Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2018 May-June Contents Rhythms 41
Jim Dolan (The J.D. of the band’s
name) is a highly successful New York
businessman. In his spare time, he loves
to write blues songs with his band, and
take them out on the road. Success breeds
envy, and more than one commentator has
branded Mr Dolan something less than
genuine, who enjoys his success because
of who he is, and his powerful connections,
rather than because of the genuine merit
of his band. We don’t avoid the difficult
questions, so let’s start right there.
I’d like to get the elephant in the room out
of the way first off, which is the fact that
some people in the media regard this band
as a vanity project. What’s your thought
I think some people are assholes! Let me
tell you something, your ears don’t lie. It’s all
about the music. People can say what they
like and people can cast aspersions, and
they do, but at the end of the day, it’s about
the music and you either like it, or you don’t.
Trust your ears.
Where do you get your song ideas from?
Well, I have the music of Paul Simon, Eric
Clapton, The Eagles, Neil Young, basically
the people whose music I grew up with. What we do, the
music we are making, back in the 1970s they would have
called it folk music, and it had its share of big stars, Crosby
Stills Nash & Young, people like that. I think we take a lot
of inspiration from their music, but we put it into a more
modern context and style. It comes under the umbrella of
Americana now, but what sets it apart for me is that it is
acoustic, and that does make it different from a lot of stuff
that is out there now. I think that when you know you are
going to see an acoustic-based band play live, then you
have expectations, and we hope to rise above that and be
Do you ever have a bad show – when you don’t enjoy it,
which is hard to imagine.
To me, a bad show is when you are playing to nobody.
This summer we played in Pennsylvania and it was hotter
than hell, it was a festival that was really dying, and we got
slotted on the stage. They couldn’t get the sound right for
the first half of the gig, but it didn’t matter because there
was only about ten people spread across the front of the
stage. We have had all extremes at various times.
What is the song you wish you had written?
‘You Don’t Love Me’. It’s something that changes - you could
ask me again in ten minutes, it may be something different.
The Allman Brothers played it on their Fillmore East album,
and I have always really admired their playing on it.
You are at a level now, the band has been recording and
playing for a long time, you have a successful career as a
band, but there is always another level to aim for. How do
you work towards that, do you have a plan?
You’re right, there is always another level, and we do think
about it. We are aware of keeping the fans we have, and
developing new ones, and that does mean change. When
we changed from an electric format to an acoustic format,
that was a huge change, and I sure there are fans who didn’t
like that change, and we have to live with that. When I listen
back to the albums we made when we were an electric band,
I really like the stuff we did, but I like the acoustic stuff
What’s the best song you have ever written, and why is it
I am very fond of ‘Don’t Waste My Time’, and that is one of
my favourites, I have always enjoyed singing that song.
What ambitions do you have for the band?
To keep making great music, and to keep trying to get it out
there for people to hear it, and to enjoy touring and playing
live. I have been asked if I will retire and do this full time,
but I am not planning to do that. I love doing this, but I also
have a very interesting business career and I have my wife
and six sons, and I get pleasure out of all aspects of my life,
and they give me balance, and I think balance is vital. This
is my major passion though, no doubt about it, this takes me
to a totally different place. Making music and listening to
music, I can’t imagine my life without that.
JD AND THE STRAIGHT SHOT
Links Archive 2018 Mar-Apr July August 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page