The Jensen Connection
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The Jensen Connection

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"High Five/Local Music-Industry Insiders Pick Thier Favorite CD's of 2005."

Jensen Connection, "Distracted" (Self-released). "I would put this CD up against any nationally released CD as far as quality, lyrics, sound and how fun it is to listen to. Of Course, I am biased, as this band formed at our Wednesday jams and turned into one of the best live bands you will see here in Iowa. Word."
Quote from Scott Kaeding, owner of the Iowa City Yacht Club.
Article written by Eric Clark of the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette. - Cedar Rapids Gazette/Weekend Section 12/22/2005

"Shows to See"

Arising from the ICYC's weekly Jam Band Jam, this groove-laden quintet boasts fine chops, intricate interplay and wide-ranging origional tunes. Singer Emmett Sheehan conjures a cool Garcia/Marley merger, Brian Cretzmeyer's keyboard work glistens, guitarist Matt Skinner is all over it and the rhythm section just cooks. thier debut, "Distracted," is a stone beauty. - Iowa City Press Citizen 9/25/2005

"Reviews/ The Jensen Connection"

The Percolating groove of this young Iowa City quintet evokes comparisons to Jack Johnson, G. Love and Dave Matthews. Emmett Sheehan's husky vocals and brian Cretzmeyer's fluid keyboard lead the way. Start with the title track and "Ups and Downs."
3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Kyle Munson
Des Moines Register - The Des Moines Register Datebook

"Making the (Jensen) Connection"

Sparks fly when these Iowa City musicians get together
Though open jams, in principle, are designed to unite musicians, they rarely succeed. Anyone who has ever attended one, let alone participated in one, knows that an assortment of strangers thrown haphazardly together onstage under the spotlight for the first time rarely make beautiful music. But on the rare occasion that they do, when the music trancends influences, skill sets and personalities, they can be magical.
Such was the case about 18 months ago when musical sparks began to fly at an open jam at the Iowa City Yacht Club. That's when a handful of Des Moines and Iowa City musicians, most of whom were attending the University of Iowa, sat in with one another for the first time and began to realize their collective potential. A few months later, after the core group recruited some additional players to use the jam as a platform to see wether or not they could gel, The Jensen Connection - featuring Emmett Sheehan (lead vocals, guitar), Matt Skinner (guitars, vocals), Pat Jensen (drums), Brian Cretzmeyer (piano,organ,accordian, vocals), Ryan Casteel (bass), and Adam Morford (auxiliary percussion) - was born.
"I think we're really lucky to have found each other," says Casteel, the bands oldest member at age 28. "I knew Emmett was a legitimate front man the first time I saw him. I knew if we could find a good drummer we could do well."
Not only did the band find a good drummer, they found two. Morford is now the band's steady timekeeper and Jensen, who is focusing on a career outside of music, is the groups part-time percussionist.
But more importantly, the group immediatelty recognized its ability to mesh a variety of influences ranging from classical music to the Allman Brothers Band to the Dave Matthews Band and Sublime to Parliament Funkadelic. They even found out they can write songs together.
"Our sound is such a big spectrum, ' Casteel says. But unlike most bands that incorporate such varied influences, the Jensen Connection's bassist says the group doesn't consider itself to be a jam band. Instead it prefers to be called "homegrown rock 'n' soul."
"I think we're a jam-groove band," he says. "We like musicianship, but we don't play 25-minute songs. We try not to bore the listeners. We focus on the singer-songwriter aspect. We don't want to loose people but at the same time we can play our instruments."
That much is evident on the band's debut, full length album, "Distracted," a stunning independent effort released last week. "Distracted" is anything but what its title suggests. It features 13 tight origionals that traverse a multitude of styles and themes thanks to rock solid songwritig, soulful singing, detailed musicianship and stellar production by John Svec at Minstrel Recordings and PZM Studios in Iowa City. And Like the Group itself, Casteel says the album came together fairly easily.
"We were confident about the material," he says. "And a lot of the songs have grown since then, as we play them more and continue to polish them."
As proud as the band is of "Distracted," Casteel says fans need to see the band in person to appreciate its full spectrum.
"We're like Widespread Panic in that you haven't heard us until you've seen us live. Our shows, especially those when we come back to Des Moines, are turning into events. We've been getting good reaction from people. They show up singing our songs and its kind of shocking. There's even bootlegs of us being passed around."
Casteel says the band wants to build its fan base by playing more shows. He says the group is looking to purchase a van to do some touring next spring and hopes the release of its CD and the addition of a Website ( will enable it to make the quantum leap to become a full-time touring and recording outfit.
"That's the goal, " he says. "We're getting there."
In the meantime, the Jensen Connection revels in its onstage craft. Casteel says those moments when you step out of yourself and the crowd is reacting," he says. "It's awesome."
Article by Michel Swanger/Des Moines Cityview. - Des Moines Cityview/ CitySounds 9/22/2005

