When I was young, I thought good singing was hitting notes and making beautiful sounds. I still like those things, but I now think that good singing is more about being authentic and fearless. Welcome to authentic and fearless.

Jake Bugg continues to write great songs, but this is still my favorite. And yes, he was crazy young here. I remember hearing Lightening Bolt on TV commercials and not knowing who that was. Then I saw a video of him playing Country Song and Someone Told Me and I put the pieces together. Of course, I was fascinated by his accent, but I was also struck by the quality of the songs and performance. About the accent, for most of my life, it seemed to me that the majority of popular songs were sung without much regional affect. The Beatles and the Beach Boys weren’t all that different. Work with me here. To me it all changed with the Arctic Monkeys, and I have to say, applying local speech patterns to singing added to the authentic quality of the sound. It made it better for my ear. Of course, I listened to Anthony Newley when I was very young, and he really pushed speaking patterns into his performances, but looking back, maybe that’s why I liked him so much.

This is a live performance in what seems like a hostile environment. Okay, not that hostile. But, it is a venue with a ton of distractions, and the young Jake Bugg handles it all like a pro (even giving a nasty stare down at one point). This song has a great hook, a great chord progression, and I can’t say enough about the performance. Were you this fearless at 16?


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