Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pheaturing Jenny Dee From Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents

Hello, kids, and welcome to another Wednesday entry of the Phile, how are you? So, did you have a good Valentine's Day? I worked, came home, played Wii with Logan, ate enchiladas my wife made for me, read some of an Incredible Hulk trade paperback, watched "Conan" and went to sleep as I had to get up at 4 am this morning. So, do know what Kobe Bryant's wife got for Valentine's Day? Half.  Mitt Romney loves Valentine's Day. He sent a dozen long-stemmed red roses to his money. Who watched the Grammy's the other night? Congratulations to Mitt Romney speaking of him. He got an honorary Grammy for best spoken word for being able to speak out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. And congratulations to Paris Hilton. She was given a special humanitarian award for choosing not to release an album last year. I missed the show. Is Andy Williams still hosting? By the way, while you were laughing, Adele just won another Grammy.  The vice president of China showed up at the White House today. That's what happens when you get behind on the rent. The landlord shows up, starts looking around.
New Jersey has passed a bill legalizing gay marriage. Now comes the hard part... finding gay couples who want to actually live in New Jersey.  A Minnesota man was arrested for stealing up to $25,000 worth of laundry detergent. Would that be a white-collar crime? Luckily, he made a clean getaway.  So, do you guys like that Rick Santorum? He looks like a guy running for student council.  Newt Gingrich is against same-sex marriage. Well, actually, he's against same-marriage sex.  So, as I said, I didn't get to watch the Grammy's this year, and instead of explaining why, I thought it'll more fun to make a pie chart, so here you are. 

Over the weekend we went to LEGOland here in Florida, and I was surprised to see there was a LEGO themed inspirational poster. Check it out.

There was also an odd advertising poster for LEGO's. 

Weird, right?  So, one of my favorite TV shows is going off the air in May. By the way, Charlyne Yi, a Phile alumni is on the show this season. Anyway, I am so happy they released another "House" inspired inspirational poster.

So, most of you know who my dad was, am I right? He was the lead singer in Foghat. Anyway, did you see the newspaper comic strip "Zits" with the Foghat reference the other day? No? Well, check it out here.

Okay, kids, the folks over at the Obama campaign launched the Truth Team the other day. It's the grassroots effort to fight back against the GOP's attacks on President Obama's record. I don't know to much about it, so I thought I would invite the most attractive politician to the Phile to explain it. So, please welcome once again, the Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama for America... Ms. Stephanie Cutter.

Me: Hello, Ms. Cutter. First thing I have to ask, what dis we learn from the Republican primaries? Did we learn anything? 

Stephanie: If we've learned anything from the Republican primaries, it's that this is no ordinary election.

Me: What do you mean? 

Stephanie: The GOP candidates are spending a huge amount of time attacking President Obama... no surprise. But instead of basing their attacks on our differences of opinion, they've chosen to run on claims about his record that just aren't true.

Me: Yeah, didn't Mitt Romney sayt the president made the recession "worse"?

Stephanie: Yes he did, despite 23 consecutive months of job growth under the President's watch. 

Me: Did Santorum say anything bad about the President?

Stephanie: Rick Santorum said that the Affordable Care Act, which was based in part on Republican proposals and provides millions of Americans with access to affordable, private health insurance, is a government takeover of health care. They're not acting alone: With the newfound power of outside groups, these lies can be instantly amplified with millions of dollars in special-interest ad spending.

Me: So, If the other guys are going to run a campaign based on misrepresenting the President's record, and their own, what options do you have?

Stephanie: We have two options: sit back and let these lies go unchallenged, or fight back with the truth.

Me: So, which one are you doing? LOL.

Stephanie: We're fighting back. Yesterday we introduced a new resource for grassroots supporters who want to make sure that when voters go to the polls in November, they know the truth... and you should be a part of it.

Me: What are the team's goals, ma'am?

Stephanie: KeepingHisWord, where we'll communicate about President Obama's record and promises kept; AttackWatch, to fight back against false attacks on the President; and KeepingGOPHonest, where we'll debunk the Republicans' false claims about their own records.

Me: Okay, can you explain a little more on what the Truth Team's plan is?

Stephanie: In short, it's the grassroots communications team of the Obama 2012 campaign. We'll provide resources for you to learn everything you need to know and tools to help you share it with undecided voters in your life.

Me: This is what you do, right, ma'am? Communicating about the President's record and that of your opponents...

Stephanie: It is what I do full-time. But people don't just want to hear from campaign statements or ads... they want to hear from the family and friends they trust. The President needs folks on board to roll up their sleeves, stand with him, and get the truth out all over the country.

Me: Okay, so how can I help on the Phile?

