Musically Jacques Labouchere ain’t that easy to pigeon hole. You’ve got your flourishes of folk, psych, country, pop and whatnot, but this man is not just aping any other dude with a geetar and a hat. Labouchere’s influences span everything from yer Syd Barretts and Lou Reeds and The Byrds to the Green River and Evan Dando of his teen years, leading all the way to the finely-tuned taste buds of today.
It’s been a long haul since Jacques’ childhood days in the Appalachians of Connecticut and his youth spent in another small town in Southern Virginia. That small town ambience still lives on in Labouchere’s music and lyrics, even though he’s most certainly been around. Gothenburg is a weird mixture of two worlds. It’s Sweden’s second biggest city yet small enough to make you claustrophobic at times. Yet, ask anyone Swede who’s tried moving away from this unpolished pearl of the West Coast and you’ll find that they always return at some point. A leopard, or in this case, Labouchere never changes its spots.
Speaking of spots, our man started playing bass in his first band when he was 12 and has been churning those tunes out ever since. It’s in his blood, an addiction, an outlet for everything that builds up. All through the many years spent globetrotting, busking and squatting in London, playing in bands in Boston and D.C., and that one mysterious month in L.A before he checked out and headed for Europe, those songs, they always continue to resonate inside his being.
This Jacques of All Trades has indeed done them road miles. And not only that, he has booked hundreds of shows by himself. His latest 20+ date tour took him to Norway, the UK (including a festival appearance), Holland, Germany and Sweden. Germany has taken to him and since January 2016 Labouchere has toured the country four times.
Besides his own music he has acted as booker, promoter, tour manager, roadie, merch man and security at one of the best rated music venues in North America; the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. Jacques Labouchere, the artist, has also held two residencies in New York City at Pianos and The Knitting Factory and played over 20 shows in under a month in Manhattan and Brooklyn alone. He even resided for a hot minute at the infamous Chelsea Hotel in June/July 2008.
Still he counts the years in London among his favourite formative experiences. There is a romantic ring to his talk about busking on the streets of Soho and on the banks of the river Thames. The warmth in his voice when he mentions hanging out on Portobello Road after school, or the wild long weekends in Camden Town in the 90’s, seated next to musical faves such as Jarvis Cocker of Pulp or Bernard Butler of Suede.
Growing up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, an area he holds very close to his heart, was and is an inspiration for him. You can hear that pounding ‘neath the textures of his tunes. The memories of winter time blizzards, the scenic hikes encountering black bears and even cougars in the trees above roar in them. A magical wilderness where one can even stumble upon a six feet long water moccasin stretched out across a dirt road in the sizzling summer sun. These are just some of the sensory impressions that have helped mold the artistic expression of this singer and songwriter.
This peacefully rewarding milieu is also situated no more than a half an hour hitchhike from the Guthrie Center, where Arlo Guthrie’s famous song and the film “Alice’s Restaurant” was written and filmed. Little did Jacques know that he would one day share the stage with the very same Arlo Guthrie at a sold out venue in his new Swedish home town.
And just like Arlo’s father Woody Guthrie this Labouchere fella’s got the machinery needed to take out any haters out there.