Jake Dilley Band
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Jake Dilley Band

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"The Jake Dilley Band"

July 26, 2004

Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa

Who's in the band:
Jake Dilley - Guitar/Vocals
Chris Ratay - Bass/Vocals
Justin Kerr - Drums/Percussion

How long they have been together:
1 year

About the band:
Featuring an eclectic mix of rock, jazz, funk fusion, and folk, Jake Dilley and his band have established themselves as a premiere live act of the midwest in the past year. Solid musicianship and songwriting have attracted a dedicated following across the state of Iowa. Dilley and company's original style and approach produce an unrivaled and energetic live show embraced by both intimate and arena-like settings. With influences ranging across all genres and comparisons to U2, Dave Matthews Band, Radiohead, and Wilco, this group of talented musicians has emerged with a sound entirely their own
- Des Moines Register

"Dilley band's debut shows bright future"

`Repetition," the first song from the Jake Dilley Band's debut album, "Nothing Good Ever Lasts," is good enough that the band can hardly top it. But these Iowa City roots rockers - Jake Dilley on vocals and guitar, Chris Ratay on bass and Justin Kerr on drums - put together a generally enjoyable album.
For much of "Nothing Good Ever Lasts," the group sounds a little like Dave Matthews Band. But the Jake Dilley Band succeeds by ditching the limitations of pop-roots for a darker, moodier and more creative sound.
"Repetition" aligns the band more with Wilco than Matthews (Dilley's voice even sounds a little bit like a sleeker version of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy). But the instrumentation sets the song apart. Bursts of staccato guitar and bass crack atop a bed of hammering drums before a shimmering barrage of sound drops for the song's chorus.
Other songs that work are "23:32," "Moving On" and "You Are Loved," the latter being a ballad that offers Dilley's best vocal performance. This album has a handful of strong songs making a bright future for the Jake Dilley Band.
- Gazette, The (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City, IA)

"Jake Dilley Band CD (Author: Jim Musser)"

A steady presence on the Midwest club scene since forming in Iowa City in 2002, the Jake Dilley Band brings solid chops, sturdy tunesmithing and heart-felt vocals to the table on the trio's first full-length disc, "Nothing Good Ever Lasts."
As their many fans can attest, the core band of Dilley (lead guitar/vocals), Chris Ratay (bass, vocals) and Justin Kerr (drums/percussion) generates plenty of firepower on stage, but they've sweetened the mix in the studio with well-placed cameos by various horn players, keyboardists and backing singers, making for a rich, dynamic punch.
The upshot is that -- although self-produced (by Dilley and Justin Meyer) and self-released -- "Nothing Good Ever Lasts" delivers a big-time, professional sound that belies the band's relative youth.
The material (all original) resides mostly on the upside of mid-tempo, blending agreeable funk'n'jam propulsion with easy-going melodies, folk-tinged structures and Dilley's soulful rasp.
The band lists the Dave Matthews Band and Wilco among its major influences, with the former coming through strongest to these ears.
"Nothing Good..." is an impressive, satisfying debut; this is clearly an upward-bound band to watch.
- ReviewPress Citizen (Iowa City, IA)

"Making something good last"

The Jake Dilley Band sees the name of its first album, Nothing Good Ever Lasts, as an oxymoron. The trio has been together for nearly two years, and the members feel optimistic about their chances of keeping their good thing going.

The members of the group - Jake Dilley on lead guitar and vocals, Chris Ratay on bass, and Justin Kerr on percussion - sat at a table at the Java House, excited about the band's first newspaper interview. In between the "off the record" jokes, they enthusiastically talked about music, their sense of accomplishment with the album, and their positive outlook on what the future holds.

Kerr describes the guys as a jam band but said their diverse influences (which include Van Halen, Phish, Radiohead, the Beatles, the Police, Coldplay, and many more) make their music accessible to many people.

"I'd label us as groove-rock fusion funk," Ratay said. "We have the rock elements, but it's not fast and loud all the time. We'll soften it up and throw a fusion-style song in there or some funk, and those elements come from all our collective influences."

The band formed in the summer of 2003 when Dilley's former band broke up when he still had tour dates to fulfill. The first meeting of all three members was a practice and publicity photo shoot in August 2003. Ratay estimated that he and Kerr learned 30 songs in the span of two weeks.

