Project DNA
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Project DNA

Band Pop Rock

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Feb
14
Project DNA @ Uptown Theatre

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Jan
30
Project DNA @ Borders Bookstore

Olathe, Kansas, USA

Olathe, Kansas, USA

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Singer/Songwriter, Jimmy Blecher is the driving force behind this new & exciting act. Project DNA stands for “Do Not Ask”, which is what Blecher would tell people inquiring about the new album. The record is all said & done now and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised after taking a listen. Blecher and his bandmates have created a sound here that encompasses catchy pop/rock hooks complete with a snazzy flare. Blecher adds in his unique vocal style that mixed well with the vibilicious grooves present on this recording. Jimmy’s vocal tones actually appeared, at first, to be a bit cheesy at times, but in reality the voice worked splendidly with the overall feel of the record. In the end, it seemed that Blecher and Project DNA, hands down, were in the zone & feelin’ it—No questions asked!

Jimmy Blecher is actually coming from a hard-rock background with his other band, Amadius. He and the rest of Project DNA really turned the tables on this album by making it more softer-edged ‘n’ poppy. There are definitely still some rocked out moments though like on track nine, “Innocence”, where you hear awesome guitar riffs all put together in a very rock-oriented fashion. It’s also worth noting that Jimmy was on American Idol last season as he made it all the way to the third round.

Besides bringing the talents & goods himself, Jimmy also has some high-quality musicians in his corner. Adding to the hoop-la that is Project DNA are such members as: one-time Sly and the Family Stone bassist—Beaver Howard, Funkasaurus Rex on drums, Blaze Barrett on lead guitar, back-up vocalists, Kendall Williams & Jessica Barrett followed by Bill Baum on guitar.

With an array of diverse artists coming from different musical backgrounds, this further adds to the allure of Project DNA.
The CD starts up with a party-like atmosphere right off the bat with “Callypso”. This track includes a fun ‘n’ fresh bouncy sound to go along with a cool, rock/pop flavor. I was incredibly surprised on track eight, “Empty Promises”, because the song had a much more somber/mellow quality to it. On this number, you are getting a heartfelt/moving performance that comes complete with a neat audio effect of thunder crashing. Another surprise was the ending of this album on “Take Me Away” due to its direction. The song starts up with a fast & fun demeanor, breaks with silence in the middle, then cuts back in with a soft & touching, child-like medley.

Jimmy Blecher and Project DNA seem to be pulling a different rabbit out of the hat throughout this entire project. Plenty of tricks under the sleeves are displayed on this record due the abundance of creativity & originality. Project DNA’s debut release will keep you moving and will grab your attention right from the start!

For more on Project DNA and the new release, SKOPE out www.projectdontask.com.
By Jimmy Rae (jrae@skopemag.com) - Skope Magazine


“Callypso” is the first track on Jimmy Bletcher’s current project, Project DNA. The rock that issues forth from this introductory track has a definite pop edge, but one that is moderated by the inclusion of sizzling horns, splashy drums, and a production that is easily on par with any music that can be heard on radio. “Love Me Tonight” is a track that touches upon a number of different genres and styles, all in the course of the introductory fifteen or so seconds of the song.

This means that there is a heavy nod to mid-nineties alternative rock (Del Amitri, Dishwalla) just as there is the emotional intensity of later acts like Coldplay and a little bit of a “jam” atmosphere (think Dave Matthews). “In A Minute” is a track that showcases further expansion of Project DNA’s style, with a slower and more pensive approach taken. As usual, each piece of the act is spot-on in the creation of a compelling and fulfilling track. The use of a few vocal layers here further flesh out the track, while the chorus will be bouncing around listeners’ heads well after the disc finishes up. “Dumb-Hearted” begins with a very Green album-era Weezer sound that is married to a more sixties sound. The additional vocal accompanying the main make the track even more special, while the inclusion of a Spanish flamenco type of flourish speaks to the skill of Bletcher.

