Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls
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Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"E Street Radio Channel's Dave Marsh quote"

Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls speak to the heartache and joy in the
world, with the wisdom not to try to separate them, and the skill to make
all of it beautiful. They're one of my favorite new groups, even when they
aren't playing with Wayne Kramer." -- Dave Marsh (XM/Sirius Radio) - Dave Marsh at XM Radio

"Rocking Out on Skid Row"

For Jason Heath, the front man of Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls, the April performance was a different way to help out the homeless. He had already been volunteering at the Midnight Mission for five years.

“It’s nice to foster people’s spiritual and artistic needs,” said Heath. “Many of the people there are also artists and it made a difference to us to see people close their eyes and enjoy the music.”

- LA Downtown News

"Jason Heath & the Greedy Souls featured on the nationally syndicated, Extra TV"

On July 8, 2011 our song, "California Wine" was featured on Extra TV.
- Extra TV

"Review Of The Vain Hope Of Horse"

Here we are in a new year (HAPPY 2009!), yet there is still so much to talk about from 2008, some of which you may or may not have discovered yet. One standout from 200Great was the new album from Jason Heath and The Greedy Souls, The Vain Hope Of Horse. I think they may have even come up with a new genre, one I'll call "Leftist Cowboy".

From just glancing at the album art (done by the talented Jason Heath himself), you can tell that you're in for a lot to wonder about, discuss, and enjoy.

Jason hauled in a lot of friends to help make this a true standout. Aside from the excellent - and contradictorily GENEROUS Souls - you get sounds from guitar and voice from such musical luminaries as Tom "The Nightwatchman" Morello, Wayne Kramer, Dave "Kid Lightning" Gibbs, and the hard working man about town, Nels Cline. All of whom, as you know, rule.

And so does this album. Immediately, you can hear that this is not something churned out from the hype and Auto Tunes folks, this is a collection of SONGS made by MUSICIANS, something increasingly rare and refreshing to hear in this day and age. Every little twang on the "Touristic Lap Steel" (as Mr. Cline is credited with) is felt down to your soul, every blast on the harmonica is heartfelt, and the lyrics make you actually stop and think, as you tap your foot in time.

There is heavy dose of stark reality, and blunt commentary on these harsh times in songs like "Time Is Dead", but that is directly followed by the hope and encouragement of "Let In The Light". The catchy, yet directly calling out "American Jesus" is complimented by the lilting sound, but spirit-drained lyrics in "Golden State Freeway" like -

"And it's another sunny day on the Golden State Freeway, where all your dreams seem to fade away, rolling down the Golden State Freeway ... like a tumbleweed heading nowhere."

My personal favorite, and the probable hit single, is "Anarchist Girl". Hear ...

"She knows when to stand, she ain't afraid to fight, she sees the darkness up against the light. She'll feed the hungry, she'll heal the sick, she throws a kiss as good as she can throw a brick."

... and you feel compelled to tie on your vinegar-soaked kerchief (another good bit of wisdom from Mr. Heath) and rush into the fray. Any or all of them.

Though the sound is surely countrified, the context is as urban as it gets. There's even a cover of Ozzy's "Crazy Train"! Though dark it does get, the music supporting it all lifts you back up and offers one tonal positivity. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, right?

I had the disc on rotation a bunch of times in a row to get familiar with it, as I usually do with new music. I was in the kitchen doing something, and I kept thinking to myself that Jason's voice sounds like someone ... and it finally came to me that his sound is like a hybrid of Jakob Dylan and John Mellencamp. Nice company to keep, if you ask me.

The somewhat cryptic title all makes sense when you read the bible verse (and there are more Biblical references where that came from, very interestingly) contained inside:

"No King is saved by the size of his army ... No warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance ... despite all its great strength it cannot save."

That insight, along with the skeletal images and words painted on the cover like, "Without vision, people die" and straightforward lyrics that force you to confront national truths, make you happy to know that there is still someone out there that is making a thinking-man's country rock song. I feel better - and stronger - already!

