Jim Dan Dee – Real Blues
11 songs – 37 minutes
Real Blues is the second full length album from Canada’s Jim Dan Dee and continues where their first, self-titled release (which was warmly reviewed in Blues Blast Magazine in February 2019) left off. Featuring 10 self-written songs and one classic cover, the band inhabits a similar place in the blues-rock spectrum to the likes of George Thorogood, Pat Travers and Rory Gallagher.
Frontman Jim “Dan Dee” Stefanuk has a powerful, muscular singing style that fits the rough-hewn music perfectly. His raucous guitar is provided excellent support by the rock-solid rhythm section of drummer Shawn “Stix” Royal and bassist Dwayne “Gameshow” Lau, while Jason “Bobby” Sewerynek’s sax adds stabbing support lines and swinging solos.
The album opens with the one cover, a pulverising reinterpretation of Guitar Slim’s “The Things That I Used To Do” before leading into the driving upbeat shuffle, “Weep For Me”. The tremolo rhythm guitar on the mournful title track that follows is great, as is the slashing slide guitar on “Two-Timing Woman”. Stefanuk’s wonderfully ragged guitar takes centre stage on the slow blues of “The Doctor” while Sewerynek’s sax adds real drive to one of the album’s highlights, “Two Shakes Of A Lamb’s Tail”. The rollocking “Bleed Me Dry” maintains the pace and features notable interplay between Stefanuk’s guitar and Sewerynek’s sax, with a definite nod towards the Delaware Destroyers.
The heavy slow blues of “Hang “Em High” packs a rocky punch, while “T For Trouble” has an early 70s feel to it, mixing riffs that are reminiscent of early Deep Purple re-interpreting “Mannish Boy” and a fine sax solo from Sewerynek.
The grinding “Lost In The Dark” features Stefanuk’s slide guitar echoing his vocal melody while album closer “Money Don’t Work On The Devil” is an irresistible boogie with an earworm of a chorus and a superb vocal performance from Stefanuk.
The album was recorded at The Vault studios, excellently produced by the band and mixed by Kevin Dietz. It may a relatively short release, clocking in at just over half an hour, but there is no fat on these songs. The performances are punchy and high energy and it’s safe to say that Jim Dan Dee must be a ferocious live act.
If your tastes lean towards full-blooded, guitar-driven blues-rock a la George Thorogood, you will find much to enjoy in Real Blues.