""Distracted": Tough to label, easy to enjoy"

When it comes to first impressions, few bands would cause as wide a variety as the Jensen Connection.
One track into "Distracted," the Iowa City based band's debut album, the listner might accidentally think the group is a Dave Matthews Band clone. But three tracks in, a hoe-down randomly breaks out (and no, not in the bad Ashlee Simpson way). Another track sounds like bluegrass another reggae - and there are accordians, mouth harps and shattering beer bottles scattered all about in between.
Seriously, the band throws everything but the kitchen sink into this album. Wait - what's that in the background on track 7? Oh, there's the sink.
By the time a disco beat pops up in the song "Greenhouse Man," you're not sure what to call it - but so what? You're enjoying he ride, and thats enough.
The Jensen Connection is versatile for such a young band. Piano player Brian Cretzmeyer, who throws down some rocking keys on "Distracted" and "Two Cents," gives tender backup to the soulful ballad "Sweet Movement." Singer Emmett Sheehan brings wry sadness to "Not Too Personally," then turns around to practically lead a spiritual revival on "Halloween on Sunday."
Sometimes the various musical detours seem a bit like overkill, but the band is likely to sharpen its focus in time. For now, "Distracted" marks a solid debut.
Article by Rob Merritt/ Cedar Rapids Gazette - Cedar Rapids Gazette 9/15/2005

"The Jensen Connection"

Another local Iowa City band, JC is a piano-fueled quintet that bolts like a mule on ephedrine. Their CD Distracted is somewhere between a woo-hootenanny and a jazzy Blues Traveler esprit de corps with a Taj Mahal circa Dave Matthews wiggly, rough devil-may-care scratchy vocal anthem-building sensibility. The ballad “Sweet Movement” is especially noteworthy. It’s happy, bustling, good-time music for the most part, bursting at the seams and prolly ripping in person. Also recorded by John Svec at P2M Studios. Impressive.
- The Iowa Source

"CD Reviews: The Jensen Connection- Distracted"

The Jensen Connection
3 Stars
Similar to: Twistin Trees, Gomez

First of all the title to this record is somewhat of a misnomer. “Distracted” almost lends the listener to dismiss this as just mere background music, something to vacuum your floors and wash your dishes to. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Jensen Connection fuses blues, funk, pop and roots into grooves that infect both the body and the mind. If there was any distraction to be found here it was the fabulous music distracting me from the lackluster lyrics. Give The Jensen Connection a listen, especially if your toes need a tappin’ and you need something stuck in your head that is worth having there. — Tony Tarbox
- Iowa Art Scene Feb. 2006


Distracted- Our first full length album.
13 Tracks, 1hr 7min. Released 9/05
There is streaming audio available in the media portion of our website


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Jensen Connection was started in Iowa City, Iowa, by Emmett Sheehan and Matt Skinner in 2002. Since then, the band has built a following with their energy, musicianship, and strong songwriting, playing all over Iowa and the Midwest.
This quintet brings solid grooves, energetic jams and powerful, soulful vocals to the stage. Loaded with original material, the band has an versatile sound that mixes rock and funk with a shot of piano bar blues. The band has one album, DISTRACTED, an independent effort released in September 2005. They have already started work on a second album, hoping to be finished in the summer of 2006.
They have played with national acts such as Liquid Soul, The Big Wu, Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Codetalkers, Oteil Burbridge and the PeaceMakers, and Robert Walter. They also share close friendships with regional acts such as Euforquestra, Dave Zollo, Public Property, and the Nadas.
Called "tough to label but easy to enjoy", the band hopes to bring good, meaningful music to new ears for many years.