- Carol Gronner

*This album is dedicated to the life and memory of Danny Federici of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. His son, Jason, is a member of the Greedy Souls, and I think his father would be very honored by this excellent tribute. - Carol Gronner

"Tell Me Something With Jason Heath"


i’ve been listening to jason heath and the greedy soul’s the vain hope of horse since about march, and much like the bombadil record there’s a heck of alot more going on then initially meets the ears. musically its a very nice piece of americana fare w/ nels cline and wayne kramer helping out on a few tracks, but lyrically is where the record really shines. its a pretty politically charged record, but you wouldnt know it if you really didnt listen to what heath was laying down cause the music tempers his lyrics with a less serious tone.

anyway, when i asked if jason would be interested in participating in the “tell me something…” deal i really didnt know what to expect, in fact i dont know what to expect from any of em when they happen to grace my inbox. but i was particularly interested in seeing what he would come up with, and he doesnt disappoint….

here’s a couple upcoming dates not including the flyer of the show above
9/11 – the cat club (sunset strip music fest) 9pm
9/26 – the roxy (scott ford benefit) 8pm
9/30 – air-conditioned supper club (venice) 10pm

far rockaway off the vain hope of horse

here’s jason…..

Let me tell ya something…
I live in Los Angeles, CA, just minutes from a place known affectionately as “Skid Row.” A few times a week I take a group of developmentally disabled men and women down to place called The Midnight Mission. There, we commence to roll hundreds of forks into napkins for the afternoon lunch service, where, depending on the time of the month, (you see some folks get the general relief checks and can eat at home for a few days before the dough runs out) we will serve lunch to a few hundred hungry individuals, sometimes as many as 1,000, three times a day…365 days a year.

I don’t mention this to pat myself on the back, nor am I campaigning for sainthood. You see, both of these groups of people have something in common: they’re both being cut out of the American dream one budget slash at a time. You see, in the richest nation on earth we only seem to find the will to bailout the bloated, greedy, myopic corporations. But, when it comes time to lend a hand to the truly needy, well… it’s every man/woman/child for themselves. We’d better not help too much; “Why, that’d be un-American” or even worse: “SOCIALIST”!

When I hear the debate over nationalized healthcare – “Too many Bureaucracies” or “We won’t have as many choices,” I’d like to offer those folks a chance to visit a place where there aren’t any options for most. Yes, some are suffering from drug addiction, alcoholism and other maladies our society deems undesirable. Before we brand them “deserving of their fate”… why don’t we ask ourselves why we’re so tolerant of the “disease of conceit” and GREED? I think probably because those traits have, sadly, become the defining characteristics of our nation. We have the will to build bombs to drop indiscriminately in the name of freedom. We sentimentally morn the possibility of the loss of FORD or GM. But the life of a mentally ill woman on the streets of downtown L.A.? – “Well, that’s really not our problem.”

I say it is our problem. A Systemic Problem! Until we can muster the will to understand that behind every hungry, sick face in this nation, this world, there abides a friend, a sister, a brother, a father, or a mother. The very people that populate all our lives. How can we even begin to talk about “freeing the populations of other nations” if we’re exporting our brand of callous “tough love” consumerism to the rest of the world? Maybe they’re better off without it.

The developmentally disabled guys and gals I mentioned earlier – the ones who donate their time to help out down on skid row, are facing the third “cutback” to their funding this year. When will the corporate welfare state end? How long do we just watch helplessly? More and more people suffer whilst we debate the evils of liberalism, too many bureaucracies, and the “trend toward socialism”. That doesn’t mean shit to a hungry, sick child! Shame on us if we don’t find our way out of this “Town Without Pity.”*

Jason Heath

*see “The Vain Hope Of Horse” by Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls
- Captains Dead

