Jim Dan Dee
Jim Dan Dee
Hailing from Toronto, but sounding like they come out of the deep south, Jim Dan Dee have created a distinct style of the blues that crosses over into several other genres. Jim Dan Dee is their first full-length album, following the release of a few singles and a five track EP, Five Stiff Shots. Those releases promised great things, and this album lives up to all expectations. In fact, this is one hell of a good album.
The band is made up of Jim “Dan Dee” Stefanuk (vocals, guitar), Shawn Royal (drums), Jason “Bobby” Sewerynek (saxophone) and Brian McCarthy (bass), and they make a glorious sound. From the opening song, “Save My Soul” to the last note of “Walkin’ Shoes”, the listener is taken to a different world. This is not Toronto, folks, this is the Delta by way of Memphis, and although they record today, this music takes you back a decade or two.
Jim Dan Dee — which for the record is a brilliant name for a band — embrace their roots and meld them all together, and out comes this gritty, rocking, bluesy, traditional country. Lead by Stefanuk and his searing guitar and growling vocals, it is pure magic. Dirty magic, but magic.
This is working class music. Throughout the album, Jim Dan Dee relate to the worker, who is working to enjoy Friday, or a date, or something fun. But no matter what they do, it all goes wrong, that is the spirit of the album. The blues, they will get you every time. Stefanuk seems to have firsthand knowledge of the blues and music is his therapy.
Jim Dan Dee do mix it up throughout the album. The album is not just blistering blues, but some fine painful, slow blues, such as the cleverly titled “Stand By My Woman”, which owes nothing to “Stand By Your Man” other than the title. This song features some of Stefanuk’s finest vocals. A pleasure to hear a man in such pain as expressed through his strong voice. The band has the talent to play the music. This is a tight outfit, and what stands Jim Dan Dee apart from other like bands is Sewerynek and his fantastic saxophone. He uses it sparingly, but when he comes into the song, it elevates to another level.
Jim Dan Dee is an excellent album. It is a very impressive one, and one that will be a welcome addition to most record collections. It has a great deal to offer. I was a bit surprised but happy that they did not include their last couple of singles. This is a standalone album and should be treated as such.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: JIM DAN DEE – JIM DAN DEE