Jake Speed

Jake Speed

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Jake Speed's shows are a mix of social satire and playful fun. In between sets of satirical and traditional folk songs, Speed works the crowd, throwing in a joke or two and making up songs on the spot. "As a musician, you're an entertainer first." he says smiling.

Biography

Jake Speed's shows are a mix of social satire and playful fun. In between sets of satirical and traditional folk songs, Speed works the crowd, throwing in a joke or two and making up songs on the spot. "As a musician, you're an entertainer first." he says smiling.

Jake’s clever satirical pieces about both the local and national scene have made him an audience favorite. Speed, a fervent disciple in the Woody Guthrie troubadour tradition, couches his social satire in happy-go-lucky, old-timey music. Like Guthrie, Speed's feel-good delivery is in contrast to the often-tough images and satire he presents. "My whole spin is to get my point across with humor," Speed said. "I always try to make it some preposterous situation. It just seems like folk music is the tradition these kind of songs have come out of."

Speed flashes some of his best social satire on the "Talkin F-Word blues," (listen under 'audio') his own Alice's Restaurant-inspired opus about going into a redneck bar at the height of the Iraqi invasion and ordering French vanilla coffee, French dressing, French fries, French bread, French toast and playing "Lady Marmalade" on the juke box. Mimicking Arlo's littering bust, Speed is arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist.

Speed has plenty of wistful non-satirical tunes, such as "Marvelous You," as happy and pretty a love ditty. His delightful "Volvo Girl" is a tribute to the durable car that his wife drives in which he breaks out in song spelling V-O-L-V-O. "I have this dream of it being my own YMCA theme song,"

Jake Speed won Cincinnati Entertainer of the Year Award in 2002. He also won the Best Cincinnati Singer-Songwriter Award. His group Jake Speed and the Freddies have won the award as the best folk/Americana band in four of the last 8 years including 2008.

In 2006, he made a New Year’s Resolution to write and publish a song a week about current events. These Songitorials™ (song+editorial) covered topics from the War in Iraq, rising gasoline prices and racist barbers to daylight savings time and back-to-school purchases. They ranged from hilarious to biting.

reference: Rick Byrd interviews in Cincinnati Post

Discography

World Come Clean - The new album - same political & cultural insight - more complex sound

Huzzah! - A fun album with interesting cultural commentary

Queen City Rag - The Original Freddies Album

The Cincinnati Legends of Jeremiah Schmidt - timeless original river songs

Losantaville - a Christmas album - both thoughtful & humorous

All albums except Legends, are with Jake Speed & the Freddies.

Set List

A typical set is one hour. The set includes mostly original songs with some folk covers.