It takes great confidence and ability to pull off the cover of a distinctive song by a household-name. Here, Jake Swamp and The Pine do this in style, taking Springsteen’s moody classic ‘I’m on Fire’ and making it their own. Desperate to record new songs but restricted by the pandemic, Jake Swamp and The Pine conceived a safe way of getting together and producing new material. The result is the ‘Outside the Studio’ project, which was put together just outside their usual studio space, Josh Gold’s Basement Studio. The project has yielded a 4-track EP and two videos that are designed to help fill the huge gap left by the absence of live shows. For an extra sonic dimension, the band enlisted the help of their friend, Don Mitchell of Darlingside, and these songs certainly benefit from his harmonies and expert banjo and harmonium. On this well-chosen cover, the three players manage to create an incredibly warm, rich, full sound, which is especially impressive given the confines of recording outside in this way. Drew Zieff’s gritty vocal, the harmonising and the arrangement, which builds to a fine conclusion, are genuinely absorbing. Whether or not you’re a Springsteen fan, this version is well-worth your attention. Look out for the rest of the new material, due to be released on 9th April. This is an excellent taste of what you can expect.
Stuart Babcock (mandolin, harmonies) and Drew Zieff (vocals, guitar) formed Jake Swamp and The Pine in 2018 after meeting on Craigslist. Their approach to traditional folk with a jam band twist and their energetic performances have won them critical praise and award nominations at the Boston Music Awards. When we finally emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, the duo’s delayed first full album and more relentless touring await. In the meantime, enjoy this and the new EP.