Roadhouse Album Review: The Jim Dan Dee band is indeed jim dandy on “Real Blues”

Jim Dan Dee — “Real Blues” — Self-Release

It seems like every time you turn around, there’s some new blues music coming out of Canada.

This time it’s from an unusually named quartet of guys that calls itself Jim Dan Dee.

Why? The band’s bio puts it this way:

The name “Jim Dan Dee” comes from the expression “Everything is just Jim Dandy”, an old cliché often used with expletives inserted. Jim Dan Dee (affectionately known as ‘J.D.D.’ by their fans) is not only a blues band, but also a character; an idea that embodies the spirit of the music and Jim Stefanuk’s frontman persona.

*More on the name later.

For now, let’s just say that the band makes tough blues that is, in fact, just jim dandy. Guitarist/vocalist Stefanuk’s partners in northern blues are drummer Shawn Royal, bassist Dwayne Lau, and saxman Jason Sewerynek (a little unusual for a traditional blues combo, but a honking sax always loves the blues).

The opening track is Guitar Slim’s classic “The Things That I Used To Do,” the album’s only cover, which sets a scorching pace with Stefanuk’s razor-sharp guitar and searing vocals.

The rocking “Weep For Me,” follows, with a great honking sax solo; the title track comes up next, slow and scorching with emotional intensity; “Two Timing Woman” takes on that subject with a deadly groove; “The Doctor” offers up a fierce guitar prescription with vocals to match. Other favorites include the Stones-reminiscent “Bleed Me Dry,” with guitar and sax carnally entwined, and the rousing closer, “Money Don’t Work On The Devil.” There are plenty more in between to keep the blues juices flowing. It’s a well-chosen set of smartly written blues tracks.

All in all, Jim Dan Dee has a swaggering, hard-driving approach with a stripped-down style and rough-around-the-edges vibe. Just right for great roadhouse listening. Mix well with an adult beverage and give them a shot.

*Now, about that band name. It immediately took me back into my dark and distant musical past, and the urgent R&B of the 1956 song “Jim Dandy” by the joyously inimitable LaVern Baker. I’ve added her classic version below, following the Jim Dan Dee video.


TRACK LIST
1.The Things That I Used To Do 3:10
2.Weep For Me 3:02
3.Real Blues 3:44
4.Two Timing Woman 2:22
5.The Doctor 4:29
6.Two Shakes Of A Lamb’s Tail 2:58
7.Bleed Me Dry 2:16
8.Hang’Em High 4:19
9.T For Trouble 3:39
10.Lost In The Dark 2:56
11.Money Don’t Work On The Devil 3:08


“Jim Dandy (to the Rescue”

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