Jesse Dee Live In Studio

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To watch video of Jesse Dee perform “No Matter Where I Am” Click Here!

“I got into funk and R&B when I was seven or eight years old and listening to the radio,” Jesse Dee said when he stopped by the WERS studio. A tall, bulky white guy with kind eyes and a soft-spoken voice, Jesse’s persona doesn’t necessarily scream “funky.” But when he and his band started playing their three song set as part of Live Music Week, it became evident that Jesse Dee is one talented soul singer.

Their first song, “The Only Remedy”, showcased Jesse’s rich vocals and classic swagger. He crooned, “I haven’t always been lucky/There were times when I had nothing.” The second song, “No Matter Where I Am” continued the sassy, upbeat vibe. Their last song, “What’s A Boy Like Me to Do” showed a more heartfelt side of Jesse’s music. The slow tune spoke of a lover conflicted, unable to bring himself to break up with his significant other. While Dee’s music is a nod to soul music of the past, it has a timeless element to it that keeps it fresh even in this modern era.

Encouraged by his parents, Dee began singing at a very young age and became fascinated with the doo-wop groups he head on the oldies stations. “My influences are always changing with the more music I hear,” he says. He does, however, cite Etta James and Sam Cook as some constants that he has always looked up to. In fact, he has had the chance to play with some of his heroes as he has gained immense credibility in today’s soul scene, including Etta, Al Green, and Spencer Wiggins.

An Arlington native, Dee attended college at MassArt where he majored in mixed media. During this time, Dee became lead vocalist of a ten-piece funk band called Decifunk. Regarding his time at MassArt, Dee says, “It really taught me to think about what I was doing and what it meant. I learned how to be a self-sufficient artist, which is really important in a world that makes it hard to do so.”

During his career, Dee has toured all over the world, solo and with a band. “There’s a core group of guys I usually play with, as well as a revolving outer caste that changes depending on people’s schedules” he says. “But I’m really lucky to play with all of them.”

Jesse Dee released his first album in 2008, entitled Bittersweet Batch. His next effort, On My Mind, In My Heart is due out on the first of the year. “Right now my focus is on eating the next album released,” he said. “I’m just going to keep things going, and keep moving forward.”

Jesse will be playing a show at the Brighton Music Hall on November 3.

By Sara Selevitch
Photo by Jeeyoon Kim

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To all WERS Members & Volunteers

THANK YOU! We had an awesome Live Music Week because of you! We exceeded our goal of 1000 donors and we couldn’t have done it without your support! We are working on sending your gifts now and you can expect to have them in 4 to 6 weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, […]