Jake Black,co-founder and co-frontman with ground-breaking Brixton-based acid house collective The Alabama 3, has died. At the time of writing, no official cause of death has been revealed. The band are most famous for ‘Woke Up This Morning’, the theme to HBO series The Sopranos.
The news was broken in a post on Facebook, in which the band said, “Early this afternoon, on a beautiful summer’s day, our friend, comrade and spiritual teacher, Jake Black AKA The Very Reverend D.Wayne Love, passed over to the higher ground.
“After a magnificent performance at the Highpoint Festival in Lancashire, D.Wayne in his supreme wisdom, decided it was the appropriate moment for his ascension into the next level.
“The transition was painless and peaceful. He was surrounded by brothers Larry Love, L.B. Dope, The Spirit, Jonny Jamm and Sister Therese Mullan.
“We are heartbroken. All that remains for us, at this moment, is to carry out his precise instructions regarding the continuation of his teachings as a First Minister of The Presleyterian Church of Elvis The Divine, and continue The Great Work.
“His last words, which we have yet to decipher, were “Tweet, Possil Fleet”.
Black founded The Alabama 3 with Rob Spragg, a.k.a. Larry Love, in 1996 after a warehouse party in Peckham, south London. They mixed gospel, slide guitar and tampered dance beats to become one of the country’s most entertaining live act.
The band have gone on to release 12 studio albums, the last of which, Blues, was released in 2016.
Born in the Possil area of Glasgow, Scotland, Black once told author Irvine Welsh, “Trainspotting was iconoclastic for us. It introduced a whole disenfranchised generation to literature – a generation that had been informed literature was the possession of an elite. It delineated the complex inner lives of the housing estates and communities people lived in.
“We’ve been trying to do the same with our music, trying to show young people that they can make music based on their own lives, using genres like country and blues that they probably considered the territory of their dads and grannies.”