Jesse Dee‘s new album On My Mind / In My Heart was co-produced by Jesse and kindred spirit Jack Younger at Watch City Studios, just outside of Boston. It features Jesse’s core band of guitarist Johnny Trama, bassist Jim Larkin, drummer Matt “Pie” Beaulieu, and horn brothers Scott and John Aruda. Scott has played with The Temptations and Wilson Pickett, while John has wailed behind Boston legends Superhoney and Dwight & Nicole. Further help comes from other aces such as saxophonist Paul Ahlstrand (who has worked with Eddie Floyd), trombonist Jeff Galindo (who has played with Ray Charles), and singers Joanie Pimental and Rachael Price, who have fronted Superhoney and Lake Street Dive respectively. “Ultimately, it’s a testament to the local crop of musicians here in Boston,” says Jesse.
It’s also a contagious victory for romantic soul music. “A lot of his music makes me smile,” says Bruce Iglauer, president of Alligator Records. “His music feels like spring. It’s soul music, but it’s really happy soul music. It’s in the tradition of Sam Cooke and Chuck Jackson. And there’s a little spirit of Joe Tex in there. All of those things make me feel good.”