Based in New York City, the Americana folk-rock band JD & The Straight Shot is comprised of a group of friends that find joy in telling stories together through their music. They deliver strong songwriting and a vibe that sounds like it comes straight out of the American heartland. The members of the band are vocalist/guitarist Jim Dolan, guitarist/vocalist/producer Marc Copely (B.B. King, Rosanne Cash), bassist Byron House (Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton), violinist/fiddler/vocalist Erin Slaver (Martina McBride, Rod Stewart), drummer/percussionist Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow, Levon Helm, Saturday Night Live band) and guitarist/vocalist Carolyn Dawn Johnson (Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride).
The band’s album ‘Good Luck And Good Night’ was released in 2017. They released the single “I Should’ve Known” in August of 2018 and released the single “The Great Divide” a couple of months ago. Now, finally, the new album that includes both of those singles is about to be here. ‘The Great Divide’ will be released March 15th. It is an all-acoustic album, and it was recorded at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville, TN with Marc Copely (James Montgomery, Jess Klein, Constantine Maroulis) producing.
‘The Great Divide’ starts off with the album’s title track “The Great Divide”. The song inspires toe-tapping and open conversations between people with differing opinions. “Dead Men Tell No Tales” is full of melodic layering with a tambourine that catches your attention. You will feel like you have transported to the heart of the heartland while listening to “It Must Be Night” and its featured banjo. “Invisible” has smooth vocals that seem to layer effortlessly. The violin at the forefront of “I Should’ve Known” stands out as do the harmonies in the song. Your toes will be tapping again with “Bees”, but “Anything But Love” is a slower track that is heartfelt and tender. “Take It Slow” is very rhythmic and feels like a song that will get you dancing. “Walkin’ On A Wire” is upbeat, whimsical, and has a bit of a call-and-answer feature to it. To top the album off, the band added their covers of The Turtles’ hit “Happy Together” and The Allman Brothers Band’s instrumental track “Jessica”. They give a twist to each of these songs and breathe their own musical creativity into each of them.
JD & The Straight Shot tell a lot of stories on ‘The Great Divide’. From inspiring open-minded conversations to heartache, their songwriting is in the spotlight. There is a variety of instrumentation on this album but nothing feels out of place. The hooks, melodies, and overall vocals all are sung with purpose and emotion. With the masterful arrangement, there might be a lot going on but everything blends together well.
Photo Credit: Caeser Sebastian