Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels
Gig Seeker Pro

Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels

San Diego, California, United States | SELF

San Diego, California, United States | SELF
Band Americana


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels @ Ivy Hotel

San Diego, California, USA

San Diego, California, USA

Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels @ Bondi

San Diego, California, USA

San Diego, California, USA

Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels @ Hennessey's PB

San Diego, California, USA

San Diego, California, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



“People were incredibly generous, sending me contact info for gigs and helping me track down places to sleep,” says Americana singer Jesse LaMonaca, who recently completed a self-booked tour of Australia.

The trek was financed via donations through “You set the amount of money you need and choose how long to raise it. If you don’t raise that amount in time, you get none of the money, and people who pledge don’t get charged until the time is up. The money end is handled by…I needed about $2000 to cover the planes, trains, and automobiles, so I set a goal of $2200 to be raised in 30 days. By the end of the month, I had over 30 backers who pledged a total that reached that goal, and then some.”

To earn donations, which ranged from $10 to $375, LaMonaca offered incentives. “For ten dollars or more, I mailed a handwritten postcard from Australia. For $125 or more, I would sit down with them, have a chat, and play a few songs for you live via webcam.”

The tour included dates in Sydney, Fremantle, Margaret River, Perth, and Melbourne. His debut Aussie show was October 29 at Bar Me in Sydney. “The night was not only fun but also a success. I was supposed to play for 40 minutes, and they kept me going for one and a half hours… I sold some CDs and T-shirts. They even have a little VIP wall upstairs they asked me to sign.”


1) Arcade Fire, The Suburbs. “Just bought it, and I already love it.”

2) Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild soundtrack. “This is a great driving album, and it got me hooked on these songs.”

3) Powderfinger, Odyssey Number Five. “I get a nice nostalgic fix from hearing these tunes. They remind me of when I lived in New York City.”

4) Black Keys, The Big Come Up. “This album fires me up and keeps me musically motivated.”

5) Willie Nelson, Greatest Hits (and Some That Will Be). “I’ve been listening to this album on vinyl, cassette, and then CD throughout my life.”


1) “Own a 1967 Mustang.”

2) “Go on a safari.”

3) “Build my own cabin.”

4) “Become a father.”

5) “Teach my dog Rosco to roll over like I shot him when I point my finger at him and say ‘Bam.’”


“I would say it’s a toss-up: Paul McCartney, ’cause he really hasn’t lost anything on those pipes that can belt clean or dirty; or Eddie Vedder, who uses his distinctive voice as a true musical instrument.”


“Pink, Funhouse. Yeah, that’s right, I said it.”


“And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead is a pretty sweet name. Kind of grabs you right from the get-go, doesn’t it?”


“My Morning Jacket at the SDSU Open Air Theatre in September 2008. I had just moved to San Diego a few months prior, and I wasn’t feeling much like playing music or doing anything at all. This show turned that around, inspiring me in a way no other concert has.”


“I fear expired foods.”


“Harmonica LaMonaca, but I would have to practice like crazy to make this name worthwhile.”


1) “I climbed Mt. Rainier, and if I had my way I’d live in a tiny mountain town.”

2) “I lived in Sweden for a time.”

3) “I worked as an actor for a few years. My first gig was in The Sixth Sense, the restaurant scene, where I’m the out-of-focus server holding an ashtray and walking across the back of the room.” - San Diego Reader

The debut album from Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels was presented to this reviewer in an eye-popping package consisting of a cigar box containing the CD, a pine cone, a handful of postcards, a handwritten invitation to the CD release party - already a few months past - and an actual paperback novel (although at the time of its printing inflation had already boosted its price to a whole quarter).

