Away from the iced over streets and overyhyped clubs of Park City, and away from the belt-buckle country Saturday night at the Maverik Center, Jackie Greene performed a fun, inspired mix of his own songs at The Depot along with enough rock and blues covers to satisfy divergent interests.
Greene, who's performed about a half dozen times in Salt Lake City since 2008, played his first gig as a headliner at The Depot, after graduating from headlining a two-night stand at The State Room last January. About 600 people crowded the floor Saturday night for their semi-annual blast of straight-ahead rock from the "Prince of Americana."
As usual, Greene's foray into covers was a mix of the expected - the Grateful Dead's "New Speedway Boogie" and "Shakedown Street," and the unexpected, Elton John's "Benny and the Jets," and blues legend Freddy King's "Tore Down." Another bluesy treat was the old Chicago staple from the 1950s, "Five Long Years."
A lot of bands have bluesy songs or bluesy vibes, but it's unusual to hear a rock act tackle a full-on Chess Records chestnut like this. Greene's superlative guitar playing has grown over time and with his Gibson ES-335 cranked, the 31-year-old Sacramento native is extremely adept at blues playing - something most of his contemporaries cannot say. And while this show was definitely more low profile compared to some of the hip-hop happenings in Park City, it was refreshingly honest and unpretentious. And that's something to relish regardless of what it's up against.