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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

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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.

© OnTapBlog 2012 All Rights Reserved

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. juliegr #

    The live performance on St. Patrick’s day was great == the mix of sounds from Jamie and the Band brought a rocking sound to the music. It was smooth and lyrical no crashing grating tones as you hear in a lot of guitar music these days. I enjoyed his opening set and his addition to Taylor’s music. I will also try to catch him if and when he makes an appearance in the VA or MD area. Thanks for the photos and video.

    March 23, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Julie. It was wonderful to see you in Maryland; glad you enjoyed the music as much as I did! I believe that Jamie will be back to both Maryland and Virginia this spring. Here is the link to his tour dates: http://jamiemcleanband.com/tour/

      March 23, 2012
  2. Linda T #

    I first saw Jamie when he sat in with Taylor Hicks at the City Winery concert in 2011. I immediately sat up and took notice of his guitar skills. Since then I’ve seen him twice in Boston (including one solo gig), once at the Brooklyn Bowl with a bevy of guest musicians and once more with Taylor. Your article really captures the essence and energy of the band — the fact that Jamie is also very accessible, easy-going and friendly when you meet him makes for a winning combination! I’m already looking forward to the next time around in Connecticut! Thanks for the great pics, too.

    March 23, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      I think you’ve developed a habit, Linda. That’s o’kay, though; this one’s good for your health! Thanks for your comments; looking forward to joining you for a rocking show in Connecticut.

      March 23, 2012
  3. jonibug #

    I agree about the possibility of becoming addicted to the Jamie McLean Band. Just so happens his “Sunday Morning” is playing in my car CD player and has been for awhile. Really enjoyed to combination of Jamie and Taylor in Easton and am thrilled that they’ll be together again in CT.

    March 23, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Hope we’ll see you in April, for Taylor Hicks/Jamie McLean Band part 2? Sure to be a good time!

      March 23, 2012
  4. pattiebelle #

    What a nice write-up and all true…was at two of his shows last week and will be in CT again next month…and so it begins….

    March 23, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      So glad you were able to catch Jamie in concert! The Connecticut show will rock for sure. Thanks for your kind words!

      March 23, 2012
  5. Debbie Troxell #

    Great recap & pictures by Louise, Richard, & Holley! It was great to be with you last Friday night to meet Jamie & Band. It was a fun night! A fantastic night also on Saturday in Easton, MD with Taylor Hicks & Jamie. Thanks for keeping us informed. Debbie

    March 23, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Debbie. Appreciate it! It was so nice to share the evening and the music with you in Easton. Hope we’ll do it again soon!

      March 23, 2012
  6. Nice article and great photos as always. I am hoping they will come to Texas this summer.

    March 24, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Tish. If you keep checking the band’s tour schedule for new dates, you might just get a Texas show. Their schedule seems to be TBD from June on so here’s hoping for you.

      March 25, 2012
  7. First saw the band in Ridgefield, CT opening for Kenny Wayne Shepherd and was blown away. I have all their CD’s, but I must say, there’s nothing like seeing them live! When I heard they were coming back to Ridgefield with Taylor Hicks, I grabbed a couple of tickets…in the 2nd row, no less! Looking forward to another awesome show. 🙂

    March 24, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks for reading and commenting, weebooma. We saw him open for the Revelations in Wilmington, DE. What a fantastic vibe they brought to the stage. See you in CT in April. It’s going to be another rockin’ show and a lot of fun!

      March 25, 2012
  8. CCM #

    Great clip! Was at a Hicks performance last year at City Winery when Jamie performed. Cool how musicians have their own playing techniques, dont recall seeing anyone use thumb stroking on the guitar but maybe that’s because I’m a newbie (very newbie) on the guitar and I try to figure how I can learn from stuff like that. Anyhow this guitar take of Hicks’ “I Live on the Battlefield” is a good one and makes you notice that guitars have their own flavor or sound unique to them. Maybe Jamie & his Band & Taylor Hicks will join forces again & drop in to NYC area again someday.

    March 25, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Jamie McLean and Taylor Hicks have a scheduled show together on Friday, April 27 at Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut. Is that within striking distance for you? Here’s the relevant link: http://www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org/event/american-idol-winner-taylor-hicks

      Thanks for your comments on the video; interesting observations! I’ll have to revisit the clip now. Thanks again.

      March 25, 2012

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