The first thing one notices is the musical confidence of this group. They’ve got strong, melodic songs that they play with conviction and clear intent. The album opens with the title track, building a lot of dramatic tension before settling into its more leisurely rhythm. Whetting the appetite for what is to follow, this song lets listeners know that they are about to enjoy an album of tuneful songs with masterful arrangements and great musicianship. Things pick up on "I Awoke," an up tempo country tune with a Glen Campbell-like feel. As LaMonaca passionately belts out his lyrics, his clear tone and forceful delivery are reminiscent of singers like Kenny Loggins or the Black Crowe’s Chris Robinson. He has a pleasing masculine voice and a presence that jumps out of the speakers. The Dime Novels are a terrific group of musicians themselves, creating a solid, muscular sound that brings to mind great bands like the Heartbreakers, the E Street Band, and Crazy Horse. The influences of these and many other legendary ensembles are liberally sprinkled throughout; they’re tight but they’ve also got a lot of soul. They lend an interesting twist to the Americana/rock genre by bringing a cool R&B groove to some of their songs. A great example of this is "Left Coast Sunshine," a bouncy ode to the California lifestyle with "hit single" written all over it. It’s got a catchy tune, an irresistible shuffle beat, and a chorus that simply demands that a crowd sing along with the band.

In a further show of musical versatility, they easily shift gears for the melancholy country ballad "The Rarest Form," which showcases guitarist Brandon Conway’s skills on pedal steel. The song calls for a light touch and the band delivers it perfectly. The effect is dramatic and affecting. Keyboardist Ed Kornhauser really gets a chance to shine on "Cliched Broken Hearts on the Floor." Throughout the album he adds an essential mood and texture to each song.

This is a terrific debut record from a band that sounds like it has been playing far longer than the year or so that they’ve been together. Their sense of dynamics and space lets these well-written songs breathe with the emotion that is so evident from the first note. Although this is a studio recording, it has a very live feel to it. Based on the quality this release, Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels should fast become favorites on the local scene. And beyond. - San Diego Troubadour- Mike Alvarez

Jesse LaMonaca
Alive on Law St.

Everybody wants to be Ryan
Adams, and understandably so: One man and an acoustic guitar churning
out soulful music to seduce and be seduced by. This stuff is more
melody and less despair, and you’ll be humming it for days. Good or
bad, that’s up to you. MS/jesselamonaca.

—Lucas O’Connor

- San Diego City Beat - Union Tribune

“I’m originally from Philly, but I had moved to Sweden to be with a Swedish girl I met,” says singer-songwriter Jesse LaMonaca. “I lived there for about a year and put a band together and was just starting to get things going when, unfortunately, things fell apart. As often happens with love...I was forced to leave everything I had in Sweden. I came to San Diego with just my guitar and some clothes.”

After LaMonaca’s 2007 arrival in Pacific Beach, he founded an Americana soul outfit, the Dime Novels. “P.B. recently served as a shooting locale for our newest video,” says LaMonaca. “It’s part of our push to make our single ‘Left Coast Sunshine’ the 2010 P.B. summer anthem.... The song is available online as a free download, and the video is on YouTube. We shot it ourselves with a local outfit called Flicker Fusion Video.”

Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels’ debut album Until the Stars Came Out will be celebrated with a release party at downtown’s Marble Room on Friday, June 4. “The venue’s theme is that of an early-1900s brothel, so we hope to have an attractive female flamenco dancer for a surprise show in between our sets,” says LaMonaca.

“We’ll be playing the album in its entirety from start to finish, and then we’ll have a secret guest artist do a small set. For our second set, we’ll cover some old-school soul faves of ours, like ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,’ ‘Try a Little Tenderness,’ ‘Hold On I’m Coming,’ and maybe some Band of Horses or Bon Iver to mix it up a bit.”

The Marble Room bill also includes Cactus Bob and Brian Holwerda of Blackout Party. - San Diego Reader

Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels hope the release of their new self-described Americana-soul album “Until the Stars Came Out” will be the boost they need to get noticed.

LaMonaca, 33, grew up near Philadelphia, where he began taking guitar lessons at age 12 from a man at church.

Soon after, his grandmother started teaching him piano. By age 16, he was writing songs.

LaMonaca eventually moved to New York City where he was lead singer for the band Elroy. Next, music and a relationship drew him to Sweden. He lived there for one year, playing with different bands until he and the woman he lived with broke up.

“I asked my ex if there was anything left,” LaMonaca said. “She looked away and I looked at the clock and it was 11:11 p.m.”

He knew the relationship was over at that moment. This was the first time he noted the significance of the time 11:11 in his life.

“I packed up my bag of clothes and took my guitar,” LaMonaca said.