"Review From Rootstime"

translated from dutch...
Jason and his' Greedy Souls' with this superb, "Vain Hope Of Horse ',make more than a successful debut album! Emotion and commitment flows through the fourteen songs that mix tradition with originality. The lapsteel of Nels Cline and mandolin by Dave Gibbs give the songs a americana country atmosphere, but the rebellious lyrics in the album makes it more folky. Song titles like 'Kerosene Dreams, "" Time Is Dead "and" Town Without Pity "speak for themselves. Jason and the Greedy Souls' complain about hunger, disease, state impunity, and everything about greedy policies that cause misery. Bitterness is balanced by hope and sometimes with pleas like in 'On Our Way Home "or the longing' Let In The Light '. Or to spruce tribute as Emma Goldman, campaigner for everyone's freedom in "Anarchist Girl ." Jason Heath sings it all with a soulfull light nasal voice with a high-level emotion. But the instrumental contribution of 'The Greedy Souls' is essential, especially the violin of Ysanne Spevack . The intense "The Landlord" with violin striking wailful sometimes creeps under the skin and even more the sublime 'Crazy Train' to 'Astral Weeks' is reminiscent of Van Morrison. In 'Nowhere Place' feeling that culminates dimension to an altitude where you do not even dare to follow. But you can certainly rely in Matt Johnson to point out with his acoustic and slide guitar, or accordion of Jason Federici with bassist Scot Falkestien. For the six 'Greedy Souls' votes in their individual musical virtuosity on the block where the passionate sound prevailing. The musicians from California show a character that despite an amalgam of influences can be assumed, gradually absorbed and intuitive. Dylan, Steve Earle, John Hartford, The Walkabouts, Warren Zevon, Townes Van Zandt, Billy Bragg, a young Van Morrison, common denominator remains the passion and sincerity that emit the songs written by Jason. You hear that Jason is aware of the text and the inherent feeling. "Town Without Pity" is an illustration of this. But despite all this melancholy the album radiates hope and strength. While Jason refers to the Psalms 'A Horse is a Vain Hope for Deliverance', anyway, this lyrical musical debut on as a cry for escape, a flight to a better world with the music as a liberator. Nice debut.
http://www.rootstime.be/CD%20REVIEWS/2008/2008-AUGUST5.htm - www.rootstime.be

"Hanging On E Street - Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls cover 4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)"

Bruce Springsteen
December 04, 2009


Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls cover Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's '4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)', dedicated in loving memory to Danny Federici. Directed by Jeff Kussmann. For more in...
Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls cover Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's '4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)', dedicated in loving memory to Danny Federici. Directed by Jeff Kussmann.

For more information check out http://www.dannyfund.org. - Bruce Springsteen's Official You Tube Channel



As with many an Americana act, there is always the tendency for folks to throw in the tried and true DYLAN comparison, but ex-SPINEWIRE vocalist JASON HEATH and his band of GREEDY SOULS owe more to the their punk leanings, which is not to say that the band’s debut CD ‘THE VAIN HOPE OF HORSE’ (STILL SMALL RECORDINGS) is a mere collection of punk anthems gone acoustic and topped off by YSANNE SPEVACK’s remarkable fiddle playing. Produced by SHADWRACK (HEATH himself) and MIKE FENNEL, ‘THE VAIN…’ is a musical journey through the harsh, hostile landscape of the human condition (namely on the tracks ‘AMERICAN JESUS’, ‘KEROSONE DREAMS’ and ‘THUNDERSTRUCK’). With guest appearances by NELS CLINE of WILCO, WAYNE CRAMER of MC5 and TOM MORELLO of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, ‘ THE VAIN…’ is the most intriguing brand of Drugstore Cowboy since COWBOY JUNKIES released the ‘TRINITY SESSIONS’. This is the one and only time where a stripped-down version of OZZY OSBOURNE’s ‘CRAZY TRAIN’ is ever going to be taken seriously.

ROCKWIRED spoke with JASON HEATH over the phone. Here is how it went.

