J the Savage
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J the Savage

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Band Americana Folk


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



"Singer/songwriter J. the Savage appears with Americana legend Steve Earle on HBO Series 'Treme'"

For singer/songwriter J. the Savage, otherwise known as Jamie Bernstein, releasing his new album Very Same Dream has led to another dream, one that has happily been fulfilled. On the HBO series, Treme, which chronicles the lives of New Orleans residents as they try rebuilding the city after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Savage was given the opportunity to play with Americana legend Steve Earle. It’s quite an accomplishment for Savage, whose previous album Songs from the Tree of Life landed on roots-radio playlists in 2009. But one listen to Very Same Dream is all it takes to see that his airtime with Earle was well-deserved. Taking a massive leap in production and songwriting from his debut, Very Same Dream is two-fisted country rock, combining the confessional narratives of Kris Kristofferson and the guitar swagger of ‘70s-era Rolling Stones.

Impressed, I decided to give Savage a ring and learn more about him and his experiences with Earle.

Q: When will these episodes of Treme air with you and Steve Earle?

A: Season Two of HBO's Treme will air this spring. The scenes I shot with Steve Earle were for two separate episodes. I am not sure which episode numbers they are. In one, I back Earle on guitar as we are busking for tips on Frenchman Street. The other scene is a very sad funeral scene. Right after the storm New Orleans was, and still is to some extent, Wild West like. A great community leader, educator and musician Dinerral Shavers was gunned down in broad daylight, and it really shook our community. The scene we are in is at Dinerral's funeral.

Q: How did you get involved with the show?

A: I got involved in the show through my producer Derrick Freeman. He played a musician in the first season, appearing in a number of episodes. He introduced me to the musician's liaison, and I fit the part to back up Steve.

Q: What was it like working with Steve Earle?

A: Steve was great to work with. We hung out in his trailer for a long time. I gave him a copy of my book Black Santa and signed it for him. It was right before Christmas and he was about to head to Nashville to do his yearly jam down there. We both had our acoustic guitars so we sat and sang the songs together that we were to do in the shot. The music director's assistant listened, asked a few questions and left. Steve was great, he spoke about his family and about his upcoming album. He is just a real genuine guy. You can tell he has had his share of hardship, but who hasn't.

Q: You mentioned to me that you recently won an award?

A: I was nominated for best Country/Folk Band in New Orleans. I find out if I won the award on the 25th of this month. It is just a real honor to be considered. I am up against Spencer Bohren, who is just a monster songwriter; I'm a huge fan. Just to have my name up there with his is a real honor. The nominations are made by a committee of music professionals from all walks of the New Orleans music scene. Only artists are nominated in each category.

Q: And you have a song in a movie as well?

A: My tune "Skippin' at the Mardi Gras" was licensed to the film Dark Circles that was in production here in Louisiana in March. They have me, and a band, playing in a bar scene in the movie. The star of the movie is playing piano in the band. We are hitting "Skippin' at the Mardi Gras" hard. The film is directed by Paul Soter, and is slated for release in 2012.

(Photo: HBO/Paul Schiraldi)

Official Website: http://www.jthesavage.com



Black Santa book: http://www.blacksantabook.com - No Depression

"One Busy Hillbilly"

Jamie Bernstein is one busy hillbilly. Between recording an album in Mississippi, playing all night bar gigs in New Orleans, and overseeing the publication of his first book, it’s a wonder I managed to catch up with him for a quick word. He was happy to explain how he ended up knee-deep in the dirty south’s music scene, and it’s been a long way from the log cabin in Monroe County, West Virginia where he grew up. Jamie’s immersion into the world of music was unexpected, he told me, and also that it began – like all great mountaineer yarns – with moonshine.

A year after transplanting to New Orleans in 1996, Berstein visited the thirty-fifth state state to brew up a batch of mountain dew with a friend. The pair wrote songs together simply to pass the time, and Jamie found the process rewarding. He was compelled to learn guitar after the duo parted was so that he could begin to write autonomously. Back in New Orleans, Bernstein nurtured his newfound passion until he received a leg up in the form of trumpeter James “12” Andrews. Andrews found Jamie to have an attentive ear, and asked him to produce his album. Suddenly Bernstein was working in the studio with legendary New Orleans musicians including Dr. John and Walter “Wolfman” Washington. It was after this experience (and at the behest of his wife) that Bernstein finally conceived his own band, and J. the Savage was born.

This month the Savage is playing their unique blend of country music with local traditions during weekly shows at the world famous Maple Leaf Bar. This is the gig that New Orleans musicians dream about, but Bernstein says he’s looking forward exploring new horizons: “This music isn’t something people really go for in New Orleans…. My excitement is to take the music to other markets where I think people will really dig it.” Jamie is set to return to the mountain state in September, he says, and looks forward to the quality of West Virginia audiences: “…in West Virginia if your music’s all good and in the right place, people are thankful that you came to play for ‘em…. When something comes from outside in West Virginia, people really get into it.” Watch for J. the Savage in September. They are currently scheduled to play the Pink Moon Festival in Rock Camp, and are seeking further booking. - WV Band Scene

"J. The Savage, Songs from the Tree of Life by Joseph Irrera"

Singer songwriter Jamie Bernstein has been around the music scene in New Orleans for several years working with the Crescent City All-Stars and fronting his own band J. the Savage. He was born in West Virginia, went to school in Florida and has been in New Orleans since.

