Saturday, November 14, 2015

Chicago musican Jared Rabin one-man show on solo debut album, will perform at Martyrs'


The versatile Jared Rabin is a one-man show on his solo debut "Something Left To Say," which was released in September.

Rabin wrote, arranged and played all of the instruments on the album,  with the exception of drums. There will be a record release party on Dec. 4 for the album at Martyrs,' 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago.

Glass Mountain and Mad Bread also are on the bill. The music starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $8, available at Martyrs' website at

I had the chance to talk to Rabin about the album.

Q - You've been in so many different bands spanning so many different genres. Was it just the right time to release a solo album?

It was the right time to do it for a lot of different reasons. Being in so many bands over the years that have frankly not lasted and my continuing to want to play original music was part of it.

It is something I always knew I could do and I was about to turn 30 so I finally had enough experience, resources and skills to make the record the right way.

I decided that it was the right time to go all out.

Q - You play all of the instruments except for drums on the album. In sitting down to make the album, what were your goals and do you think you accomplished them?

My main goal was less about playing all of the instruments, which seems like it should be the thing to talk about and be proud of. I wasn't trying to prove a point in doing it though.

I knew I would be able to produce the songs myself in the way I envisioned them. Bringing in other people, aside from the few people that I did have play on it, could have been fun and taken the sound to other cool places.

But my main goal was to have something that I am OK with sharing with people.

Q - Is there a meaning behind the album's name? What would you like people to come away with from the album?

The meaning is literal I guess; like I feel like I have something to contribute. It's the title of the first song on the album, so in context it's kind of like what I said in a previous answer: now is the time to make it happen if you feel like there is something that you can do.

People seem to be connecting in all different ways to the record. I have had a diverse array of comparisons made as to what people think certain tracks sound like, which I think is cool.

I want people to come away thinking that the record sounds good and they'd like to see me play live and check out the next record. That would be great. I'm not expecting it to change the world.

Q - You started learning violin at age 5 with the help of your grandfather, who was then concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Was it good for you to learn a musical instrument at such a young age?

I would definitely not be here talking to you if I hadn't started as young as I did. I think learning music as a kid must be like learning a second language as a kid. My whole brain is wired in whatever way it is because of my exposure to music at that young age, as well as being raised in a very musical environment. All of that affects every thought process I have to this day.

Q - You have dipped into many different genres of music in your career. Do you have a favorite genre and do you continue to need musical variety in your life?

One way I have been fortunate in the music biz is to have a diverse lineup of gigs going on at all times. In any given week I might be playing with a jazz trio, or a bluegrass band, or with a 12-piece cover band, or with another singer/songwriter, or doing my own original stuff.

I was never trying to do all that out of a need for diversity, but I do it all because I can. A lot of people are more focused and really serious about one type of music, which I can definitely respect, but I like playing rock and roll just as much as I like playing jazz so I don't feel the need to discriminate genres.

Q - What do you think of the Chicago music scene and where do you think you fit into it?

Sort of related to my previous answer, there is not really just one Chicago music scene. Because I am versatile, I drop in and out of different scenes quite often.

There is a really strong jazz community who I wish I could play with more often. I used to be really involved in the "jam band" scene here in town. There's a whole new sort of funk/neo-soul thing going on lately.

Chicago is famous for its underground music scene and house parties and all of that, as well as the blues scene, church music, etc. I fit into some places; I don't fit into others.

There are places I wished I fit in better. I know a lot of talented people in Chicago and enjoy migrating between the different scenes and getting to know different people and styles of playing. It has taught me a lot!

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