THE VAIN HOPE OF HORSE is wonderful CD! Now that it’s out there for everyone to hear, how do you feel about it?
I feel good about it. We worked hard and we did our best. I think we made our mothers proud. There is not too much I would change. The whole album itself is more of ‘genesis’ of sorts. It didn’t start out being a record and JASON HEATH AND THE GREEDY SOULS weren’t actually a group. Most of the guys and I were in another band called THE TELEGENIC which was more of a rock outfit and I had all of these songs that I thought about recording. So I went into the studio just to make an acoustic record. It was essentially going to be demos of me singing and playing guitar. After a while, I thought about putting another acoustic guitar on the recording so I got MATT who is also from THE TELEGENIC and I started thinking about putting in some drums and an accordion and it wound up being the same group of guys. The rule, as the project progressed, was that we weren’t going to put anything electric on it. We tried keeping the album as acoustic as possible but then WAYNE KRAMER wanted to play guitar and it was difficult to get him to play an acoustic, but he did in some parts of the record anyway. So because of WAYNE that was the first electric instrument and then we thought about putting some organ on it and NELS CLINE played the electric lap steel. There are a few moments where electric instruments make an appearance but other than that, everything on the album is acoustic. I’m really happy with the record.

The title of the album is curious. Could you explain it?
It comes from the thirty-third Psalms where it says that ‘No king is saved by the size of his army. No warrior is saved by his great strength. A Horse is a vain hope of deliverance. Despite all of its great strength, it cannot save in the end’. At that time, the horse and chariot was equivalent to the tank or the stealth bomber that we have today so it was kind of a commentary. As we were making the record there was a lot of talk about war and I saw the parallel between that and the vain hope of tanks and bombers and war machines or industrial military complexes if you will. I just like the way the title sounded and it seemed to fit the album.

How did music begin for you?
I’ve always been drawn to music. When I was very young, at about five or six, I was listening to the radio and buying records. I didn’t understand the difference between genres or pay any mind to what was cool or not. I was into things like CHEAP TRICK, VAN HALEN, THE VILLAGE PEOPLE, THE BEE GEES, and PEACHES AND HERB. I’d go into a record store and people would be like ‘Who is this kid coming in here?’ Around the age of eleven, I first heard THELONIUS MONK and started buying his records. I’m sure everyone thought I was a little strange. I was always drawn to music form an early age. In the sixth grade I met the drummer that I still play with to this day named ABRAHAM ETZ. We both just loved music and neither one of us could play anything so we thought we’d start a band where I would play the guitar and he would play the drums. We’ve been at it ever since. You get better at it just through the sheer tenacity of wanting to stay with it. We had to write our own songs because we were so horrible that we couldn’t play anything. Songwriting started very early for us. It was much easier to write my three chord songs then to try to figure someone else’s more intricate songs. Thank God for THE RAMONES, otherwise I never would have believed that we could do it.

So at the age of eleven you became the songwriter as opposed to simply being the listener?
Yes, it was right away. I was always drawn to the kind of music because of the storytelling. DYLAN was a huge influence. I would say that writing songs was something that I did before I could play. I was learning to write songs as I was learning to play because I couldn’t play anyone else’s music and I just had this fire to play a song so badly. The punk thing made that all possible. You could be a songwriter immediately. You could get two chords together and get a bass player to match them and you have a song. That is the kind of songwriter that I am. This JASON HEATH AND THE GREEDY SOULS album is more in the genre of the folk and singer/songwriter. This is a new sound for me. It has just been within the past year and a half that I’ve been exploring that sound extensively.

I started with ABRAHAM in the sixth grade. Besides being a musical cohort, he is also a brother and he knows me very well to put it mildly. He brings a genuine passion for music to the table. He and I have been doing it for so long with marginal success so you really got to love something and it’s got to be deep in your soul in order to keep doing. All of the guys in the band have been doing this for a very long time and we all share that. I think that there is a reverence for music and there is a deep need for honesty and integrity. That is what we as people appreciate about music. That is what we aspire to. Musically the guys in this band are really some of the most natural musicians that I’ve ever seen. I don’t think that anyone in JASON HEATH AND THE GREEDY SOULS is a virtuoso at their instrument, but there is definitely a lot of soul which is really important. I could have a song idea and present it to these guys and know that it is going to get done. This record is a testament to the fact that all of the players play with a lot of passion.

