On each of his albums, Jack Broadbent is used to people saying that ‘this’ is this is a departure from his previous stuff. That’s something the British-born singer, songwriter and guitarist has heard to varying degrees, over the course of his 6 albums to date, and is certainly fitting of his latest release, RIDE. As someone who is as connected to the quality of his relationships with people as he is to the quality of his music, rest assured he considers that a compliment. Jack grew up in rural Lincolnshire, England. His earliest influence, his father, Mick Broadbent, plays bass on RIDE and is a well-established musician, including a tenure with Bram Tchaikovsky. “I fell in love with music at a young age,” Jack says, informed by the steady diet of music played around the house. Started with the drums but gravitated to guitar around the same time as he became interested in song writing, his slide guitar playing evolved from the busking he did during his early 20s. “It seemed to appeal to people as something that was both visually and musically exciting. This was interesting to me,” Broadbent explains. “I was already playing in altered and open tunings, so when it came to using a slide I was well-versed in how those patterns worked together.” He took some cues from influences such as John Lee Hooker and Little Feat, but ultimately he wanted to find his own sound as an artist. Jack found acclaim and an audience after the Montreux Jazz Festival hailed him as, “The new master of the slide guitar.” Bootsy Collins famously proclaimed him, “The real thang!” He won over more fans touring with the likes of Ronnie Wood, Peter Frampton, and other musical legends. His penchant for writing on the road ensured that there was usually an abundance of material whenever he was ready to return to the studio. That was the case with RIDE, although the album took a turn from what Broadbent initially intended. The band just went full steam ahead in the direction which brought the sound of this album into focus. They built on those grooves and ended up with the rock ‘n’ roll record Jack has been wanting to make for a long time. Working around travel limitations and within the uncertainty of the last year, this international collaboration translates that edge. Throughout RIDE, the listener can detect what Jack calls “this underlying theme of trying to get a feel for where you’re heading and recognizing how much distance you’ve still got left to travel.” Now, The next step, of course, is to take RIDE on the road, which will be happening throughout 2022. He knows the songs will only grow as he presents them on stage, but they’ll continue to speak to the experiences from which they were born. No matter what lies on the road ahead, fans can rely on his dedication to the music and to his evolving craft. Little Feat founding member [friend of the proGram] and current US tourmate Bill Payne says it best: “I love his voice. His playing is superb, showing an almost reckless abandon when he gets revved up. He is performing on the edge, and if he falls, so be it. The pieces will not break.”
I had the pleasure of catching up with Jack ahead of his April 13th event at The Bur Oak here in Madison. We defined what someone who never heard of him would experience – the realness of the music will take over from there. We dive into the new album and Jack lets loose on how it went from thoughts and ideas into the songs that are rock and roll tales that call out to be heard. After just a few brief moments chatting with Jack, the familiar feeling came over me like I had been waiting to chat with him for some time – and that is exactly the feeling his music has provided me. I am curious what it/he will do for you.