Jacob Haller has three albums currently available. You can purchase digital or physical copies on bandcamp or using the music players to the right.
I've done a number of new things since the release of my first CD two years ago. I've played keyboards in an afro-pop band, gone on a successful tour of the east coast with fellow singer/songwriter Chris Monti, been a regular performer in AS220's Empire Revue cabaret show, and -- most significantly for my second CD -- started my own band, Jacob Haller and the Running Commentary, with electric guitarist Natalie Markward and drummer Joe Auger, the first band dedicated mainly to playing my own music. Eight of the thirteen songs on 'Circumstantial Evidence' feature their playing.
The songs reflect the eclectic nature of my songwriting, including a simple Christmas song, a couple of straight-ahead blues and jazzy songs, some bluegrass and country-inflected numbers, and some solo performances that are in a singer/songwriter mold. The song's subjects often have a skewed point of view -- 'Dear Santa' is about getting a robot that conquers the planet as a Christmas present, 'Mistreating Yarn Blues' is a blues song about getting arrested in a yarn store, and of course there's 'Codependent', an acoustic country song in which the singer begs his lover to come back so he can return to the misery he's used to.
'Circumstantial Evidence' also has a number of talented special guests: guitarist and singer Chris Monti, singer Jeff Keithline, trombonist Pamela Murray of the Superchief Trio, upright bass player Jack Hanlon of the Throttles, and sousaphone player Daniel Schleifer of What Cheer? Brigade. Its cover features wire drawings made by local artist C.W. Roelle. I feel very lucky to have so many talented friends, without whom this CD would not be anywhere near as good as it is.
This three-song EP was recorded at the same sessions as 'Circumstantial Evidence' and features many of the same performers. It consists of covers of three songs: Pete Seeger's 'Waist Deep in the Big Muddy', Andy Breckman's 'Railroad Bill', and Tommy Johnson's 'Big Road Blues'. It isn't available for download, but you can preorder copies of the EP on bandcamp.
"Haller cites Randy Newman and They Might Be Giants as influences, which pretty much nails the tone throughout Mistaken Identity; simple, insanely-quirky ditties built around piano, guitar, and the occasional accordion, with subject matter ranging from stolen kidneys to 'Adorable Kittens.'"
For my first CD, I wanted to make a CD that reflected the sort of music you would hear if you saw me play live. As such, half of the recordings are just me and my guitar; a few more also feature my friend and longtime musical collaborator Chris Monti on backing vocals and guitar or mandolin; and a few others have a larger sound, and are intended to give a sense of what it's like when I perform with my band the Killdevils or sit in with another great Providence band, the Superchief Trio. I appreciate the help that I got from my producer and engineer, Keith Munslow (who also plays on some songs), who was of great assistance in getting all of this done.
The oldest songs on the CD, 'Lady Luck' and 'Watching Killer Robots Eat Your Head', were written in 2005, while the most recent one, 'Mistaken Identity', was written in late 2008. There's a mixture of songs that I wrote for friends and family, songs written for my own amusement, songs written for the Rhode Island Songwriters Association's 'Songwriters in the Round' series, as well as songs based on true events, songs that I made up out of whole cloth, songs that are relatively serious, and songs that are just plain goofy. I hope that anyone who listens to the CD will find something to enjoy.
After 'Mistaken Identity' went to press, I discovered that I had accidentally left my friend Scuffy Genius out of the list of people who sung on track 12, '(Whenever I'm Sad, I Do A Web-Search For Pictures Of) Adorable Kittens.' My apologies for this mistake.