Caution: Jamie McLean Band May Be Habit Forming
by Louise Uznanski, Richard Uznanski, Holley Dey
Remember the rush of excitement when a relationship is brand new, the connection warm and immediate? It’s only when time has passed that the basis for that initial attraction becomes clear. Then the first date may be followed by many more. The temporary job may become a career. The single song download may suddenly become a live concert, then a series of concerts with no end in sight. I know. It has happened to me.
My introduction to the Jamie McLean Band came at Fairfield’s Stage One venue in January. That show was one of three in the last three months. During that same period of time a new country artist came to town, a funk band rocked Infinity Hall and my niece starred in the high school musical. The latter were fine performances, but I attended only once.
Why is the Jamie McLean Band such an attractive ticket? I think the answer lies in the Band’s clear passion for music. In 2006 Jamie left a steady gig and dependable paycheck from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to start again as an independent singer/songwriter and musician. He recruited a band, wrote his own music and took to the road. Jamie still writes the majority of the Band’s original music with input from drummer Brian Griffin and bass player Ben Mars. The Band writes and tours continuously. Their most recent album, Sunday Morning, is the second of four EP releases planned this year.
The Band’s passion for music is clear during their live performance sets, played with focus and intensity. Rock is delivered with a blues undertone, a soulful voice and an occasional country flair. The sound is much larger and fuller than expected from a three member band. Brian plays several percussion instruments simultaneously. When the drums aren’t enough, he adds maracas to the right drumstick and plays both together. Bells at his ankles add splash. Bassist Ben Mars sets the groove but often plays chords, essentially adding rhythm guitar to the mix. Bandleader Jamie McLean plays a dynamic electric guitar with notes that are clean and crisp and a style that is exciting but in control. Jamie’s lead vocals are supported by background harmonies from both Ben and Brian. The music is tight; the musicians play off and fill in behind each other.
The Fairfield show impressed. So did the subsequent shows, and I now understand that the Band’s music and dynamic live performances define a unique talent. Might have a problem though; I have a ticket for another show next month. I’m beginning to feel that these tickets should be accompanied by a written warning. It seems only right.
Caution: Jamie McLean Band May be Habit Forming
The following photographs were taken at the Jamie McLean Band’s March 16 performance at World Cafe Live at the Queen, Wilmington, DE.
The video of Jamie McLean’s guitar solo that follows the photo gallery was captured on March 17 at Avalon Theatre, Easton, MD.
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