Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson (photo courtesy of the artist)
by Kara Manning | 03/05/2019 | 12:01am

Joe Jackson (photo courtesy of the artist)

[March 2019 update: In January, Joe Jackson released Fool, his 20th studio album, which he explains on his website was partly inspired by his nimble touring band over the past three years: longtime friend and bassist Graham Maby, drummer Doug Yowell, and guitarist Teddy Kumpell. Joined by co-producer Pat Dillett, the quartet recorded the album at Tonic Room Studios in Boise, Idaho, the very city where their last tour ended in order to retain the sharpness of their well-rehearsed road chops. The songs that landed on the record were, as Jackson describes them, "eight survivors" of "the wrecks of songs and half-songs that didn't make the grade." It was also very much on Jackson's mind that Fool arrives forty years after his debut album, Look Sharp!, which was released in January 1979 (I'm the Man, recorded in March of that year, swiftly followed with an October release).

The theme of comedy and tragedy dominates Jackson's Fool, traversing territory that Jackson feels he could have only written in his sixties, not as the brash young man of his twenties: "The songs are about fear and anger and alienation and loss, but also about the things that still make life worth living: friendship, laughter, and music, or art, itself. I couldn't have done this in 1979. I just hadn't lived enough." Jackson and his mates will spend much of 2019 on his "Four Decade Tour," including a New Jersey stop at New Brunswick's State Theatre on May 18].

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