Explain if it can be explained, how songwriting works for you.
If I could figure that out, I would tell you. I have no idea. It’s rare for me to sit down and say ‘I’m going to write a song about this.’ I’ve probably done that a few times but rarely does that happen. For me there are reoccurring themes that I write about. The things that move me as a songwriter have to do with justice and the human condition whether its social economic justice or romantic justice. That is something that has always interested me, whether it’s in life or in songwriting. From there I’ll get a couple of words for a chorus like in the song ANARCHIST GIRL. Once I’ve got the words, I’ll sit down and come up with a melody. I’m not super musically educated. A lot of times I don’t even know what chords I’m using. When I’ve got a song down, I present it to the band and that is where the arrangements get finished and all of the guys put their two cents in. A song is never really finished until we record it and it’s mixed. I’ve got songs in my head that have been there for about two years now.

In listening to the album it is strange for me to hear TOM MORELLO on such a stripped down project as this.
It’s not much of a stretch if you’ve listened to THE NIGHT WATCHMAN. Have you heard that album?

He has an alter-ego called THE NIGHT WATCHMAN where he does some DYLAN-esque folk-political songs. If you ever get chance, grab it. It’s a great album. TOM and I have been friends for many years. ABE and I used to have this band called SPINEWIRE and we played much noisier, and angrier songs when we were younger. Our political leanings and our sound brought TOM onto our radar and us onto his. He wound up producing that one album for SPINEWIRE. Over the years we just became great friends. When he started doing this NIGHT WATCHMAN thing, I started doing this folky sound. We’d go out to coffee houses and work on folk songs with different bands. We would al show up and takeover the open mic night. We did that for about a year and half. So it really wasn’t a stretch for TOM MORELLO to be doing this kind of music. He is a fan of all kinds of music.

And I can only assume that you knew NELS CLINE from the coffeehouse circuit.
That was interesting. Years and years ago I used to work at this record label. This was about seventeen years ago. The label was called MESA BLUE MOON. It was out here in Burbank. It was a jazz label owned by RHINO RECORDS. I worked in the mailroom and they had acquired this catalog from this German jazz label. NELS CLINE had a record on this label called SILENCER and it was just amazing. I heard it and it blew my mind. I had never heard of him before that nor had I ever met him. The album sounds like what JIMI HENDRIX would be doing if he were still alive. The album blew mind so I would always bug the guys at the label about how great it was. They had picked the album up from this distribution deal and they wouldn’t work it. He would come by the office and he and I had become friends just because I loved this record so much. Working in the mailroom I was able to distribute copies for him to sell at shows at a very low price if nothing. It was all under the table from the label. He would come by and I would give him CDs out the back door. He and I had stayed friends for years. I had always been a huge fan and had always wanted to work with him. Finally I was doing something mellow with some slide guitar and he had the time and he came in and did some amazing stuff on the album. It amazes me where he was able to take a song like TIME IS DEAD with just a lap-steel.

One song of note for me off of this album was the song THUNDERSTRUCK.
Yeah, that was one of those stream-of-consciousness songs. I kind of didn’t know what I wanted to say with the song at first. In putting a song like THUNDERSTRUCK together it started to seem like I was talking about people who are victims of hates crimes and that was where I started molding it consciously towards things like MATTHEW SHEPARD and JAMES BIRD. It happened pretty fat. That song was actually written very quickly. I wrote it as I was making the record.

So it wasn’t one of the initial demos.
It wasn’t. I don’t even recall which songs were form that initial demo.

Another track is the opener AMERICAN JESUS.
Yeah, that was the fun.

I can tell. It kicks off the album and you think the song is a hint of things to come but it isn’t.
Not quite as much. It sets a tone and after that it doesn’t ever really get back there. That was why I thought about putting it first. He song is pretty self-explanatory in terms of what its talking about. It doesn’t have much to do with the current political climate.

But it’s got more to do with the past eight years.
Yeah, with the former administration and how JESUS became synonymous with war and how all of these people claimed o know what Jesus stood for and how God is always on the side of American foreign policy. The song is about the notion of JESUS carrying an M-16.

