Vital Pick of the Week

By The Columbia Chronicle

Jill LoPresti

Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

The funky, folky, pop-hop artist Jude will be performing this Thursday at Schubas. You may have heard “I Know,” his single on the multi-platinum #1 Billboard soundtrack album, “City of Angels.” But in order to really experience the range of styles and clever lyrics, pick up his debut album, “No One Is Beautiful.”

The Los Angeles Times called his music, “A seamless, gripping blend of hip-hop, singer- songwriter, folk, and jazzy guitars. Jude is an artist to watch.”

The most prominent instruments by far are Jude’s own distinctive voice and his high-pitched emotional package of speedy, lyrical word-play.

Talent on the album included Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ keyboardist Benmont Tench, Grant Lee Buffalo’s Paul Kimble, and Michael Ward and Rami Jaffe from the Wallflowers. Together with Jude they created a medley of songs highlighting Jude’s modulated falsetto sound, accenting both his wit and his soul.

Production help varied from George Drakoulias (The Black Crowes), Mickey Petralia (Beck, Luscious Jackson), Clif Magness, Ron Aniello, and Jude.

“No One Is Really Beautiful,” released Sep.22, was recorded in Los Angeles, where Jude spent many nights playing coffee houses and small clubs.

“30 or 40 of the same people started showing up. Some were taping every show,” says Jude.

For a mere $100 front to book a studio, the session started with only four completed songs and ended with 14. Jude’s career was launched.

Jude signed to Maverick Recording Co. in late 1997 and began working on “No One Is Really Beautiful” in early 1998. He then embarked on a six week tour, touching most major North American cities.

Jude grew up listening to the works of Paul Simon, The Beatles, and a great deal of oldies from Motown to soul that show through in tracks such as the psychedelic funky, super freaky “Rick James” and the jazzy pop-induced “Charlie Says” and “I’m Sorry Now.” His father, a professional musician who toured the bars and clubs of Europe with his melodic folk creations, lured Jude to music at a young age by singing him to sleep every night. He made his first singing debut at age eight when he sang “The Little Drummer Boy” at church.

From church to Schubas, Jude is sitting on top of his pop-filled rising star.

Check out Jude this Thursday at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets $8.