Kate Jacobs – Home Game

January 01, 1970





Kate Jacobs was an
underground rock favorite in the early ‘90s, part of the new wave of
singer/songwriters (a la Freedy
Johnston and Jill Sobule) informed as much by the Velvet Underground and Elvis
Costello as by Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. After a handful of acclaimed
releases, she dropped out for a few years to raise children and nurture a
domestic life.


If Home Game is any indication, the extended vacation away from the
music business didn’t damage her talent one iota. A collection of ruminations
on former lives, current tragedies and, most of all, domesticity, Home Game sets sharp, sometimes sly,
observations to music so sublimely melodic it burrows into your brain before
you have a chance to resist. Jacobs celebrates child-rearing with balladry both
jazzy (“All the Time in the World”) and steel guitar-kissed (the title track),
and nods to the endurance of adult love in the country duet “Good Enough” and
the joy of a happy home life in the lovely, irresistible “Time for Bed.” On the
flip side of the coin she tracks marital disintegration in the bitter
honktyonker “$55 Hotel” and the classic pop “Make Him Smile.” “Jesus Has Been
Drinking” describes a longtime Hoboken
homeless resident with banjo and folk traditionalism, while “On My Monitor”
obsesses over a fleeting image of an anonymous blond on the internet with a
bossa nova beat. The folk-popping “Rey Ordonez” reminisces about touring days
and keeping up with home through listening to baseball on the radio.


Aided by longtime cohort Dave
Schramm, Jacobs combines a facility with finely drawn details with a wide
melodic range on a set of songs that should drawn the envy of her peers. A
sheer delight, Home Game proves that
a songwriter doesn’t have to spend years on the road in order to have good
stories to tell.


the Time in the World,” “Time for Bed,” “Make Him Smile” MICHAEL TOLAND

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