Dilley said that it was important that they change some of the songs so that Ratay and Kerr could make their own contributions and not just fill the shoes of the former members.

"In the beginning, we weren't sure how everything was going to fit together, but once we started using everybody's talents, like Chris' aggressive bass playing and Justin's wild drumming, we really started coming together, and it started becoming more about collaboration," Dilley said.

Nothing Good Ever Lasts was released in October 2004 and was the product of a year-long recording and mixing process. It has sold more than 300 copies.

"It's really a theme album, so a lot of the songs bleed into each other, and it just puts you in a nice mood," Ratay said.

Kerr said the band already has enough songs to begin working on a second album, noting the band's 40-plus original songs. Dilley said that he'll come into practice with as much as a 90 percent complete idea for a new song or as little as 10 percent, and the guys will collaborate from there. Dilley said a great thing about their songwriting formula is that there is no set formula.

"A lot of times it just happens," Kerr said. "We'll be sitting at practice warming up, so I'll start with a drum beat, or Chris will start with a bass line, and a couple weeks later, that'll be a new song."

Dilley said he's been on a creative high recently, estimating that he's written eight songs in the past two months. The band hopes to return to the studio later this summer.

"Jake writes constantly," Kerr said. "Sometimes I'll suggest throwing some new cover songs into an upcoming show, and he'll say, 'Yeah, we could do that, or we could throw in these four new songs I wrote over the weekend.' "

Ratay said that although Dilley writes many of the lyrics and basic guitar riffs, the creation process is more collaborative than ever. In addition to playing two shows per week, the group practices twice a week and records all of its practices so the members can go back and develop new songs from their jam sessions.

"At this point, the nice thing is that we're the core elements of the band," Ratay said. "Without any one of us, the triangle would collapse on itself."

Kerr said that he has seen a great jump in the band's recognition in Iowa City. He noted that the group has added lights as well as a three-piece horn section (UI seniors Matt Farmer on trumpet, Ryan Van Gilder on trombone, and Ben Lozano on saxophone) to improve the shows and is also considering adding a keyboard player.

For now, the Jake Dilley Band is trying to make its good thing last by devoting its time and energy to its success.

E-mail DI reporter Tony Solano at:

aanthony-solano@uiowa.edu - Daily Iowan - 80 Hours - By Tony Solano


Jake Dilley Band - Nothing Good Ever Lasts (2004)

Featured on The WB
Featured on CTV (www.CTV.com)

KULT, Cedar Falls (“As I Was” & Repetition”)
KRUI, Iowa City (“As I Was” & “Repetition”)
KWDM, Des Moines (“As I Was” @ #4 on the top 20 Countdown)

www.Garageband.com (“Not There “ Track of the day 2/16/05)


Feeling a bit camera shy


The members of the Jake Dilley Band began the complex task of mastering their craft early in life, each from their own respective Midwestern town. It was apparent that they possessed that unique quality which would put them over the top in the music industry, the only question was when, how, and with whom they would share their talents.
Jake Dilley spent his high school years coming into his own as a musician; he used his older brother’s band as an avenue to unleash his raw talent and creativity until he went off to the University of Iowa, where he met his match in the explosive rhythms of drummer Justin Kerr. Kerr, a long time student of renowned Chicago drummer John Poweziak was coming back with extraordinary energy to play and perform after battling a major health crisis, from which doctors thought he would not recover. The lineup was complete when Dilley and Kerr paired with Chris Ratay, a superb bassist and vocalist who shared their eagerness to explore where his talents could take him in the music scene.
The sound of the fated trio was electrifying. Dilley’s crisp acoustic riffs blended effortlessly with Kerr’s thick grooves. Ratay’s mastery of the bass guitar brought together the full sound which is the mark of this group’s true musicianship. The band then paired their sound with Dilley’s poignant lyrics which draw mainly on the disillusionment of youth, and the dichotomy between self-discovery and defining oneself in terms of relationships. The strength of this combination can be heard on their debut album, “Nothing Good Ever Lasts”. It is their natural ability to connect with listeners and generate contagious energy that has led the Jake Dilley Band to gain popularity among a rapidly growing audience.