photos by: Kristy Walker
and the Cold fact
Music producers have been vying to put Rebecca Jade’s voice on record since she was 12 years old. A standout presence in her church’s youth choir, the San Diego native showed enough soulful promise in early demos that she was recruited to an R&B trio through her teens. While the multi-talented singer would move on to accept a basketball scholarship at UC Berkeley, upon graduating with a performing arts degree, she returned home to establish her musical career in earnest. Quickly gaining a local reputation for smooth, sultry, and powerful performances, Rebecca Jade’s vocal gifts and natural appeal have made her a fixture on the west coast city’s jazz and soul stages. Since being tapped to tour with R&B icon Shiela E., she’s spent weekends on the road, energized by the exposure to a larger and more diverse audience. Between gigs at such vaunted venues as the Hollywood Bowl and Prince’s Paisley Park, she returns to San Diego to write and record albums with her band, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, expanding her artistic range with the group’s unique blend of psychedelic rock and brassy soul.
RUNNING OUT OF TIME
“Chase the sun with me,” beckons singer Rebecca Jade during the chorus of “Come With Me,” the funky uptempo opening track of Running Out of Time. It’s a fitting start to the second full-length by Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, which sees the San Diego supergroup build on the distinct brand of West Coast soul it developed in its 2016 debut. Anchored by vintage tones and tightly knit grooves, the album fills a modern rock meets R&B space previously staked out by Alabama Shakes and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.
Jade herself shows up with Mavis Staples-like dynamism when called for, injecting power into booty shaking numbers including “Come With Me” and the revved up “I Only Smoke When I Drink” (and its follow up lyric “I only drink when I think of you”). The San Diego native has been touring nationally with Sheila E., and echoes of the 90s R&B she grew up listening to are woven through Running Out of Time, found in the summery pop of “Worth My Wait,” and torchy, Caribbean inflected “New York.” Elsewhere she balances her potent gospel-like choruses with breezy Minnie Riperton sweetness, as in the Hammond organ-drenched “Miss You” and timeless vintage of album closer “Change.”
The soft brass swells of “Change” and other mid-tempo tunes lend textural contrast to the percussive funk blasts livening up other parts of the record. Horn arrangements were contributed by Andy Geib, the San Diego music vet who’s brought brass sections to a litany of projects, including by Toots and the Maytals, Karl Densons Tiny Universe, and B-Side Players. Most of the band behind the Cold Fact is comprised of frequent Redwoods Music collaborators, including drummer Jake Najor, bass player Jason Littlefield, and evocative lyricist Alfred Howard. Along with their accomplished crew of musicians, Howard and coproducer Matt Molarius display a studied fondness for the output of their spiritual predecessors with Staxx records and the Wrecking Crew, while adding a tinge of Hollywood Hills psychedelia to the mix.
Rebecca Jade credits a convergence of influences for bringing so much creative energy to the new album. “The guys in the Cold Fact bring an extensive catalog of music with them” she says. “My musical upbringing had a lot of soul and R&B, more radio friendly stuff. We get together and listen to these deep cuts they love, that spark ideas for all these different directions we might go. I’m really grateful to work with them, because they open my world up big time.”
“Running Out of Time” vinyl street date 9/13/19