I’m sure JIM CAVIEZEL does but not JESUS.
That was my commentary on that idea. There is a book that I found at the bookstore called AMERICAN JESUS which actually delves into the whole psychology and evolution of how JESUS s viewed in the country. It’s pretty fascinating. Of course, I’ve got to bring up the OZZY OSBOURNE cover.
That goes back to talking about learning how to play guitar. BLIZZARD IN OZ is one of my favorite albums and I remember thinking that if I could ever learn to play that riff from CRAZY TRAIN then I am a guitar player. I practiced and practiced it and learned it but I’m still not a guitar player to this day. It didn’t work out that way. I was one of those strange kids who actually listened to lyrics. They were as important to me as the lyrics. I always thought the lyrics were very insightful but no one could ever tell you what he was saying because the music was so intense and riff was so great. So, I figured I’d slow the song down and make it a little more of a country ballad and maybe, people will listen.

You worked with MIKE FENNEL in producing this album. What was it like working with him?
He’s great. I’ve been working with MIKE for years. We’ve done some scoring and songwriting in the past. It’s like the right hand and the left hand. He knows exactly where I’m going. He’s really helped me over the years. I wasn’t as good as I am now which may or may not be good but it’s better than where I started. He’s played a big part in that. He is practically a part of the band.

This coming weekend, you guys are going to be doing a benefit show in memory of DANNY FEDERICI of THE E STREET BAND.
We are. That is something that had just come together in the last month. It is something that we had been talking about doing and this girl that I had met through our publicist happened to be a fan of the band. She was perusing our MYSPACE page and found that we had some links to DANNY FUND – The Melanoma Research Fund that JASON (FEDERICI - the band’s organ player and son of DANNY FEDERICI) started for his father. She e-mailed me and said ‘Ironically, I have melanoma! Wouldn’t it be great if we did some sort of fundraiser of sorts.’ So we decided to do it. April 17th will mark the one-year anniversary that DANNY FEDERICI lost his fight to Melanoma. We though it would be great if we get it to happen around that time. It was a lot of work but we sold THE TROUBADOUR out in seventy-two hours. This thing is taking on a life of it’s own. We’re going to try to do something similar on the east coast but we’re not sure exactly when or how. We definitely want to make this an annual thing now. If we had more time to prepare, we could’ve done this thing on a grander scale. Right now a lot of people have ideas to do another either here in L.A. or on the east coast. We are really excited about it. This was something that DANNY really wanted to get up an going but he didn’t have the time to do it. Now his son JASON is bravely taking it on and the guys in the E STREET BAND have been great at helping him get all of this stuff rolling with the DANNY FUND. We’re all very excited about it.

What would you like someone to come away with after they’ve heard ‘THE VAIN HOPE OF HORSE’?
Well I hope that they get the name right.

It doesn’t roll off of the tongue easily.
It’s like who and what?

Oh the band name isn’t a problem. The CD’s name is hard to remember. I came up with ‘HOPE THE HORSE VAIN SOMETHING’.
As long as you get the band’s name right, then that’s not so bad. I hope people enjoy it. I hope they feel the honesty and the sincerity that we’ve put into it. - RockWired.com - Brian Lush

"BuzzBands LA - Videos"


Jom Van Oostende directs this Tour de L.A. with Jason Heath & the Greedy Souls, and, yes, that’s Wayne Kramer of the MC5 guesting on guitar. “Anarchist Girl” is from Heath’s album, “The Vain Hope of Horse,” which offers a tough, bittersweet take on Americana and features cameos by Kramer, Nels Cline and Tom Morello. Heath and his band play at the May 17 installment of Grand Ole Echo at the Echo.

- BuzzBands LA - Kevin Bronson

"Backstreets.com - Danny's Son Revisits Little Eden"


Thanks to Jason Federici for letting us host his band's new cover of "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)." Jason plays accordion and organ, just like his dad, and he tells us, "I've been blessed to be a part of Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls. It's a great band with a great heart. Our version of 'Sandy' came about as a tribute to my father who loved that song. I hope you think of him when you listen to it and visit dannyfund.org to help us with the battle against melanoma."

Head to our Downloads page for this free mp3.

Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls will also be playing The Danny Federici Festival in Ashburn, VA next weekend — see below for further information.
- September 11, 2009

- Backstreets.com


'Packed for Exile' LP 2012
'The Vain Hope of Horse' LP 2009



Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls
Packed for Exile

 Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls look for hope and life affirmation in that heart of darkness throughout their second album, Packed for Exile, released independently on Still Small Recordings.