Stephanie: The next time you hear Mitt Romney accusing the President of "crony capitalism" or someone asking, "What has President Obama really accomplished?" you'll know what to do.

Me: Thanks, Director Cutter, ma'am, I will do my best. And good luck to the Truth Team.

The 12th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. goes by the name The Stray, and this is one of his pieces.

The Stray will be a guest on the Phile next week.

Okay, today's guest is the lead singer in the band Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents. They're new CD "Keeping Time" is now available on iTunes. They'll next be appearing at Shaun Wolf Wortis's 19th Annual Mardi Gras Ball at T.T. The Bear's Place in Cambridge, MA on February 18th. Please welcome to the Phile... Jenny Dee.

Me: Jenny, hi there, welcome to the Phile. How are you? Great name, Jenny, that's my wife's name.

Jenny: Hey Jay. I’m doing great, how are you?

Me: I am doing okay. So, I have to say, man, aren't you talented? Have you been singing all your life?

Jenny: Thanks, that’s wicked nice of you! I have been singing all my life, but only professionally (amateurly, really) for about 10 years.

Me: Your band Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents definitely has that 60's Motown girl band thing going on. Did you grow up listening to Motown and girl bands like that?

Jenny: I listened to a whole lot of stuff growing up. I loved girl groups and Motown, but we listened to a whole lot of other stuff at home, too. I was also introduced to a lot of girl groups, soul and blues initially through loving the Stones and The Beatles. I did have a particular love for girl group stuff though... especially the Shangri-Las, Ronettes and one of my favorite songs of all time is “He’s a Rebel” by The Crystals.

Me: You once played guitar and were in a punk band called The Downbeat 5... do you like performing this soul kinda music better?

Jenny: I’m still in The Downbeat 5, we’re just on a bit of a hiatus because of a band injury. I also play guitar in The Dents, a band I’m reuniting with this Friday at T.T. the Bear’s. I honestly love both equally... the material isn’t that far away from what I’m doing, it’s really just the way I’m performing the material that’s different. I feel lucky to be able to do different styles. We actually did Shangri Las tunes, Ronettes tunes and other girl group songs in The Downbeat 5 long before Jenny Dee began.

Me: I love the name, Jenny, the Deelinquents. Did you come up with that yourself?

Jenny: I chose Jenny Dee based on my name (so I wouldn’t confuse myself, ha ha), and the band came up with the Deelinquents. I think our keyboard player Phil Aiken actually suggested it.

Me: Who are the Deelinquents and how did you form a great band?

Jenny: I played some girl group style songs I had written ("Keeping Time" and "Let Me Go") for Ed Valauskas (my husband, bass player, manager, booker and producer), and shared my vision with him of a band along the lines of traditional girl groups, with dance moves and the whole shebang. He liked the idea, and we set about getting some people together. Ed had recently played a Nick Lowe tribute with Tony Goddess, Phil Aiken, Eric Anderson and Eric Salt, so he recruited those guys. My sister Beka is a great singer, and I knew she wouldn’t be afraid to dance, so I recruited her along with a girl that I worked with at the time. Eventually the girl I worked with left and we recruited Samantha Goddess, Tony’s wife. We also play with Paul Ahlstrand who plays sax with us live and also writes our string arrangements, and percussionist Andrew Jones.

Me: You're based in Boston, right? Is that where you're from?

Jenny: I am originally from Plymouth, MA. I grew up right down the street from The Mayflower and the Plymouth rock.

Me: I've been there. So, I have to hand it to your bass player, who performs with you and Juliana Hatfield who I would love to have on the Phile. I used to have a huge crush on her in the 90's. Do you know her?

Jenny: I do know her. It’s very easy to have a crush on Juliana... she’s extremely talented, and wicked nice. I’m really glad to know her.

Me: Let's talk about your music and fantastic album "Keeping Time" which I downloaded from iTunes. Did you write all those songs on the album? You already mentioned two of them.

Jenny: First of all, thanks so much for the kind comments on the album. I wrote the songs on the album except for "Shake Some Action", which is a Flamin’ Groovies song. I brought the songs into the band, and everyone in the band adds so much to the songs... they really wouldn’t be the same without everyone’s input. So it definitely ends up being a collaboration. Then you add Matt Beaudoin’s arrangements and producing which really put the sound of the record and those songs over the top, and Paul Ahlstrand’s string arrangements. I’m honored to work with all these people.

Me: How did you pick that one cover to do?

Jenny: We were asked by Lovemonk, a label in Spain to release a single over there, and they like to do a cover on the B Side. We were tossing around a few suggestions, and that song came up. The Flamin’ Groovies are one of the best rock and roll bands of all time, and that is one of my favorite songs ever. We worked on it, and came up with the Motown feel for that, and it worked really well.

