The Jelly Rollers
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The Jelly Rollers

Band Blues Americana


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"CD Review ~ The Jelly Rollers"

“All in all one of the most unexpected and enjoyable listens I’ve had in a long time.”
-Bruce Iglauer, President, Alligator Records
- Bruce Iglauer, President Alligator Records

"Heritage Music Review"

The Jelly Rollers are a masterful integration of acoustic and electric blues...
with a degree of depth and maturity beyond their years.
(Feature Article, CD Review) - Doug Bright

"Music Director, KPLU"

“ of the sweetest blues releases to have landed on my desk in sometime.”
- -Nick Morrison

"Washington Bluesletter"

Listening to The Jelly Rollers, for me, is like participating in an impromptu musical think-tank session. The music expands outward from a solid blues center, playfully hinting at past and maybe future evolutionary directions, yet always remaining true to the source.
- Brooke Glass-Oshea,

"The Stranger"

The Jelly Rollers sing about trains, women, and what it's like to walk down the road feeling bad, and they do it so well and true and simply that it feels sort of timeless. - RICK LEVIN


"The Jelly Rollers" self titled released, 2001



IN THE BEGINNING, there was the blues.

Without the blues, there is no nothing-no jazz, no hip hop, no pop, no rock-n'-roll. It's the foundation for everything. This, then, is the tradition mined and then moved forward by Seattle outfit The Jelly Rollers, a band of talented and driven musicians who have been steadily building a body of work that is both achingly old-timey and somehow new, fresh, of-the moment. In this digital age of samples and theft, with a "garage" band lurking in everyone's hard drive, the sweat and toil and shimmering authenticity evident in the The Jelly Rollers' music seems almost revolutionary, an act of artistic solidarity with the pioneers of blues. And yet, the band makes this history and this tradition and this music its own, by daring to take it seriously and to play it as though life depended on it.
At the heart of the Jelly Rollers are guitarist/singer-songwriter Darren Loucas and singer/harp man Sean Divine, a pair of Miami natives who, having met up again in Seattle, started playing together in 1993--Darren on guitar, Sean on harmonica, creating a pared-down, rough-hewn blues sound smack in the middle of the sub-pop world culture explosion. A master guitar player in a metropolis full of good guitar players, Loucas-whose playing is heavily influenced by the early bluesmen by way of 60s and 70s big rock acts like Led Zeppelin and the Who combines technical virtuosity with the deep, from-the-heart sentiment that elevates a certain few guitarists above the ever-growing herd. Divine’s harpwork twines perfectly with Loucas’ guitar sounds, bobbing and chugging and weaving with bent notes and sustained howls of train-whistle heartbreak, and his voice has a sort of alluringly rich and throaty quality; it is the voice of the blues-nostalgic and haunting, defiant and a bit tetched. Eventually these two added a strong rhythm section, made up of drummer Dan Weber and bassist Jim Steffen. Weber's tasteful drumming, punchy and always in the pocket, and Steffen's smooth bass lines were, in a sense, the last piece of the puzzle. Electrified and loaded for bear, this crackerjack foursome continues to surprise and delight fans and newcomers alike with music that rocks, rolls, swings and swoons.
Whether raving up a version of Willie Dixon's "Pretty Thing" or introducing an original number like Loucas' haunting "Ash Lee", the 'Rollers have that rare and special ability to evoke a total atmosphere-a sepia-toned feeling for a particular time and place that can consume the listener in a collage of emotions and associations. Slow and mournful, up-tempo and fiery, the band touches upon various eras in the history of blues and rock, doing honor to such artists as the great Robert Johnson, Lightning Hopkins, Cephas and Wiggins, and more. And yet, even with such tributaries and respect, the Jelly Rollers are anything but slavish; they make tradition their own, owning it, and taking it in new directions, the old-new or the new-old, turning anachronism on its head to concoct a sound that is thoroughly and engagingly modern-much as The Beatles and The Stones and other great bands siphoned the soul of early blues to forge the foundation of rock-n’-roll as we know it.

With a strong following that is growing all the time, fan by fan, this daring, talented and innovative foursome continues to break new ground in a genre that is as old as the hills. They are alpha and omega. They are now.

The Jelly Rollers have arrived.

-Rick Levin