The Jilters

The Jilters

 Alameda, California, USA

Vintage rock powered by 70's grooves and 80's pop hooks.


The Jilters originate from a college pit band.  Twenty years ago, drummer, Chuck Kapelke, and pianist, Chris Dubois, were part of the rhythm section for a Harvard theater company called The Hasty Pudding.
After years of travel and relocation, the two ended up living as neighbors in the island city of Alameda, California and spent many late nights improvising together in basements and makeshift spare room studios. Their initial attempts at making music could best be described as “bad jazz fusion”.

Travis Hanna, a former luthier and R&B bassist, moved to Alameda to pursue a career in tech. By the time Hanna first jammed with The Jilters, Dubois had sketched out a few pop song ideas while commuting to his day job as an attorney. Hanna had also written a handful of his own songs and, as luck would have it, both songwriters had focused their lyrics on love, loss, ambivalence, and a hint of snark—a natural fit.

In a final round of expansion, The Jilters completed their misfit ensemble with an incredible horn section anchored by Jeff Worrall on trumpet and Ethan Levitt on tenor sax (both recent transplants to The Bay Area). Worrall and Levitt have an affinity for pop, rock and funk, but they also have the jazz chops The Jilters need for the extended jams that have become a major part of their draw at live shows.

In the summer of 2016 The Jilters finalized their current lineup with the incomparable Matt McLean on guitar. 

The Jilters have developed a sound that serves the party scene well, powered by 70s-style grooves and 80s-style hooks.  They perform a blend of original music and covers spanning multiple decades from popular artists such as Steely Dan, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, The Who, and Sting.


Better Than Perfect

Written By: Chris Dubois

He always treats you well, he’s such a nice guy
He already fell for you, you’re his life
He has got a lot of money, and a nice car
He thinks that you’re funnier than you are

He seems to be the perfect man
You’ll stay with him while you can
But it won’t be long before you'll see
That even though it’s clearly true, he’d do anything for you
What he can’t do for you is be me

He has travelled many places and he’s well read
He has got a pretty face, just like you said
He listens well and writes love letters
But he can go to hell, you know I’m better


Make a list of characteristics that you desire
And I'm sure if you keep score, he would rate higher
You can try to tell yourself that he is the right man
But you know that’s not the case, ‘cause only I am

He always treats you well, he’s such a swell guy
But we both know when you tell him you love him, you lie


Sorry Anyway

Written By: Christian Darin Dubois

Well it happens now and then;
I guess it's time for it again.
How could I forget?

She wants to air out her frustrations
And tell me expectations
Haven't been met.

So I’ve got to form a plan
To show her I'm the man
She needs me to be.
So I'll tell her that she’s wrong
And convince her she belongs
Here with me.

I'm gonna show her how
She's failed to think things through.
And then I'll forgive her and
We'll start out like new.
I'll tell her it's not too late;
I still think she should stay.
(And if that doesn't work)
I'll tell her it's not my fault
but I'm sorry anyway.

Before she spends another night,
I need to face another fight
That I need to win.
So I've got to anticipate
All the arguments that she'll make
Before they begin.

Once she hears my stance
I'm certain there's no chance
That she won't relent.
I'll tell her that I love her,
Make sure every angle's covered,
She'll be content.

I'm gonna point out all the good things that I do.
And then I'll make her realize her claims just aren't true.
I'll tell her it's not too late; I still think she should stay.
(And if that doesn't work)
I'll tell her it's not my fault, but I'm sorry anyway.

She says this isn't like the other times;
She’s not listening to my excuses or lies.
But I know it’s just like before;
I'll persuade her, I am sure.
And if that doesn’t work, I'll apologize.

So I think it's going well;
She has fallen for my spell;
I'm in control.
I don't think that I have heard
Her say a single angry word;
I'm on a roll.

Where she's going?
What did I just do?
Didn't she hear me tell her I love you?
Didn’t she hear me explain everything away?
(Well I guess that didn’t work)
She can't hear it now,
But I'm sorry anyway.


  • Better Than Perfect (single)
  • Sorry Anyway (single)