all signed to the label).
So what I originally considered kind of an obligatory favor to a friend turned out to be an unexpected gift. I will continue to give Generation of Need the occasional spin in the CD player and keep an eye on what these young fellows do in the future with their budding talent and benevolent mentorship.
Generation of Need
On this record Jack really shows both his versatility and his prowess as a songwriter. His vocals are something to behold here. His excellent tone and technique make each verse of these songs flow beautifully. There is also a wonderful completeness to the notes he sings. Each song is so different from the other, and I love when an artist can show us so many sides to their talent. The stand out track for me is "For Today", because of the sheer beauty of this song. Jack's vocal is textbook perfect here. "From the Outside" is another memorable track that speaks to the pressures facing so many young people these days. The title track, "Generation of Need" packs a powerful punch both lyrically and musically. Each song on this record provides a stellar moment for the listener to remember. This is also a masterfully produced record. Highly recommended! *****
I've seen Jack perform several times, he captures his audience with not only his charm and cover songs but his original works are highly requested. "Love Now" is my favorite song from the cd, although all songs are sung from the Jack's heart & soul. Jack's music had been compared to Dave Matthews, but I think Jack is better!!