Songs from the Tree of Life, his first release as J. the Savage, is well produced with interesting and well written songs. His style is hard to pin down, ranging from his Appalachian influences to New Orleans R&B and funk. If you strip away these orchestrated influences, what you get is folk music, New Orleans stories, anti-war anthems and subtle political commentary.

The highlights include “Cajun Boy” who will be fighting the oil war to save his daddy’s farm and “Sorry to Say” with its unmistakable New Orleans sound paying tribute to New Orleans musicians Danny Barker, James Booker, Tuba Fats and others. “Saint Anna’s Wall” talks about the church on Esplanade Avenue where people write the names of those murdered in New Orleans. It’s a moving and emotional song which Bernstein personalizes by suggesting one of the names is a friend with the lyrics “They wrote your name in the sunlight.” “They wrote your name on Saint Anna’s Wall.” It’s an excellent collection of songs that only could have been written in New Orleans.
01 March 2010 by Joseph Irrera - Offbeat Magazine March 2010

"The Expose Yourself Song Contest Finalist, J. the Savage"

Jay The Savage – Age Of The Superstar - bringing catchy Americana into focus. J. The Savage AKA Jamie Bernstein combines into his lyrically driven music the flavors of the deep south, roots of jazz, blues, and R&B music with the themes and song structures of his Appalachian upbringing. On top of that sprinkle a little Cajun spice, a reflection of his current home location in New Orleans, Louisiana, and vocal delivery that this reviewer would describe as “the Cajun Lou Reed” and you have a unique and noteworthy combination of sounds spices rhythms and words. Give this band a listen and pick up J. The Savage’s record “Songs from the Tree of Life” available at CD Baby. You will like it like we do. - ReviewPossee


Very Same Dream, released Jan 18th, 2011
available online at Digstation.com and louisianamusicfactory.com.

Songs from the Tree of Life, 2009 available online from iTunes and at www.cdbaby.com
Songs from the Tree of life has been added to radio station playlists all over the country. "Black Santa" is already attaining cult status around the holidays, especially with Jamie's book of the same name released in 2010.

Goin' to Beckley digitally released by Quickstar Productions on the CD "Goin' Back Home vol.3" available on iTunes and emusic

Jamie Bernstein is also a producer and writer on James "12" Andrews and the Crescent City AllStars album, "People Get Ready Now". available online from iTunes and at www.cdbaby.com



J has been writing and performing songs, poetry and music for nearly twenty years. J grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, the heart of the Old Timey music scene, and some of the best known bluegrass artists in history. J has lived in New Orleans since 1996 and has written and produced albums with James Andrews and "Trombone Shorty" Andrews. He also has multiple appearances in Treme, 2nd season. In 2010-2011 he was nominated for an offbeat award for the "Best New Country Artist" and was nominated for "Best New Singer-Songwriter" in the New Orleans Gambit.

The Savage band is honored that Grammy winner, Jimbo Mathus, offered his expertise as a Producer and musician in their 2011 release "Very Same Dream." The album has already received some high praise. “So What” was reviewed in Billboard Magazine Songwriters contest, which said of it “Catchy melody, strong hooks, great song!!!”

J. the Savage Band currently plays in and around New Orleans. They regularly appear at The Maple Leaf Bar, DBA, The Old Point, and many more. They have traveled to Atlanta to Smith's Old Bar. They have also played the Pink Moon Festival in West Virginia.

The musicians:

Jamie Bernstein is the songwriter, lead vocalist and plays acoustic guitar. He grew up in West Virginia, in a cabin with no electricity or running water. He did however have a cassette deck hooked to a car battery- not joking! Jamie put his ear to work in New Orleans producing records and writing songs for local musicians. Most notably Trumpet player James Andrews and his younger brother Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews. In 2008, he formed the J. the Savage Band.

Bruce Tyner, guitar- Bruce has a Master's in guitar. He plays the Pedal Steel Guitar and the Fender Stratocaster. He wrote the harmonic dual guitar arrangements on “So What,” “Anyway,” and “They Programed the Machines.”

Willie Bonhan, guitar- Started out working in a jingle studio for corporate jingles in New York City. He has played for many years as a studio musician and is classically trained. Willie was an original member of the band, Dream Speak.

Walter Harris, drums- Comes from a New Orleans musical family. Walter is a Mardi Gras Indian and sews his own costumes. Detroit Brooks is his uncle and Betty Harris is his aunt. He has a prominent roll on the HBO series Treme. He also plays with the Dirty Dozen, Ingrid Lucia, and Derek Freeman's Smoker's World. Tracy Freeman, Harry Connick Jr.'s Producer commented "who is that drummer? He's like a human metronome."

David Hyde, bass -A native of Hammond, Louisiana, he was playing mostly black nightclubs by the time he was 12 years old. He played for President Bill Clinton while touring with famed rhythm and blues singer Delbert McClinton. In 1995 he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame when he was playing with the Boogie Kings. He appeared on Austin City Limits with Marcia Ball, blues singer Tracy Nelson and New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas. He was featured with Grammy Award winner Clarence Gatemouth Brown on "Jazz Central" on the Black Entertainment Television Network in 1997. David has played several festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. His experience and talent goes well beyond what is mentioned here.