“Falling In Love With You” is evidence that the disc hits on all cylinders throughout, whether listeners are beginning with “Callypso” or ending with “Take Me Away”. “Falling In Love With You” is a vocal-heavy track that would be a mess in the hands of anyone less talented than Bletcher himself. While there are quite active instrumental segments here, Bletcher’s shifts through The Rocket Summer, Maroon 5, and even Fall Out Boy are what really steal the show. With each track a hit, this Project DNA release represents an earlier time in pop music, back when artists cared about the entirety of an album rather than just a few tracks. Give Bletcher a listen in this effort, and see him live if they happen to come to your town.

Top Tracks: Love Me Tonight, Falling In Love With You

Rating: 8.5/10

Project DNA – S/T / 2009 Self / 10 Tracks / www.projectdonotask.com - NeuFuture Magazine


MR. BRiGHTSiDE
JiMMY BLECHER OF PROJECT DNA
TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS PROJECT'S SELF-TiTLED DEBUT
HAViNG AN OUTLET FOR HiS POP SENSiBiLiTY
AND HiS DAYS ON AMERiCAN iDOL

iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
When a cute looking pop singer desires to be taken seriously, they either forge a rockier sound or pick up a decidedly more hip-hop styled swagger. It is a tried and true method that has made the like PINK and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE industry giants as opposed to yesterday’s pop. Guitarist JIMMY BLECKER has been a member of the Kansas City-based alternative rock band AMADIUS for years and has decided to flex his pop muscle with his latest gig PROJECT DNA – a celebration of time honored pop hooks that eschews the grit and seriousness of his other band. The road to pop superstardom is paved with the catchiest pop-rock hooks imaginable. Despite the “don’t bore us/get to the chorus” approach, PROJECT DNA and its self-titled debut boasts stellar backing from the likes of BEAVER HOWARD (bassist for SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE), FUNKASAURUS REX on drums and BLAZE BARRET on lead guitar.

ROCKWIRED spoke with JIMMY BLECKER of PROJECT DNA over the phone. Here is how it went.

How do you feel about your debut CD?
I tell you what man, the music and the artwork on this CD were equally as important to me. I just received my final finished copy yesterday. The finished work is as visually and musically stimulating as I had imagined that it would be. To see a concept go from its birthing stage to now is truly exciting. It’s an award beyond belief.

Talk about he visuals a little more. Who worked with you on them?
It was my little cousin BLAZE. He’s a little child prodigy. He’s one of those guys who love doing anything and everything to expand his mind in art if you know what I mean. I love him and he’s just very gifted. He took a little DNA sketch that and turned it into this dancing DNA cartoon. The artwork on the CD has thirteen different frames of visuals on it.

Talk about how music got started for you as an individual.
My mother was a musical prodigy. She had perfect pitch when she was four years old and could pretty much play anything on any instrument. I used to sit on the bench with her when she would play and I would just cry when she would sing minor chords. Minor chords just move my heart. I think I have just a little bit of her talent. I started playing and writing when I was fourteen. I was self taught and had a natural ear thank God! I was able to learn by my ear. The real training didn’t come until the last couple of years. I wanted to take my music to a whole new level and really be professional about it. During that time I played many shows throughout Kansas City in a hard rock band called AMADIUS. I’m still recording with that group but PROJECT DNA is a way to put out songs that were a little too happy and poppy for AMADIUS. When we would play at weddings, people would request PROJECT DNA songs even though it was AMADIUS that was playing.

AMADIUS can’t be too happy with that.
They weren’t back in the day, but now that AMADIUS has gone in a different direction. We’ve got a female singer in the band now. I think everyone has a happy and a dark side to them. A yin and a yang. For an AMADIUS show, I was always too poppy and happy for a majority of our songs. I’d be making jokes everywhere. So PROJECT DNA lends itself better to the lovey – dovey, happy love songs whereas the music of AMADIUS deals with life issues and addictions. PROJECT DNA does to but we just go about it in a different way. I’m a guy that deals with issues of addiction. I’m an addictive personality. Three of the songs on the album are by a guy named ED GANEY who actually had a terrible life form addiction and lost everything but had a heart of gold. He kind of looks like a member of ZZ TOP with his big, old long beard. He wrote three songs on this album that take it to this whole other spiritual level. You’ve got thee light, poppy, happy love songs that I’ve got and then we start digging deep into some more spiritual songs by ED GEANEY like EMPTY PROMISES.

