Let's Get Funky
by Nicki Hymowitz
Photography by Rich Gastwirt
On Saturday night, Jan. 21, Jesse Dee, a Boston-based soul singer-songwriter, embraced Cambridge’s The Sinclair with his groovy tunes. This Boston native felt right at home and had no problem getting the crowd to dance the night away. The White Owls and Ali McGuirk Band were also featured—it was a night that transported the crowd back to the 1960s.
If you’ve never been to The Sinclair, you’re missing out. The Sinclair can widen anyone’s music taste, as they provide a great mix of genres and performers.
Dee captured the audience with his soulful voice, lovable music and immense passion that was evidenced by the sweat dripping down his face. After his first song he took a shot of whiskey, and was ready to get the ’60s soul party started.
The audience went nuts over Dee’s charm and infectious voice. He was constantly engaged with the crowd, speaking about how to love one another instead of falling into a trap mired in hate. Later in the set, Dee mentioned the love and power that woman have in the world, a well-timed assertion given the recent Women’s Marches around the world.
Music has the gift of making people feel a certain type of way. Jesse Dee’s soulful funk presence lifted the crowd’s spirits. It wasn’t only thanks to the words and melodies: seeing his passion for the music he was playing made it sound even better.
Even though he was playing for his hometown, he gave the performance his all during every number. He played some of his catchy hits, including “No Matter Where I Am”, “Whiskey Wash” and “You Can’t Get Away From It.” You could see people in the crowd singing along to the catchy lyrics, and even others who were not as familiar with Dee’s songs were grooving to the funky vibes.
Although Dee said he creates contemporary soul music in hopes of appealing to younger generations, the audience varied in age from ‘hipster’ college students, to parents taking a break from their kids and even grandmothers looking to spend a night out on the town.
If you aren’t sure whether you like soul music or don’t know much about the genre, you have to listen to Dee. His outstanding raspy tenor and soulful yet funky songs are the perfect combination to get people of any age on their feet.
Soul music should have a warning label that listeners should be prepared to get down and boogie. There is no way to stay still when those horns start playing.
Dee is a man passionate about his music, and the people around him made the evening feel like a night jamming out with close pals. Seeing a soul performer live is not an experience that comes around very often, but it’s one you certainly don’t want to miss.