Album Review: Jake Ybarra - "Something In The Water"

Few debut recordings will come as full of promise as Jake Ybarra’s “Something In The Water” does. This is the work of a confident, transcendent talent.

Jake Ybarra - “Something In The Water”

American Roots Music is littered with all kinds of artists applying their wares in search of a bigger footprint. Many fall between the tracks because there’s just so much music to discover. Fortunately for you, that’s were publications like Roughstock come in. We dig in deep into the trenches to find and unearth gems for you to listen to and Jake Ybarra is one such gem. Over the course of the ten tracks on his debut Something In The Water, Jake Ybarra showcases why he’s about to become a big name in American Roots Music, Americana and singer/songwriter circuits. Something In The Water is that good.

Working with producer William Gawley and a crack recording band (David Flit on guitars and mandolin, Dow Tomlin on bass, Dane Bryant on piano and organ and Billy Thomas on Drums and background vocals while Ybarra himself also played acoustic guitar on the recording), Ybarra showcases over these ten tracks why he’s a blessed singer and songwriter. “Savannah’s Song” is a beautifully told story song and paired with it on the album is the romper, “A Whole Lot To Remember,” a classic sing-a-long two stepper that has pointed lyrics, “I gotta whole lot to remember lord and not much is on my mind,” he sings in the refrain. The gentile “Call Me By My Name” is beautiful in its simplicity as is the title track “Something In The Water” and the closer “Silly Little Things.” These are all well-formed and beautifully rendered tracks.

Those above-mentioned songs, along with mandolin and accordion laced “Long Winter” join with opening cut “Late November” which suggest why everyone who hears Jake Ybarra believes in him immediately. He’s just that kind of writer, the kind who gets comparisons to the giants in these waters, folks like Jason Isbell, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and Radney Foster come to mind while he also brings to mind Corey Smith at times as well. These are all heady comparisons and that’s the deep waters Jake Ybarra is swimming in as he launches his music career.