Hey Nineteen, the Steely Dan Tribute Band, will be performing live at the North Kingstown Town Beach, as part of a fundraising event for the Wickford Art Association.
The event takes place Saturday, September 19th starting at 7:30. This event helps support the efforts of the Wickford Art Association and the arts community that is so important to Wickford and all of Rhode Island. Tickets and information on the event can be found on the official website of the Wickford Art Association, www.wickfortart.org. Take some time to look through some of the pages on the WAA website to see the great work and programs they provide for artists, students, and art lovers in our community. I recently caught up with Dale DeJoy, aka “Steely Dale”, who plays guitar and thrills Steely Dan audiences with his incredible vocal renditions of such great hits as “Deacon Blues” and “Babylon Sisters.” Here is an excerpt from my conversation with Dale DeJoy:
So, why become a Steely Dan tribute band? Why not the Beatles or the Rolling Stones or the Eagles? What drew you and the band to this incredible group? Have you ever met or played with any of the original or current members of Steely Dan?
I became a huge fan of Steely Dan in 1976 when I discovered their Royal Scam and Katy Lied albums. I then purchased everything they had done as a band and immersed myself in it. I spent weeks upon months going over and over the parts by moving the needle on my turn table fractions of an inch trying to locate the correct notes in a chord or solo. It was the jazz influence, the complexity of sound and lyric that drew me to the group. I have always enjoyed a great debate and Steely Dan seemed to be imbued with enough intellect to kick anyones butt. Yes I have met Donald Fagen and Walter Becker at Berklee College of Music when they received their Honorary Degrees from Berklee shortly after 2 Against nature won Best album of the year in 2003 I believe. There was a dinner in the Library which I was invited to because I have an Endowment there in my Father’s name as he died at age 23 and was a musician with a number 3 hit at the time.
How did you or whomever organized Hey Nineteen comprise this group? Was it a lengthy process given the fact that Steely Dan was such an incredible assortment of musicians with an equally incredible assortment of song compositions? I take it the average guitar player off the street would not make the cut.
I had been in RI for 24 years at the time. I had a group which played at the Ocean Mist every Thursday night and had been speaking with the drummer Ajay Coletta about doing this and he was all for it. The rest of the guys were doing their own thing so it was Ajay and I who kicked it off. Soon thereafter i was going through my data bases of players I knew. I have since changed a number of the players but the originals were born of the proverbial rolodex except Doug Siquiera who I met on a Berklee College of Music Alumni group on linked in! He was the most difficult to find. The guitarist who could play every solo note for note and was willing to put the time in to do so.
How long has the group been playing together?
Our first gig was May 2013
What do you tell people who have never seen Hey Nineteen about you, your shows, the music? Give me an elevator speech on Hey Nineteen.
We provide an incredible experience of melodic, complex sound with so much energy you will be blown off your seat and into the isles, on your feet dancing. We emulate the sound to as close as you can come, however, we bring a show, high energy show.
I see in your bio that you have recorded music for yourself and others. Does any of that original music come out at a Hey Nineteen show?
No, at shows we play Steely Dan music only, however, we have talked about playing some of my music that sounds similar. Hoping people would think it is off of their newest record and still unfamiliar.
Yes many! Ajay Coletta lives in Wickford, Kim St. Onge is the wife of Police Captain in NK, Steve St. Onge, I used to play with the music ministry with Sarah Talarico of WAA at Christ Church when it met at the North Kingstown High School.
I read in a review of Steely Dan’s recordings that the mixing process was so intricate that it allowed for seemingly all of the instruments to be heard with no one instrument or vocals dominating the sound on a record. Does this translate into a live performance and is it possible to recreate this sound on stage?
It is really dependent on the room and the sound man. However, I would generally say that the response we get from our audience would indicate they are hearing something they are really excited about. We are told that we do an incredible job at emulating the actual recordings….I tend not to argue.
Is there room in modern music for an ensemble band like Steely Dan? How do you feel Steely Dan would play out if they formed and recorded in 2015?
Modern music is mostly a mystery to me. Although I can find a few new bands I am impressed by, I find most of the new popular music very simple and technology based. This simultaneously dumbs down and takes the human emotion out of the sound. Not for me….
I love a horn section and Steely Dan’s was certainly top notch. Steely Dan was categorized mostly as a pop band and a jazz band by most. What do you feel a horn section brings to a pop song, in your own words.
A horn section brings an additional texture, with the ability to provide serious dynamic changes and/ or melodic and harmonic lines. They bring nuance and bold statements.
Thanks Noel, We are appearing at Regent theater in Arlington, MA on October 10th. The official Dan Fogelberg tribute will be opening the show. On October 16th we will be at Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA at Gillette Stadium and on October 24th we will be at Newport Grand Casino.
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