At the age of 13, Jake Armerding joined his father's bluegrass band, Northern Lights, on fiddle. He soon turned his attention to songwriting, and recorded his first CD, Caged Bird, while earning a degree in english literature at Wheaton College, Illinois. The record was an immediate hit on Boston's folk radio station, WUMB, which honored Mr. Armerding with its 2001 Best New Artist award. Touring regionally and with support from radio, the record eventually sold more than 2,500 copies and got Mr. Armerding noticed by the Nashville independent label Compass Records.
In 2003, Compass released Jake Armerding, a collection of folk-pop songs written over a year living in Music City. It was the sixth most-added new record among Americana radio stations in April 2003, and critical praise soon followed. "A master at bending boundaries," marveled the Globe, while the Washington Post called Mr. Armerding's instrumental skills "remarkable." Touring non-stop, he made debut appearances at the Newport Folk Festival, Rhode Island; Kerrville Folk Festival, Texas; and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, New York that year, along with some of the country's best-known acoustic venues, the Ark, Missouri; Bluebird Café, Tennessee; Tin Angel, Pennsylvania; and the Freight & Salvage, California.
After more than 500 performances, from Anchorage to Miami, and London, he returned to Nashville to record Walking on the World, an album that is difficult to categorize as is much of today's best music; equal parts New England singer-songwriter, acoustic pop/rock, and newgrass. But the effect is natural and Mr. Armerding stands out from a crowd of new singer-songwriters for what has always been a hallmark of great songwriting: an ability to create something new out of something old.