“I think this is the best work we’ve ever done,” explains JD & The Straight Shot founder and frontman Jim Dolan of the band’s latest release, Where I’ve Been. “I’m so proud of the music that my band and I have put together. I believe in this album.”
Produced by Joe Walsh, Where I’ve Been features several breakthrough singles including “Governor’s Song,” which challenges some of today’s most well-known political figures; “Under That Hood,” a transformative single that tells the tragic story of Trayvon Martin; and “Hard to Find,” which will be featured in the highly-anticipated film, St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy.
Dolan’s day gig is Cablevision Systems CEO and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden, where he also oversees New York sports teams such as the Knicks and the Rangers. Music is his passion.
“I needed something in my life where I felt like I was actually creating,” says Dolan. “Most of what I do as an executive is orchestrate. I don’t actually set up cable and I don’t really shoot hoops,” he says, laughing. “Music is something I’ve played since I was a kid. It’s me purely expressing myself.”
JD & The Straight Shot’s creative nucleus is Dolan and guitarist Marc Copely (B.B. King), who pen all the band’s music and lyrics. Instrumentally indispensable is guitarist Aidan Dolan; keyboardist Brian Mitchell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm); and drummer Joe Magistro (The Black Crowes). Also part of the band are some of pop music’s finest session players, bassist Zev Katz (Aretha Franklin, Elton John), and violinist Erin Slaver (Rod Stewart, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride). Dolan started JD & The Straight Shot in 2000. The band has recorded four previous albums: Midnight Run (2012), Can’t Make Tears (2011), Right On Time (2008), and Nothing To Hide (2005) – as well as an EP, Daily News Blues (2010).
The band’s style is steeped in the quiet fire of Americana, with distinctive elements of the blues and mystical, rustic, New Orleans-flavored roots music – topped off with a dash of the classic rock of Dolan’s youth.
“I grew up on bands like the Allman Brothers,” says Dolan. “We played those records until the grooves wore right off of them.”
JD & The Straight Shot has been covered by The New York Times, Billboard, and New York Magazine, among other publications, and performed on Good Day New York. Their song “Can’t Make Tears” is the theme song for AMC’s TV show Hell on Wheels, and their music has been featured in many films, including the critically acclaimed August: Osage County.
The group has opened for the Eagles on several tours, including the current “History of the Eagles” tour, the “Summer 2010” tour, and the band’s stadium tour with the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban. JD & The Straight Shot has also opened up for both Joe Walsh and Don Henley’s solo tours, the James Gang reunion tour, and performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Austin City Limits.
Concert is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. Paper ticket is still required.