There's no exact science to making a live show or album great. But as California's Jackie Greene has been performing a blend of folk, rock and Americana since he was a teenager, he's figured out the answer for himself.
“Spirit and intensity — that's what I like,” Greene explained over the phone from a studio in Oakland. “They might be abstract ideas, but people can feel them. It's not about the notes, it's never about the notes.”
Greene has been crafting that very spirit and intensity on countless stages with musicians ranging from the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and Bob Weir to the Black Crowes and more over the years. He recently released his first proper live album, “Live from Town Hall,” after nine studio releases and will be stopping at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, 1215 20th St. in Denver, at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11. He'll also be opening for Blues Traveler at their annual Fourth of July show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway.
The Ophelia's performances will be an acoustic outing with guitarist Nathan Dale, providing a needed balance to the full band shows he's done during his most recent tour.
“These are a different kind of show — almost like VH1 Storytellers. It's more laid back and provides me an opportunity to dig deep … it's almost a campfire vibe,” Green said. “It's about finding a healthy balance of being a sideman versus being an acoustic singer/songwriter. I don't think I could be happy if I could only do one.”
A lot has changed for Greene, both musically and as a songwriter, since he released his first album in 2002. Recording at home and on the road has become easier and technology has drastically altered the way music is shared and distributed. Most importantly, he's now the father of a 14-month-old daughter, and that's changed the way he sees, well, everything.
“If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. My entire perspective is different now,” Greene said. “How I look at music is different, too. I'd love to someday be able to take my family on the road with me when I tour.”
As an expert at touring by this point in his career, Greene has visited Colorado countless times, and said he looks forward to performing here every chance he gets.
“Colorado is one of my homes away from home,” he said. “There's been so many good times in Denver. It's a great music town and a place where the crowds really welcome you.”