He didn’t know where to go or what to do, so he decided to move in with his brother in Pacific Beach in May 2008.

“I sat around for a couple months smoking cigarettes and staring at the walls,” LaMonaca said.

He began looking for musicians to play with on Craigslist, hoping to find a band that needed a singer.

In the meantime, he was working in the restaurant industry and playing solo gigs at local venues including 710 beach Club and Hennessey’s in Pacific Beach. He credits Pacific Beach with helping him get through his break-up. LaMonaca started surfing and writing music.

He arrived home one night and noticed the address on his neighbor’s house lit up. It read 1111.

LaMonaca heard the band Maddox Revolution play and liked it. He invited the band to play with him one night on stage. They played “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.”

“It was like a blind date where you just meet someone and it works out,” said LaMonaca of his sudden melding with the band.

One of the band member’s watched stopped and the time it stopped on was 11:11. LaMonaca took it as a sign that the band was meant to play together.

LaMonaca now has the Roman numerals XIXI tattooed on the inside of each wrist, certain that it represents something significant for himself and for the band.

The other band members (Brandon Conway, guitar, pedal steel, vocals; Ed Kornhauser, keyboards; Matt Thompson, bass, vocals; James Conway, drums, harmonica) live in La Mesa. LaMonaca, who sings lead vocals and plays guitar, lives on Law Street. Together, they founded Law Street Records, under which they co-produced their new album with Sven-Erik Seaholm.

“I feel like I am part of something bigger,” said La Monaca. “You’ve got to get through the journey to tell the story.”

The last song on the new CD is, “Eleven Eleven.”

The band’s song, “Left Coast Sunshine,” was played two weeks in a row on 103.7 FM and debuted last Sunday on 102.1 KPRI’s “The Homegrown Hour” at 8 p.m.

“I really believe in the album,” LaMonaca said.

The band hopes to go on tour one day.

The album release party is Friday, June 4, at 9:30 p.m. at Marble Room, 535 Fifth Ave. It is a 21 and up event and is open to the public.

- Beach and Bay Press

"A well-crafted mix of earthy Americana and vintage R & B - at its best" - George Varga - San Diego Union Tribune


Jesse LaMonaca- "Alive On Law Street"
Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels- "Until the Stars Came Out"



JL and The DN are currently working on their new album at Lost Ark Studio in San Diego, California. They will be recording throughout the summer and plan to release the yet-to be-titled album this fall. The much anticipated follow-up to their SDMA nominated debut album "Until The Stars Came Out" will feature new favorites like "Maggie Don't You Run," "The Well Has Run Dry," and "Cryin' Over You."

February 2009- singer/songwriter Jesse LaMonaca was about to play a solo set at a club in downtown San Diego. Before going on, he invited the house band to join him on stage for a song. On Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” they did- and they haven’t stopped playing since.

June 2010- Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels released their debut album, “Until The Stars Came Out”- showcasing their unique Americana soul sound in a powerful collection of songwriting, melody and performance that was nominated for Best Americana Album for the 2010 San Diego Music Awards.

November 2010- Jesse traveled Down Under for the first time on "The Left Coast Sunshine Tour- a solo journey to Australia." The idea of Jesse going on a solo tour to Australia had been floating around for some time, and at a Sunday afternoon BBQ last August with some Aussie friends, this idea suddenly got a heartbeat. In just six short weeks, all the pieces fell into place and a solo tour took shape- 10 shows in Sydney, Fremantle, Margaret River and Melbourne.

"You have to go on the journey to tell your story."

These words became the theme of the tour; a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for an unsigned artist to share his music on the other side of the world. Family, friends, fans and 11 sponsors made this tour possible, reaching out with an incredible amount of support and generosity and helping Jesse with everything from booking shows, places to sleep; even the round-trip plane ticket from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Using a Canon T2i, an out-stretched arm and the helping hands of friends, Jesse documented the tour, and then spent months editing the footage with Aaron Browning at Flicker Fusion Video. The story is told in three short episodes, with a bonus video of a live performance by JL and The DN at Lost Ark Studio recording a song that Jesse wrote while on the tour, a song called Other Side Of The World.

You can watch "The Left Coast Sunshine Tour- a solo journey to Australia" at