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J D SAGE & THE DAGNABBITS “I KNOW WHERE I AM” CD

 
J D SAGE  & THE DAGNABBITS “I KNOW WHERE I AM” CD
Review by Michael McKenna 
PA Music Scene.com
June 2011 
 

J.D. SAGE is a songwriter originally from Darlington, MD., currently residing in South Central Pennsylvania. He began crafting his songs in the style of John Prine, Steve Earle, & Merle Haggard with Southern Rock influences drawing on his Appalachian ancestry. J.D. garnered a publishing deal with RMG Publishing and moved to Nashville in 1995, writing songs, cutting demos and learning the trade. With a number of RMG and C&P Publishing contracts, he played numerous high profile places including the famous Bluebird Cafe, The Exit/Inn, Billy Blocks Western Beat Show, Radio Cafe, and the hallowed Windows on the Cumberland.

Disenchanted with the Nashville publishing machine, in 1999 J.D. formed his own band, The Guilty Plezures. They produced the CD, “Guilty in a Sense”, with Bill Halverson as producer (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil Young) which was recorded at the Sound Emporium studio (Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley) resulting in a successful tour of the Mid-West and Mid-Atlantic regions.

After a 5 year break J.D. has returned with new songs, a new band, and a new CD,”I Know Where I Am”. With a mix of music that includes Southern Rock, Hard Country, Honky Tonk & Bluegrass and well written originals, J.D. and his band of veteran musicians put it all together to perform jams that bring the house down.

The 12 tracks on his new CD are a collection of originals that are way cool. Traditional country blends nicely with the other influences to produce nice sounds. His band, The Dagnabbits, include Richard Bertier (Drums), Bob Howard (Bass), Ralph Donato (Guitar), Bryon Morrison (Guitar), Jeff Kidd (Mandolin), Steve Foutty (Percussions), Dave Garner ( Harmonica) and Ben Garner (Sound).

“Wagon Ride” is a great example of traditional old-time country with guitar pickin and simple beat. “Love Is What Love Does” is a cool down home ballad that has the right ingredients and some nice electric string work. “Dash Between” is one of those numbers that just grabs you from the start and holds you to the finish. One of the better tracks on this effort! “Mason James” is one of those story-telling songs that was common back in the good ole days of country and is making a comeback with traditionalists. “What I Call Love” has a nice southern rock feel like the Outlaws performed in the late 70’s and the early 80’s. I really like this track! “Times Like This” is a really cool number, I like how the modern sound blends in with the retro country sound!

Valentine’s Day” reminds me of some of the music from the old country masters, Merle Haggard, Sonny James, Johnny Cash and of course good old Hank Williams. “Old B-4 My Time” has a more modern sounding Hot Country feeling to it with the acoustic rhythm guitar and electric lead guitar that really wails. “Lay My Body Down” is an awesome ballad.  The instrumentation is way hot! This could go places in country radio. The title track, “I Know Where I Am” begins with JD saying ‘where y’all from’ with that baritone inflection in his voice that just sound way cool. The track is hot as well as the lyrics! One of the best! “Kill Time” is one of those tunes that just grabs you early on with the alarm going off and then JD going off that hits home in the real lives of many men! “Troubles of My Own” has that blues harmonica that gives this song an instant kick start, the lyrics are mad cool and the rhythm being old timey blends well with all that goes down. ‘Rivers on fire in distant lands, looks like the shit has finally hit the fan’.

JD has got it going on with some mean sounding tracks that are very traditional, modern and still can rock the pants off a cowboy. If you like listening to the real thing, then this is it! I give this CD a MUST LISTEN!