Just Dave Band's Lessons Learned Vol. 1 sounds like a bunch of friends jammin' in the barnhouse, empty amber Bud™ bottles everywhere, vintage Fender™ amps buzzing deep into the night while the tape rolls. Spontaneous, inspired and rough around the edges, Dave testifies his heart-felt lyrics - sincere as Al Green - and full of So-Cal Holden Caufield angst and Gram Parsons narratives of traveling North of Ventura Blvd - (i.e. buying wine at Ralph's on Riverside Dr. in "My Old Crummy Life"). I can definitely relate to that!!!
At times Dylan-esoteric or Eagles-rockin' and others Steely Dan-shiny, Dave Bernal's (aka J.D.) strong song-writing skill-set and obvious joy at the performing of these songs makes for an enjoyable experience which has been accompanied by repeated listenings. Of course the star here is Bernal's harmonica playing! Innovatve, captivating and wholly musical, JD says a lot through that mouth harp of his.
The Burrito Brothers-esque "California Wildfire" bounces around comfortably full of sharp pedal steel and a sing-along chorus. Interesting thing about those California wildfires is that they can be witnessed from the basin of the San Fernando Valley; they can be felt (especially when those Santa Ana's kick in early in the fall), but they don't venture into the 'burbs of "the Valley". There's definitely a lot of heat there ("I been through hell" J.D. declares in "It's Only Life")!!
Just Dave (the band) is J.D.(vocals, harmonica, guitar), Johnny Stachela (guitar), Nelson Blanton (guitar), Lawrence Baulden (bass) and Dennis Pagano (drums)
Lessons Learned Vol. 1 is available at all the usual outlets including: