The SiS Interview by Mark DiSalvo
A little soul never hurt anyone. Those who know me will probably tell you it’s my favorite “genre” (because soul’s a feeling, it can be in anything, so how is it just one genre, right?). That’s why I’m excited to hit ya with a profile of a soulful dude from Boston. Jesse Dee is the man’s name, and his solo debut Bittersweet Batch is out now.
The Arlington, Massachusetts native is a little different than some of his soulful contemporaries in John Legend, Amos Lee, or Raphael Saadiq in that his sound has a certain warmth to it that’s very reminiscent of the analog days (that’s vinyl records for all the people as young as me). Which is probably no coincidence, as Jesse says he’s likely to be cuing up an old record when you come by his house.
It’s good to know there’s a little bit of soul in Boston in 2008, considering there aren’t many jazz spots left where there once was a mecca-like offering of them. So check out Jesse Dee answering the weekly five, and pick up Bittersweet Batch when you're done.
SIS: Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because:
JD: We're more advanced drivers.
SIS: Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you’d love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well.
JD: James Hunter , Susan Tedeschi , Jamie Lidell
SIS: Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is?
JD: The Lizard Lounge has been a favorite for quite some time. There’s always such an amazing energy to draw from when the audience is nearly engulfing the stage. It can be completely packed and still feel intimate at the same time.
SIS: Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can’t hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
JD: I think “folk music” conceptually influences my songwriting even though my songs don’t always come across as folk songs. The result is Soul/R & B music with lyrics that are slightly more introspective than one might usually find within the genre. - Or at least that’s what I’m shooting for.
SIS: Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is:
JD: I usually end up at Toad in Porter Sq . / Cambridge.