Firmly entrenched in organically American music, the band mines elements of rock, country and folk coupled with rich storytelling and the poking and prodding of emotional contexts both personal and worldly.

Packed for Exile follows Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls’ first release, The Vain Hope of Horse, which PASTE Magazine called “a wonderful debut: ragged, soulful and well-written." The compelling collection included guest appearances by Tom “The Nightwatchman” Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Wayne Kramer (MC5) and Wilco’s Nels Cline on lap steel. The songs resonated with strains of working class rock’n’roll and rustic punk, leaving Dave Marsh, legendary rock journalist and author, to comment, "Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls speak to the heartache and joy in the world, with the wisdom not to try to separate them, and the skill to make all of it beautiful."

“Actually, we didn’t set out to do a record,” Heath says. “I was working with other musicians and had a lot of songs that didn’t fit into that repertoire, so I recorded demos of me and just acoustic guitar, then added different members of the Greedy Souls, plus Nels, Tom and Wayne joining in. So while Vain Hope sort of became the record it wanted to be and just happened, for Exile, we’ve gone into it as an actual band album.”

The Greedy Souls include the core of Heath, Jason Federici (son of late E Street Band member Danny Federici) on accordion and organ, Ben Perdue on upright and electric bass, and Heath’s lifetime compadre Abe Etz on drums, as well as distinctive touches from guitarists Jonathan Chi and Aaron Gitnick, pianist Chris Joyner and fiddle player Ysanne Spevack.

The songs on Exile are fresh and original yet also echo with legacy. This is especially so on the album’s first single, and deceptively upbeat “California Wine,” which is filled with streaks of Golden State sunshine through its buoyant melody, but also brings with it wary skepticism.

“There’s a collective consciousness about the myth of California,” Heath says. “It’s the Wild West, the dream come true, the gold rush. There’s timelessness about the idea and it’s got weight now in the modern age. You see people come and go with dreams on their sleeves sometimes those dreams get smashed on the rocks.”

The elegiac “This Blind Heart,” comes off as sheer introspection, but there are layers to be found beneath the haunting melody and confessional lyrics. “It sounds on the surface as though it’s mostly about relationships,” Heath says. “But it could be about bigger things – fighting on instead of fighting with your existence, a progress of evolution for something better.”

The swelling waltz, “A Fighter’s Lullaby” is a definite standout, filled with resolve and comforting support. “As we were working on it, Jay’s dad was pretty ill with cancer and the song seemed to become about situations of that nature, traveling that wilderness of struggle and despair,” Heath notes.

The band kicks things up with stomping, blues-drenched saloon swagger of “Devil Ain’t Talkin’” and turns to more reflection with a chugging rhythm atop a musical whimsy in “Runnin’ Like a River.”

“It’s an interesting metaphor for things. In all the years of pop music, people haven’t really gone too wrong with the river metaphor,” Heath says. “I like the idea and it goes with the album’s exile theme. I can’t help but look at exile in old testament terms and the song has that imagery – Babylon, leaving slavery, Zion, leaving excess and running out of there, like a river, not knowing where you going to but you're heading out anyway.”

In the firelight warmth of “Ghost in My Home,” the exile theme continues on. “It’s about how you can often be in total exile, forced upon you or self imposed, and feel that while being in a close relationship with somebody,” Heath says. “You’re with them and you see each other everyday and yet, you feel transparent and alone.”

A Los Angeles area native, born in the city of Inglewood, Heath was raised all over Southern California. His interest in making music began to rise in 6th grade with long time friend, Abraham Etz.

“We decided to start a band before we could play. That was quite a long time ago,” Heath, says. “He chose drums, and I picked bass but got a six string before I got a bass. We were so bad we had to write our own songs; we'd practically kill ourselves trying to figure out a Ramones song.”

As the years went by, music became central to their life as Heath and Etz found themselves playing together in various outfits, including Spinewire, who recorded with Tom Morello and

Band Members