Jared Deck is an Oklahoma native with a clear passion for the classic road songs of the 70s and 80s. With this heavy country and classic rock influence, he has released his first solo single, 17 Miles, in the hopes that he may have created another great road song. With his clean, no-nonsense rock composition and almost preternatural understanding of Americana, he is not far off with this first single, which could indeed be that next great road song, ushering in a new era for classic rock and Americana.
Though 17 Miles is Jared Deck’s first solo single, he headed up the popular cowpunk band Green Corn Revival for six years. His work with this group, the members of which appear on this single, may explain the slight indie tinge Deck’s solo work has to it. He has branded his music as “Midamericana,” a term he says refers to all the pieces of American music fused together to create a musical snapshot of the American experience. He feels his work is introspective and experiential at once and he strives to strike this balance in his listeners with 17 Miles.
Lyrically, Jared Deck writes with the storytelling skill of his forbears: Bruce Springstein, Tom Petty and Willie Nelson, to name a few. Like these great masters, Deck is able to conjure up such imagery with his lyrics that audiences feel they are with him on his 17 Miles road trip, seeing the same vistas he sees. Deck’s vocals have the raspy quality of a well-traveled wanderer and also lend themselves very well to the road trip feel of 17 Miles. His voice may remind audiences of Jacob Dylan of the Wallflowers or even perhaps The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen.
Lyrics and vocals are not all that is needed to create an iconic road song. The composition of the simple rambling-style chord progression of 17 Miles is very basic but expertly crafted so that the other elements can expound upon this theme. The acoustic guitar track of 17 Miles will remind listeners of the Eagles’ Take it Easy or John Mellancamp’s Small Town. Guitarist Brandon Cink, bassist Fred Hardt, drummer Travis McKinzie, pianist Jacy Deck and organist Chris Wise all provide ornamentation and add the extra notes which really lock in the overall classic Americana feel without detracting from that great rambling guitar track and classic road trip story.
By way of 17 Miles, Jared Deck seems to be on the cusp of introducing a new “Midamericana” era to classic rock. The song has the makings of a great summer road trip song, and Deck offers a new take on the folk throwback trend. Rather than old-timey 1900s folk and 1930s blues, why not look to the greats storytellers from later on in the 20th century? With this well-produced, thoughtful and jubilant song which celebrates classic American traditions and classic rock, fans will be hard-pressed to find a reason to argue with the question Jared Deck and 17 Miles pose.
Review by Layla Klamt
Youtube.com: “Jared Deck – 17 Miles”
Soundcloud.com: “Jared Deck – 17 Miles”
Images provided courtesy of Jared Deck’s media kit.