Me: I read you recorded the title track "Keeping Time" before you guys performed a show. That's backwards, isn't it?

Jenny: Nothing’s really ever backwards in music. Muck and the Mires (one of my favorite local bands) was a concept before it was a real band. I hadn’t done that before, but that’s what was kind of cool about it. Plus it was way easier to teach the songs to the band.

Me: What was the first Deelinquent show like?

Jenny: Weird. It was really weird to NOT be playing guitar. And some people didn’t like seeing me without a guitar. We didn’t play to very many people, which was good, because we were working out the kinks. But that’s what you do, it’s where you start off. Everyone’s gotta go through it.

Me: I saw you opened for one of the greatest bands ever, no, not The Breeders. We'll talk about them in a minute. You opened for The J.Geils Band, right? When was that?

Jenny: We opened for J. Geils and Aerosmith at Fenway Park last year. MAN, was that awesome!

Me: I have a picture of the band at Fenway here.

Me: Did you meet Peter Wolf?

Jenny: Yes, he was the only one I met from those two bands, although I had already met Seth Justman from Geils through Ed. I actually had met J. Geils and Magic Dick years ago when I worked at Rounder Records. Peter was really awesome, and told me not to be nervous. He said it was no different than playing the Lizard Lounge, it’s just a bigger stage. He was really down to earth, which was really cool, because I’ve been a fan of his since I was a teenager. My dad used to “tape” his radio shows.

Me: Okay, you toured with The Breeders in Europe I think. How did the European audiences like your music? I bet they love it. Did you play in England? With acts like Amy Winehouse, Adele, Duffy and you, you're bringing the 60's vibe back. Well, not so much for Winehouse anymore.

Jenny: We didn’t tour with The Breeders, we played on the same bill at the Azkena Festival in Spain. It was a huge thrill, I love Kim Deal. We haven’t played England yet, but we’d love to. Hopefully this year! I love the 60s vibe for sure, but I think this year we’ll be moving out of that box a bit. We’ll go where the music takes us.

Me: I have to talk to you about your new single "Bandit of Love" which is great, but your B-side got me noticed. I am a huge Graham Parker fan and you recorded an unreleased GP song called "That Moon Was Low." How did you get your hands on this song?

Jenny: We were backing up LaLa Brooks, original lead singer of The Crystals, for a while, and we were doing some writing in case she was interested in doing some original material. Ed has played and toured with GP, so he mentioned that to him and asked him if he had any songs for LaLa. Graham suggested that song. LaLa decided to work with a band in NY and moved on, but we loved the GP song so much, we asked if we could record it. It’s a great song, I’m in love with it.

Me: I take it you have heard of GP before as Ed, your lucky bass player played with GP. Was Graham hesitant to give up a great song?

Jenny: Oh, he didn’t give it up at all. He’s going to be recording it with the reunited Rumour.

Me: You did an amazing version of it, Jenny. Have you got any feedback on what Graham thought of it?

Jenny: Thanks! I think he likes it, he gave Ed some good feedback and posted it on his web site. So that’s good, right? :)

Me: With the new single, are you planning on releasing a new album?

Jenny: Our plan is releasing a few songs at a time. That way, you don’t really have to wait so long to release stuff.

Me: When you do, please, please come back onto the Phile. I hope this was fun, and I love your music. Any chance you'll be playing in Orlando?

Jenny: Thanks so much!!! Ooh, I’d love to play in Orlando. Especially within the next few months! Or to take my daughter to Disney.

Me: Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you want to, and tell Ed I would love to have him on the Phile. We have lots to talk about.

Jenny: You should totally have Ed on the Phile. Our web site is, and our facebook is

Me: Take care, and continued success.

Jenny: Thanks, and to you too!!!

Well, that does about it. Thanks to my uests, Campaign Director Stephanie Cutter and of course Jenny Dee. This Sunday I will be at megaCon so there's not gonna be an entry but on Monday it's Tony Braunagel from The Robert Cray Band. There's gonna be an extra entry on Tuesday with artist The Stray and next Wednesday it's Alumni Tish Meeks from the band 3 Kisses. And then on Sunday after that singer Lizzy Ross. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. I stink. 

1 comment:

bellboy said...

My wife is named Jenny too...I saw GP perform That Moon Was Low and told him I was surprised he sang it since I thought he gave it to Jenny Dee(whatever that means) and she did such an awesome job on it. He loved her version but, you know, it was still his. He did tell me the Rumour was doing it and I ameagerly awaiting that although the Latest Clowns shows I saw my favorite GP shows ever.(Ed on Bass, Mike G on Drums!)