Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

JESSE DEE

ON MY MIND/ IN MY HEART

2013-02-26

While Alligator is a standard bearer for down-home blues, it has broadened its menu in the past few years with releases by the likes of New Orleans roots rocker Anders Osborne and the ever soulful Curtis Salgado, both of whom mix up the blues with other genres. This disc ups the ante with nary a straight blues song on the track list. Old school soul a la Otis Redding and Sam Cooke but with a funky modern polish that would be at home on a Raphael Saadiq disc is the bill of fare on Jesse Dee's Alligator Records debut release. And what a wondrous release it is. With a voice that effortlessly glides up and down a range of vocals that take most of the Four Tops or The Temptations to cover, Dee works his way through the eleven original tunes included here with exuberance, passion and grit. Backed by a massive cast of musicians including all manner of horns, keys, guitars and backing vocalists, Dee evokes summer-time shag grooves, "From the Start", testifies to the power of a new love, "The Only Remedy", takes you back to the 60's with the innocent "What's A Boy Like Me To Do?", begs for an early warning that his love days are numbered, "Tell Me (Before It's Too Late") lays down a guitar and horn fueled rocker worthy of Tower of Power, "Sweet Tooth", and throws water on the ashes of a burned out relationship with the heartbroken "Boundary Line". While Dee can bleed despair with the best of them, he is equally adept at upbeat encouragement to hang in through the tough times, "Stay Strong", and bubbles with glee at the thought of his lover, "On My Mind, In My Heart". On the strength of this disc, look for great things from Jesse Dee. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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