• Exclusive First Listen - Green Green Rocky Road from the new Jacob Jolliff Band Recording

    NEW YORK — Known for his stunning cross-genre virtuosity and collaborations with musicians from across the musical spectrum, acoustic musician Jacob Jolliff today announced the upcoming release of his album The Jacob Jolliff Band on Adhyâropa Records. Featuring tight vocal harmonies as well as the customary instrumental fireworks of a collaborative ensemble made up of fellow young stars, this album marks a major milestone in Jolliff’s evolution and the arrival of an authority on bluegrass mandolin.

    The Mandolin Cafe is honored to share the second track to be released, "Green Green Rocky Road," with a July 8 pre-release and August 5 release for the full recording. Mandolinist extraordinaire Joe Brent of Adhyâropa Records has the story behind the music!

    I first met Jake Jolliff on the street outside of Jalopy Tavern with our mutual friend Lily Henley, in Brooklyn, NY, certainly more than 10 years ago — I, in my 30's, one of the cats; he, fresh out of Berklee, where I'd gone too. I'd known who he was of course, all mandolinists somehow know one another, even when we don't.

    His teacher there, the dearly departed John McGann, had mentioned I should be looking out for him, as had a few of the other players around here. And I'd seen video clips; I recall seeing this duo between Jake and Jason Anick somewhere on social media and being tremendously impressed (that sequence at 4:23!) I believe the conversation went something along the lines of the usual, "Howd'ya do, nice to meet you, we oughta play some notes sometime if you're around," that mandolinists around the world employ when greeting each other for the first time. I imagine it must be like actors greeting each other at award shows: we're familiar even if not intimate, and so we can fast-forward right to talking like old friends though we've just met.

    And we've stayed friends since, particularly through the pandemic, when it felt just safe enough to bring our instruments out to the park by my place or to the rooftop of Jake's and pick jazz standards and fiddle tunes. He and a few other friends were pretty much what music was for me at certain points during the past few years. I'm as grateful for it as I can be.

    I love how Jake is able to seamlessly weave together the jazz and bluegrass vocabularies into something truly and recognizably his own. I was never a bluegrass player, so he'd teach me some tunes and as I couldn't help slipping back into the modern jazz vocabulary, he would too, and we'd have a little laugh at the harmonic mischief we were inflicting upon poor St. Anne's Reel for an audience of pigeons and passers-by.

    Jacob Jolliff Band

    Jake's an inspiring musician to play with and listen to, and I'm happy to say a good friend as well, so when he asked if I'd be interested in releasing his first Jacob Jolliff Band album on my record label Adhyâropa Records, I of course said yes immediately. Adhyâropa started off as the 9 Horses boutique label, but we've since expanded to release albums by klezmer clarinetists, alt-country bands, modern jazz artists, and are releasing a slate of albums in the next year by artists all over the musical map. But the through-line of all of this music is "stuff I think is cool," and Jake's new record certainly falls within that category.

    The JJB is made up of Jake, Stash Wyslouch on guitar, John Mailander on fiddle, and Myles Sloniker on bass — leading lights on their respective instruments, for sure, but no mere all-star band. Rather, Jake has chosen his collaborators with a real musician's sensibility; each has a unique voice that contrasts and supports the others beautifully, in an ensemble that really represents the idea of a thing being greater than the sum of its parts.

    Take his latest single, 'Green Green Rocky Road', which Mandolin Cafe has been gracious enough to host the exclusive debut of, and which you can now stream anywhere music is found. A trad tune co-arranged with his dad Bill (often mistakenly attributed to Dave Van Ronk, and recently popularized by its association with the film Inside Llewyn Davis), Jake's version blasts off the launching pad and settles into a fast groove (quarter note=300!) with Jake's up-beat chops propelling the band forward. Mailander and Stash provide sprightly commentary to Jake's vocals through a few choruses and a bridge. Entering the instrumental section, Mailander delivers a gorgeously melodic solo even at this brisk tempo, echoing Vassar Clements in his use of double and triple stops. But then Jake steps forward, and — well, does this:

    Track Listing

    The full track listing from The Jacob Jolliff Band recording.

    • Columbus Stockade Blues
    • The Good, The Bad, And The Home-Schooled
    • They’re Holding Up The Ladder
    • Heads Carolina, Tails California
    • One Night In Glasgow
    • Green Green Rocky Road
    • Don’t Cry Blue
    • Middle Of The Moon, Old Dizzy Legs, Outbound Plane
    • Large Garbage Barge

    Sideslips, tritone substitutions, major 7ths on minor chords — this solo wouldn't be out of place on a modern jazz record. Transcribe it for piano or sax and Brad Mehldau or Kenny Garrett would be proud of it. But on a bluegrass record? With the unmistakable 8th note churn of Bill Monroe or Ronnie McCoury? Needless to say, it perked my ears up, as did the wry Stash solo that follows it. Another round of traded solos, including a lovely one from Sloniker, lead to a chorus out and finally a chance to catch your breath.

    Jake already has a unique instrumental voice and world-class virtuosity, and with The Jacob Jolliff Band, he's proving his abilities as a composer and bandleader as well. I'm so thrilled to be helping him put this music out into the world, and on behalf of everyone at Adhyâropa, we hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

    Download Jacob's Solo

    Full transcription in PDF format of Jacob's solo on "Green Green Rocky Road."

    Green Green Rocky Road

    Additional Information

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Adhyâropa Records's Avatar
      Adhyâropa Records -
      You can listen to this single right now on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/album/3AGy0dRu1yBMVwLbI2nQvE. Pre-orders for the full album will open on July 8th.
    1. Old Growth's Avatar
      Old Growth -
      Hi Folks,

      Incredibly technical and musical tune. I appreciate the cafe allowing this piece of mastery to be presented to the mandolin community. Much appreciated Adharopa Records, great stuff Jacob and band!
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      A note to let everyone know Jacob's new album has been fully released.