New York City-based Americana band JD & The Straight Shot will release its vibrant sixth studio album Good Luck And Good Night on September 15th.
Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Jim Dolan, guitarist Marc Copely (B.B. King, Rosanne Cash), bassist Byron House (Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton), violinist/fiddler Erin Slaver (Martina McBride, Rod Stewart) and drummer/percussionist Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow, Levon Helm, Saturday Night Live band), the dynamic group’s all-acoustic record was produced and mixed by Copely (Toby Lightman, Owen Danoff, Upright Man) and engineered by Chuck Ainley (Mark Knopfler, George Strait, Lee Ann Womack) at Soundstage Studios in Nashville.
Influenced by artists like The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and The Beatles along with traditional Irish folk music and classical music, Good Luck And Good Night delivers a huge sound steeped in the quiet fire of American roots music and the swagger of rock n’ roll.
So what got you started in music? Did you grow up in a musical family?
My mother enrolled me in a Suzuki music program (for violin) when I was three years old and I loved it, training classically from the time I was a child throughout my college years. I also grew up playing fiddle music (country/bluegrass/jazz) with my father (a guitarist). As a father-daughter duo we’d perform on weekends and give concerts throughout our community.
The Straight Shot’s influences are really an amalgamation of its members’ influences, as we are the people writing the music and creating the arrangements. All of our musical backgrounds manifest themselves in our sound. That being said, my influences are very compatible with the Straight Shot’s (i.e. traditional Irish folk music, classical music, the Beatles, and American roots music).
How did you meet and join Americana band JD & The Straight Shot?
I met our musical director, Marc Copely, when he moved to Nashville (the city I’ve lived in since 2011). We had both worked as musicians on the television show “Nashville” and had some mutual friends. He heard me play and sing, and thought I would be perfect for the band.
How would you describe JD & The Straight Shot’s style of music in three words?
Acoustic, authentic Americana. (Three words and an alliteration… #overachieverproblems)
What is your favorite album right now – other than JD & The Straight Shot’s forthcoming Good Luck And Good Night due out September 15th?
I’m really digging the Revivalists new album ‘Men Amongst Mountains’. My fiancé and I heard their single on the radio in the airport and instantly had to know who they were and how we could get their full album.
We have all been touring and co-writing together now for several years and it is our second album to capture our strictly acoustic sound and arrangements. It’s groovy in a way that reflects our vibe together as a live band. Marc Copely, our music director and lead guitar player was behind the board producing, so there was a very intimate and familiar ear guiding the sound. And it’s refreshing! There is nothing like acoustic voices and instruments, thoughtfully arranged, expertly captured, and conveying an emotional intention.
How would you describe your career and achieving this level with the band?
I feel very lucky to have had a wonderful career thus far, and at 29 I feel very fulfilled in what I’ve accomplished and what I get to do every day. Playing in JD & The Straight Shot has been a dream come true.
JD & The Straight Shot will be touring the U.S. and UK this fall and winter. Do you have any tour stories to share?
Sure! Here’s my favorite: On our first tour through the UK we played an awesome blues festival near Oslo, Norway. Robert Plant was the headliner. Byron (our bass player) had been in Robert’s band during his ‘Band of Joy’ Tour. He visited with him backstage (and of course we were all star struck), but the ultimate moment came when Robert was closing his set. His final words to the audience were, “Goodbye everyone, and it was good to see you BYRON!” ) Our jaws hit the ground.
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JD & The Straight Shot photo (credit: Kristin Barlowe) & lead single “Run For Me” art: http://bit.ly/2wCWqEJ