Talk a little more about ED GANEY.
click here to read the rest of the article on the RockWired site - http://www.rockwired.com/projectdna.html - rockwired.com


Discography

Project DNA's self titled debut album released in fall of 2009.

Available on the bands website at projectdonotask.com,

Also available on iTunes , Rhapsody and Napster.

Photos

Bio

Unlike so many indie artists whose personal and creative stories are somewhat one dimensional—i.e. working hard on the local scene, hoping to conquer the world now--he also offers a sizzling slew of exciting story angles to draw fans deeper into the Project DNA experience. DNA is short for “Do Not Ask” –the multi-talented artist’s sly response to anyone who asked what he was up to while this fascinating musical undertaking was in development.

While he’s not a jazz musician, KC is a famous jazz hotbed and homegrown legends like trumpeter Lonnie McFadden (of the McFadden Brothers) have jammed with Project DNA. Blecher turned to happier, lighter pop recently, but everyone in town knows him as a driving force of the renowned veteran hard rock band Amadius. And then there’s the matter of Blecher conceiving Project DNA after making it three rounds on American Idol and auditioning for Simon, Randy, Paula and Kara last season. When Idol didn’t happen, it was time for him to find another outlet for the poppier side of his artistry—and before forming Project DNA, he and his wife sold everything they owned (including lovely home on a lake) so he could have the financial backing to pursue music like never before.

The infectious songs and bright spirit that drive Project DNA have been part of Blecher’s creative life for a long time—they were just overwhelmed by his years of success playing with Amadius, which has released three independent albums. His bandmates thought the pop material he was writing was too fluffy for their sound, but the handful of tunes Blecher put into their sets (including the quirky mid-tempo rocker “In A Minute”) became among their most popular and inspired fans to sing along. With Amadius on hiatus in 2008, he put out the word that he had a new concept brewing and allowed serendipity to take its course, with onetime Sly and the Family Stone bassist Beaver Howard coming on board, followed by top regional musicians Funkasaurus Rex (drums), Blaze Barrett (lead guitar) and backing vocalist Kendall Williams.

Blecher and his stable of versatile musicians had four practices together before heading to the studio. This live band has also performed with Blecher at local charity events like the March of Dimes’ Bikers For Babies and a benefit at the Mitsu Sato Hair Academy for the Dream Factory—an organization that helps makes dreams come true for children. As Blecher sees it, his band is comprised of artists from diverse backgrounds who have been brought together by a mutual love for music, influenced by everything from rock to pop, blues and jazz bringing their own unique style and musical personality to the fold. Blecher’s range of influences starts with grunge, Metallica and Weezer—this side comes out with Amadius—and includes everything from MC Hammer to any band that ever wrote a catchy pop hook.

A notorious happy hook writer, Blecher has a blast engaging in the peppy, calypso inspired pop of “Dance With Me,” a song he wrote when he and his wife Heather were first married; he would walk around their apartment playing guitar in his underwear and she would try to kick the axe out of his hands, till she was practically playing it with her feet—an unusual kind of dance, but a dance nonetheless. Emotionally, Project DNA runs the gamut from the playful horn band funk energy of “Callypso” to the more heartfelt and poignant “Empty Promises,” which Blecher’s frequent collaborator Ed Ganey—who Blecher playfully describes as a “scary ZZ Top character”—wrote about his recovery from addiction and ultimate embrace of a more spiritual life. While Blecher did multiple vocal takes on most of the songs, he proudly nailed his leads on the crunchy pop-rocker “Innocence”—about a girl with a cheating heart—in just two.

“I’m really enjoying the opportunity to bring Project DNA to a wider audience, and it’s wonderful to finally have an outlet for this other side of my musical personality,” he says. “I spared no expense and believe this is the starting point for the next phase of my career. Besides being more creatively fulfilling on a personal level, it gives me a chance to touch people in a whole new way. I’m the guy who hangs around before and after the shows, meeting everyone he can, and it’s nice to share this part of myself after keeping it under wraps for so long.”