TVD Video Premiere: Handsome Jack,
“Baby Be Cool”

PHOTO: GANNON TEACH | “‘Baby Be Cool’ is a light-hearted, soulful take on wanting to get your ex back if they’d only just be cool the next time around. This song always gives me a really good feeling when the horns bust in on that last chorus. We wanted the video to match the fun vibe of the song so our director Nate Chateaux came up with this cool green screen color changing effect.”Jamison Passuite, Handsome Jack

The soulful rockin’ sonics of Handsome Jack sound more like they’re from the Southern U.S. than southern Niagara County, N.Y., 20 miles east of the Falls. But that’s the origin of the rootsy and dynamic power trio who have just issued their second album Everything’s Gonna Be Alright on Alive Naturalsound records. Among its treats is the simple stomper “Baby Be Cool,” sounding like a Wet Willie outtake but with eventual Memphis-style horns.

We’re proud to debut the striking video for “Baby Be Cool,” which combines the classic hair and plaid look of the band with the bright colors of a ’70s sitcom intro, with an eye-catching typography that leans toward the late ’60s 3D cursive of old logos found on LP covers from the Flying Burrito Brothers or the Jackson 5.

But while upholding the classic sounds of rockers enjoying the blues, there’s nothing overtly retro about the band, other than the good old feelings they conjure up. They’re more like onetime label mates the Black Keys inciting something unpretentious and solid.

“Baby Be Cool” opens with the unerring bass of bassist Joey Verdonselli, underscored by the snap of drummer Bennie Heyes. Then Jamison Passuite’s guitar slices through with some funky electric chords setting up the song about setting ground rules with a returning ex, his raspy yowl bringing to mind generations of singers while still being just his own sound.

As the bright blocks of color march behind them in pleasing combinations, the trio stays put and lays it down—a metaphor about how they’re keeping true to their blues-rockin’ passions as the world swirls around them.

Other bands might try to oversell the innate soulfulness of the simple tune, but Handsome Jack waits until the song is almost over, with just 30 seconds left, to bring the horns in to really wail during the big gospel-tinged ending. That’s called power in reserve.

Handsome Jack fittingly picked Halloween to embark on a tour in Birmingham, AL, with All Them Witches, whose Ben McLeod produced the new album. They’’ll stay out on the road ’til Nov. 24 in St. Louis.

Handsome Jack’s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright is in stores now on limited edition vinyl, CD, digital, and streaming formats via Alive Naturalsound Records. 

HANDSOME JACK U.S. TOUR DATES:
Nov 9 – Echoplex Los Angeles, CA
Nov 10 – The Casbah San Diego, CA
Nov 13 – The Independent San Francisco, CA
Nov 15 – Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
Nov 16 – Freakout Festival Seattle, WA
Nov 17 – Rickshaw Theatre Vancouver, Canada
Nov 19 – Neurolux. Boise, ID
Nov 20 – The State Room Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 21 – Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
Nov 23 – The Riot Room Kansas City, MO
Nov 24 – Blueberry Hill Duck Room St. Louis, MO

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