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Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Wheel" by Jackson Pines

By Bob Makin

originally published: 04/28/2023

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Wheel" by Jackson Pines

“Wheel,” Jackson Pines’ first original release in two years, is the Makin Waves Song of the Week. PHOTO BY WATERMRK STUDIOS

Earlier this year, Jackson Pines released what so far has been my favorite Jersey album of the year. But “Pine Barrens Volume One” is a collection of covers of old folk songs written in and/or about Jersey Pinelands.

Recently, Jackson Pines followed that  amazing album with their first original tune in two years, “Wheel,” the Makin Waves Song of the Week.

As the Makin Waves Song of the Week, “Wheel” also can be heard between 6 and 8 p.m. on April 28 on “Radio Jersey” at If you miss it, you can tune in any time in the archives at The Penguin or MixCloud.

“Wheel” is the title track single off a fall- bound LP.

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The beautifully rootsy single sounds like the musical equivalent of a river cascading over slippery rocks as pines whisper in the breeze and provide shade to crispy leaves riding downstream. There’s a reason they’re called Jackson Pines.

“Wheel” was recorded at Ace Ender's studio in Hammonton, produced by the band, engineered and mixed by Tyler Sarfert and mastered by Dana Yurcisin.

For years, the original duo of singer-songwriter-guitarist-harmonicist Joe Makoviecki and upright bassist James Black tried to get into the New Jersey Folk Festival, but they always were considered too much of roots rock band. Ironically, after expanding into even more of a rock unit with drummer-mandolinist Cranston Dean and banjoist-mandolinist-flutist Max Carmichael, they finally landed their first NJFF gig based on the passionate authenticity, inspired arrangements and strong performances of the history-rich “Pine Barrens Volume One.”

Jackson Pines will make their festival debut on April 29 on the Eagleton lawn of Rutgers University with more appearances sure to come in the wake of what seems like a “Pine Barrens” series.

The LP, which was a Makin Waves Album of the Month, also impressed PBS, who produced a documentary about the band. “Bringing It All Back Home,” a half-hour episode of PBS’ “Here’s the Story” series, can be enjoyed here. In addition to “Pine Barrens,” the doc focuses Joe & James’ roots in the Pinelands of Jackson, including their close, longtime relationship with Albert Hall, the Grand Ole Opry of the Jersey Pines.

“Glad to use our platform to shine a light on the Pine Barrens and the folks who make Albert Music Hall what it is, an American treasure,” Jackson Pines posted after the episodes April 26 premiere.

A second “Wheel” single will be released in summer. Meanwhile, enjoy Jackson Pines live May 5, Blue Moon Theater, Woodstown; May 13, Franklin Parker Preserve, Chatsworth; May 20, a secret show in the Pine Barrens (contact the band for details); May 29, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park; June 8, Steelstacks, Bethlehem, Pa.; June 9 at an Atlantic City venue to be announced; June 10, The Grape Room, Philadelphia, and June 30, Baronet Rooftop, Asbury Park, with Connor Bracken and the Mother Leeds Band and The Vaughns.

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Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Follow Makin Waves on Facebook and contact Bob at



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